Hypertension is one of the risk factors in cardiovascular disease. According to one study, it’s possible to take advantage of the calcium antagonistic effects of extracts from olives (Olea europaea) and roselle (Hybiscus sabdariffa) to treat hypertension and promote heart health.
Hypertension is characterized by chronically elevated blood pressure. It does not cause any symptoms, and its definite cause is currently unknown, although it is linked to risk factors like age and lifestyle. By itself, the condition is not life-threatening, but it can lead to severe complications that will result in premature death.
There are ways to manage hypertension, among which are proper diet and exercise. Many patients require the aid of maintenance medications that help control blood sugar levels. Some drugs increase the body’s supply of the mineral potassium, known for its ability to lower blood pressure.
Others prevent the uptake of calcium by your heart and blood vessels. As an effect, your blood vessels are relaxed, and your blood pressure is lowered. These drugs are called calcium channel blockers or simply calcium antagonists.
Both olive and roselle are notable for having calcium antagonistic properties. The authors of the study, published in the Journal of Medicinal Food, wanted to know if these effects may be used to lower blood pressure.
They tested a nutraceutical formulation containing extracts of the two plants on atria and aorta from guinea pigs. The formulation was found to have the ability to relax blood vessels and decrease heart rate, indicating the extract combination’s possible application as a food supplement for hypertension management.
Foods you need for managing hypertension
As mentioned above, the right diet can help in managing hypertension. Here are the foods you need to incorporate into your diet to effectively control hypertension:
• Leafy greens – These vegetables are high in potassium, a nutrient that helps your body get rid of sodium through urine. Because sodium is hypertensive in nature, eating foods rich in potassium lowers your blood pressure levels.
• Berries – These tiny fruits are rich in flavonoids that have been linked to improvements in blood pressure levels. Blueberries, raspberries, and others are easy to add to your diet – you can have them for breakfast with your whole cereal, or you can eat them for dessert.
• Beets – These red vegetables contain plenty of nitric oxide. This compound relaxes and opens up your blood vessels, loosening up your blood flow and reducing your blood pressure. Beetroots are so effective that some studies suggest it can lower your blood pressure within 24 hours after consumption.
• Skim milk and yogurt – The calcium in both of these dairy products is an important nutrient for maintaining healthy blood pressure levels. When buying from the store, make sure to read the labels and watch out for sugar. Too much of the sweet stuff is bad for your blood vessels as it increases your risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.
• Oats – These are among the best foods you can have for hypertension management – as long as you have the whole variety, that is. They are rich in dietary fiber but are low in both sodium and fat. Their high energy content also makes them great for starting your day.
• Bananas – This fruit is one of the best sources of potassium around and is a better option than taking potassium supplements. Bananas make for a great snack or if you’re in a hurry, a quick breakfast when eaten with eggs.
• Garlic – This aromatic and flavorful vegetable boosts your levels of nitric oxide to lower your blood pressure levels.