Hypertension (high blood pressure) is a health problem that affects millions of people worldwide, and drug therapy can be helpful and really work, but many people are borderline and drug therapy is rather aggressive, so we need to look towards alternative therapies. For some, merely increasing the amount of exercise you get, cutting the amount of fats in your diet, and losing some weight can have huge effects….but what if you’ve done that and still have hypertension? It might be genetic, but maybe we need to look to certain fruits to help lower blood pressure…
What should your blood pressure be?
Any blood pressure readings less than 120/80 are usually considered “normal” and above 120/80 but less than 139/89 are considered borderline or “prehypertension” and above 140/90 is considered hypertension. When you are in the borderline state, your HCP usually gives you the suggestions to make some lifestyle changes to try to lower your blood pressure, and even one blood pressure above 140/90 doesn’t mean that you are always hypertensive, but you need to start making a change because a couple of elevated readings, and your HCP will put you on medications.
What is this about berries?
A recent study from Nurses from the UK found that the anthocyanins (the water-soluble pigments that are found in plants/fruits tat create a blue/purple coloring) in blueberries, strawberries, and blood oranges help to lower blood pressure. anthocyanins are a flavonoid, just like those found in tea, red wine, and dark chocolate, which have all been shown to help protect our hearts. They found an average 10% decrease in blood pressure by increasing the intake of anthocyanins to one full serving a week of fruits with these flavonoids; they looked at blueberries, strawberries, and blood oranges but stated that only because they were easiest to add to the diets of their approx. 150,000 people studied. The researchers said that any fruits and veg high in anthocyanins like black currants, raspberries, and eggplant can also help with the decrease in blood pressure.
What does this mean?
Well, a couple of things, really! This means that eating a colorful plate of food really is healthy for you, and increasing the purple and blues on your plate can help to reduce your blood pressure. If you are someone who is borderline and making changes to help reduce your blood pressure without having to take a pill daily, give it a try to see where it takes you. Also, I urge you to check your blood pressure at home, in the morning and at night. You can get a cheap blood pressure cuff that is automatic, and know where you stand between HCP visits, and that way you aren’t nervous, and you can show your HCP the trend in your blood pressure…and see the effects that your changes in health and diet are making! Some people get nervous when HCP’s check their blood pressure…take the stress off and do it yourself….and eat your blues!!!
Yours in Good Health