Hypertension, or high blood pressure as it is also known, is a condition that affects roughly 50 million Americans. That figure represents about one in every four persons, or 25% of the population.
While the exact causes of high blood pressure remain unclear, what IS clear is what high blood pressure can lead to, including stroke, heart disease, kidney disease, eye disease and atherosclerosis (literally hardening of the arteries). Some of the factors that may contribute to hypertension include getting little or no exercise, obesity, older age, genetics and poor diet.
Focusing specifically on the last item, "poor diet," listed below are five foods that are strongly believed to be beneficial in helping to lower blood pressure. They are:
- Spinach - a very good source of magnesium, which not only offers protection from heart disease, but can also reduce blood pressure
- Banana - rich in potassium helping to lower blood pressure
- Beans - contain high levels of magnesium and potassium
- Skim milk - contains vitamin D and calcium- working together to alleviate high blood pressure
- Baked white potato - high in potassium
And, above all, be sure to go in for regular medical checkups if your blood pressure is high. This is a condition that requires constant monitoring.