Hypertension is described as a condition where the force or pressure of blood in the blood vessels is too high. It is also referred to as “high blood pressure”. This could lead to other problems like heart failure and other heart diseases, stroke, kidney diseases, and so on. The best cure for hypertension is prevention as unlike other conditions, it has no symptoms. Someone with hypertension may be going about their daily lives like they normally would, without having any idea that they have high blood pressure.
That is why it is advised that you check your blood pressure regularly, so you can know your blood pressure levels. Doing this as often as possible would go a long way in preserving your life.
Another thing you can do is to improve your diet. As someone prone to hypertension, or if you are already dealing with it, making changes to your diet would go a long way in keeping you healthy. Most medical experts call it the DASH diet. DASH stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension.
That is why in today’s post, we would be looking at some Nigerian foods that are good for a hypertensive patient.
One thing about potatoes, besides the sweet taste, is that they are very rich in potassium, which is something you need more of at this point. Potassium helps to relax the blood vessels, which helps to lower one’s blood pressure. Potatoes are also rich in magnesium, which produces nitric oxide that also helps to relax the blood vessels. Increasing the intake of these two minerals would see your blood pressure levels reduce by a great deal. Avoid fried potatoes. You can always enjoy boiled or baked potatoes.
You can never have too many vegetables. If you are someone who is not a ‘fan’ of vegetables, you would have to increase your intake if you are hypertensive. The good thing about vegetables is that they come in many forms, and you are bound to find one you would enjoy. From spinach to tomatoes, collard greens, lettuce, and more, and you can use them in a variety of dishes. Just make sure to get your vegetables fresh. Also, avoid canned vegetables as they contain some additives you do not need at this point. When cooking your vegetables, avoid overcooking it so it does not lose its nutrients.
Having oatmeal for breakfast is something you should do more of at this point. Oatmeal is rich in fibre, which would make you more satisfied after each meal, allowing you to eat less. It would also help to reduce the sodium levels in your body, which is very important for a hypertensive patient. Oatmeal swallow is a healthy swallow for hypertensive patients. You can opt to eat your healthy Nigerian soups with oatmeal swallow.
Fruits are a healthy food option. They are rich in a range of minerals and nutrients, like potassium and magnesium, that your body needs. Including fruits, like cashews, almonds, bananas, oranges, in your daily diets would help keep your body healthy and also lower your blood pressure levels.
It is advisable to go for fruits rich in potassium, such as banana. According to the American Heart Association, potassium-rich foods combats the effects sodium and reduces tension in the walls of the blood vessels. Eating tomatoes and onions can help be good for the heart.
Beans are another great food you should eat more of. It is very rich in potassium and rich in magnesium, which help to lower blood pressure levels.
Many nuts contain vital nutrients and minerals, which may reduce blood pressure during times of stress. The good news is that there are a plethora of healthy nuts in Nigeria. Nuts such as pistachios, tiger nuts, dates, cashew nuts and dates can be eaten by a hypertensive patient.
7. Fatty Fish
Fatty fish are full of omega-3 fatty acids, which have positive effects on heart health. Omega-3 fatty acids reduced blood pressure levels by reducing inflammation and decreasing levels of blood-vessel-constricting compounds known as oxylipins. It is recommended that hypertensive patients eat more of salmon and fatty fish as their source of animal protein.
Nutritional Tips For Hypertensive Patients
- Avoid taking salt. Salt contains sodium, which drives up your blood pressure levels. Avoid salt and other salty foods, either processed or natural.
- Avoid fried foods.
- Cut down on your alcohol intake. If you can, quit it totally.