Foods That Help Lower Blood Pressure: Insights from a Nutrition Expert

Dietitian, Senior Researcher at the Center for Nutrition and Biotechnology, Ph.D. Natalia Denisova talked about which foods should be included in the diet of people predisposed to hypertension or high blood pressure.

In a conversation with the website aif.ru on Thursday, April 18, the specialist noted that boiled potatoes contribute to lowering blood pressure due to their potassium content, which helps remove water from the body. Potatoes are considered a mild diuretic. Every gram of potassium reduces blood pressure by 2.4 mmHg. Also, people who consume foods high in potassium have a reduced risk of cardiovascular diseases.

The doctor clarified that 100 grams of potatoes contain 568 mg of potassium, which is 23% of the daily requirement. The weight of an average potato is approximately 70 grams. So, two to three potatoes as a side dish can provide more than half of the daily potassium needs. It's best to boil potatoes with the skin on because if you peel them before cooking, almost no potassium will remain. It's better to eat potatoes without salt because sodium contributes to high blood pressure. People with diabetes should not overconsume potatoes.

Denisova also advised consuming bell peppers for high blood pressure because, like potatoes, sweet peppers contain potassium, necessary for regulating the body's water-salt balance and the normal functioning of muscles, including the heart. Also, peppers are rich in vitamin C and vitamin P, which promote better absorption of ascorbic acid. This combination reduces capillary permeability and increases capillary strength. Sweet peppers don't necessarily have to be eaten fresh to get vitamins. Roasted peppers are also beneficial: although roasting reduces the vitamin C content, the amount of carotenoids increases, and they are absorbed better. We are talking about beta-carotene and lycopene, which are active antioxidants. They have general strengthening, anti-inflammatory, and anti-tumor effects. Eating half a sweet pepper a day is sufficient.

Hypertensive patients should also eat parsley because it also contains potassium. Parsley is a leader among other greens in terms of vitamin C content, which is a powerful antioxidant. In addition, parsley is a source of dietary fiber, which helps to remove excess cholesterol. It can be consumed in salads, hot dishes, or smoothies as a vitamin supplement.

In addition to parsley, the presence of beets in the diet also contributes to lowering blood pressure. Nitrates contained in beets, when entering the body, turn into nitric oxide, which can dilate blood vessels, and improve blood circulation in capillaries. Thus, not only does blood pressure decrease, but also oxygen supply to the organs also improves. Beet juice is more effective at lowering blood pressure. The optimal dose is from 250 to 500 ml of juice per day in 1-2 doses. The doctor warned that people with chronic gastrointestinal diseases should not consume concentrated juice as it may irritate the stomach and intestines. It's better to eat boiled beets.

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On April 13, dietitian Tatyana Kukhnets advised adding dried apricots to the diet for cardiovascular diseases since it contain potassium. Dried apricots are also beneficial for those with diabetes, according to RT.

On April 4, cardiologist and therapist Ivan Stepanenko warned that Corvalol and other medications taken by heart patients should not be taken before driving. Corvalol contains phenobarbital, which has a soothing effect, reports NSN. The drug may contribute to decreased attention concentration, which is unacceptable when driving, reports the TV channel "360".

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