Modern science is changing how people fifty years and older assess their blood pressure and a number of new studies on foods and hypertension say that reducing high blood pressure may be easier than you think.
For people under 65, the first number in a blood pressure reading is perhaps the best indicator of a heart problem arising in the future or even untimely death. As a baseline keep in mind that around 120/80 is the normal reading. If the first number is 140 or higher, then you might have something to worry about.
However, for those who are 65 and older, it can be exponentially more complicated. Blood pressure readings may have a more broader range and doctors might have to be careful in prescribing medication.
For all age groups, a safe, useful way to decrease blood pressure is to consume foods that function naturally to dilate blood vessels which eventually reduce cholesterol.
Here are 6 amazing foods you can easily incorporate into the diet of a senior loved one to dramatically lower blood pressure:
Only one serving of blueberries a week can help lower your risk of high blood pressure. A recent British and American study of around 157,000 men and women, published in theÂ American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, found that blueberries, in addition to raspberries and strawberries, have natural compounds called anthocyanins which protect against hypertension.
A bowl of breakfast cereal, particularly whole-grain and high-fiber cereals such as oatmeal, oat squares, shredded wheat, or bran flakes can lessen your chance of developing high blood pressure, as found recently by Harvard University researchers. Moreover, the more you have cereals a week the more you can get benefits. Just add some blueberries and your doubling up the benefits.
3. Baked Potato
Everybody likes a baked potato. But are you aware that a baked potato is rich in potassium and magnesium, two essential minerals that can help tackle high blood pressure? Research indicates that if Americans greatly increased their potassium intake, high blood pressure in adults could lessen by more than 10 percent. The National Institute of Health has found that many older Americans donâ€™t get enough magnesium in their diet. Apart from baked potatoes, some other foods that are high in potassium and magnesium are spinach, halibut, bananas, kidney beans, soybeans and simple nonfat yogurt.
4. Beet Juice
According to a Queen Mary University of London study, published last year, in the American Heart Association journal, a glass of beet juice can lower blood pressure in just a few hours hours. Researchers found that the nitrates in the juice has the same result as taking a nitrate tablet. Beet juice is available at some food stores and specialty groceries like Whole Foods. Other foods rich in nitrate include lettuce, spinach, carrots, cabbage and, of course, whole beets.
5. Low-Fat Dairy
Having low-fat dairy products can lessen a womanâ€™s chances of developing hypertension. Thatâ€™s the finding of a study in 2008, of about 30,000 women with average age of 54.Â The women who consumed the most low-fat dairy productsÂ like low-fat cottage cheese, yogurt, frozen yogurt, skim or low-fat milk, were 11 percent less likely to develop high blood pressure.
6. Dark Chocolate
Good news for chocolate lovers! A one-ounce square of dark chocolate everyday can help lessen blood pressure, particularly in people who have hypertension already, as presented by Harvard researchers after analysis of 24 different chocolate studies. Dark chocolate is filled with flavonoids, natural compounds which cause the dilation of blood vessels. It is a good idea to look for chocolates that contain 50 to 70 percent cacao, like Ghirardelli 60 percent cacao dark chocolate squares.