Overall health is majorly impacted by the food that is eaten. There are numerous benefits of eating a more alkaline-based diet1, including improving cardiovascular health, lowering blood pressure and protecting the body from diseases.
Range of alkaline foods
Below is a list of nine alkaline foods that can be included in the diet to help lower blood pressure:
Magnesium and potassium can play a significant role in reducing blood pressure, and both are present in high quantities in watermelon. Potassium acts as a vasodilator which dilates the blood vessels, helping to release the tension from veins and arteries. This improves the blood flow and reduces the stress on the cardiovascular system. Carotenoids are also present in watermelon. These orange, red and yellow organic pigments give the characteristic color to fruits and vegetables like corn, pumpkins, tomatoes and carrots. Carotenoids prevent the walls of the arteries and veins from hardening and this reduces the blood pressure.
2. Plum Tomatoes
The risk of high blood pressure is reduced by eating one plum tomato every day. This is mostly due to the fact that plum tomatoes are high in potassium, which reduces the tension in the blood vessels. This helps to improve circulation and lowers the pressure and stress placed on the heart.
Studies have shown that eating walnuts can reduce the levels of bad cholesterol and increase the levels of good cholesterol2. Approximately 90% of the recommended daily amount of essential fatty acids can be provided by eating about 25 grams of walnuts every day. Therefore, the chances of high blood pressure and heart diseases are reduced.
Rye is considered to be a heart-healthy food3. This is because it contains magnesium, which helps to optimize heart health and control blood pressure. It also contains high levels of soluble fiber and this can reduce cholesterol. Rye is recommended for inclusion in the everyday diet because it contains numerous essential nutrients that the body requires, including good fiber and mineral content.
5. Dandelion Greens
Urination is one of the most effective means of reducing blood pressure4 and most modern blood pressure medications are based on this fact. By nature, dandelion juice is diuretic, which means it increases both urinary quality and frequency. Therefore, it helps to lower blood pressure.
Strawberries also contain a lot of potassium and magnesium which can both help to lower blood pressure5 caused by inorganic sodium and other risk factors. Strawberries also lower the rigidity of blood vessel walls, and this in turn reduces blood pressure.
7. Burdock Tea
Burdock tea can help to lower blood pressure, but this is not widely known6. Burdock contains high levels of potassium, which relaxes the veins and arteries and relieves tension from the cardiovascular system. Consequently, it helps to prevent heart attacks, strokes and atherosclerosis, a disease in which plaque accumulates inside the arteries.
8. Prickly Pears
Another food item that is good for the heart is prickly pears7. They are high in potassium and reduce high blood pressure by relaxing the blood vessels and lowering stress on the cardiovascular system.
Tomatillos contain a good ration of potassium and sodium, and this can reduce blood pressure. Potassium enhances the oxygenation and circulation in the body, helps blood vessels to relax and decreases pressure on the cardiovascular system.
High blood pressure can cause the body major stress and also induce the release of cortisol and other stress organs. These in turn can be harmful to health. Including these alkaline foods in the daily diet will help reduce blood pressure and maintain overall good health.
1 Schwalfenberg, Gerry. (2012). The Alkaline Diet: Is There Evidence That an Alkaline pH Diet Benefits Health?. Journal of environmental and public health. 2012. 727630. 10.1155/2012/727630.
2 Banel DK, Hu FB. Effects of walnut consumption on blood lipids and other cardiovascular risk factors: a meta-analysis and systematic review. Am J Clin Nutr. 2009;90(1):56–63. doi:10.3945/ajcn.2009.27457
3 Lu Wang, J Michael Gaziano, Simin Liu, JoAnn E Manson, Julie E Buring, Howard D Sesso, Whole- and refined-grain intakes and the risk of hypertension in women, The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Volume 86, Issue 2, August 2007, Pages 472–479, https://doi.org/10.1093/ajcn/86.2.472
4 Shah SU, Anjum S, Littler WA Use of diuretics in cardiovascular disease: (2) hypertension Postgraduate Medical Journal 2004;80:271-276.
5 Feresin, R.G.; Johnson, S.A.; Pourafshar, S.; Campbell, J.C.; Jaime, S.J.; Navaei, N.; Elam, M.L.; Akhavan, N.S.; Alvarez-Alvarado, S.; Tenenbaum, G.; et al. Impact of daily strawberry consumption on blood pressure and arterial stiffness in pre- and stage 1-hypertensive postmenopausal women: A randomized controlled trial. Food Funct. 2017, 8, 4139–4149.
6 Lee YJ, Choi DH, Cho GH, Kim JS, Kang DG, Lee HS. Arctium lappa ameliorates endothelial dysfunction in rats fed with high fat/cholesterol diets. BMC Complement Altern Med. 2012;12:116. Published 2012 Aug 6. doi:10.1186/1472-6882-12-116
7 Igho, J., Onakpoya, M.D., Jack, O.S., Carl, J.H. 2015. The effect of cactus pear (Opuntia ficus-indica) on body weight and cardiovascular risk factors: A systemic review and meta-analysis of randomized clinical trials. Nutrition. 31, 640–646.
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