We live in a fast paced world, and the pressure is always on. Making our mark has never been more difficult and letting our guards down will only result in having to start over again. We need to be alert and aware of all that is happening around us. The effects of this crazy lifestyle can have a negative impact on our health status.
Finding that perfect balance between work and pleasure can be tough. We know we have to find it, but the bills are piling up, the kids are whining, and the boss is putting undue pressure on you. So, what is one to do when the blood pressure is sky high?
One aspect, that is generally always affected, is our blood pressure, and having a too high or too low blood pressure is detrimental to our overall being.
There are many ways to improve your blood pressure and here is a short list:
- Lose weight
- Eat clean and healthy
- Ensure you exercise on a regular basis
- Reduce your salt and sodium intake
- Reduce your alcohol consumption
- Limit your caffeine intake
- Stop smoking
- Lower your stress, by assessing what is causing the stress
- Keep checking your blood pressure
- Eat certain foods
5 foods that can help
These foods can naturally improve your blood pressure, eaten in conjunction with a healthy diet and regular exercise plan. It is important to note that no one food item can improve your blood pressure status, but any one of them can assist. Realistically, you should be looking holistically at your lifestyle and recognizing the areas that are setting your blood pressure off in the wrong direction.
One of the most commonly followed eating plans is the DASH Diet. DASH broken down is Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, and is supported by the U.S.-based National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. Their main aim is to help you reduce the sodium in your diet, based on a few variables. It is a good place to start, but just including these foods into your daily or weekly eating regime, will help too. (2]
It has been proven that flaxseed, consumed in various foods, can reduce your blood pressure. The inclusion of these four components in flaxseed, fiber, lignans, alpha linolenic acid, and peptides, all assist in the process to improve your blood pressure.
In particular, flaxseed helps with the relaxing (diastolic blood pressure) and contracting (systolic blood pressure) process of the heart. Flaxseed can be consumed in a variety of ways, and is apparent in many foods. The easiest way would be to use flaxseed oil, which you can cook and bake with. The best flaxseed format is ground flaxseed, which can be bought in store or online. When buying products with flaxseed component, check that its ground, and this will fall under the Dietary Fiber area.  (3)
Beetroots are as natural as you can get, and they contain nitrates, which has the ability to lower your blood pressure. You can consume beetroots in a variety of ways, such as whole and cooked, or in a juice form. Systolic blood pressure is reduced greatly within hours of consuming the beets. 
In particular, fish that has a fatty or oily consistency, such as salmon, trout, tuna and mackerel, are great for lowering your diastolic blood pressure. The best ways to cook these fatty fish, to retain their goodness and benefits, are steaming, baking, barbecuing and pan frying lightly in a low-fat oil. Remember, these fish have a naturally oily consistency, so you do not need to use a lot of fat or oil for the cooking process.  (4)
Certain Dairy Products
It may seem odd that dairy would be on this list, but the inclusion of peptides and calcium in low-fat dairy products are good for your overall health. More specific, the reduction of hypertension can be related to consuming controlled amounts of low-fat dairy, but it is advised to avoid cheese. Stick with low-fat milk and yogurt. 
We are sure you are glad this one has made the list. But, it is only dark chocolate that fits the bill, and the higher the percentage, the better. Try dark chocolate with the 70-85% pure cocoa , and you will see a drastic reduction in blood pressure and hypertension issues. The polyphenols (in particular flavanols) in all cocoa items have the ability to ease blood flow and widen blood vessels, this made possible by the creation of nitric oxide. 
Again, these foods need to be part of a healthy eating plan as well as regular exercise. Be sure to always check with your doctor before taking on an exercise plan, especially if you suffer from abnormal blood pressure symptoms. And, if any of these foods are on your allergic list, then rather avoid them all together. There is no point in assisting one ailment, but aggravating another, such as an allergy.
- Berkley Wellness – Foods to lower blood pressure
- Mayo Clinic.org – The DASH Diet
- Web MD – Flaxseed Benefits
- com – How to cook oily fish
- org – Harvard Study on Dark Chocolate benefits
- com – Studies on high pressure and fiber intake