High blood pressure has become a common heart condition due to modern lifestyle. People at a young age are suffering from hypertension. A little exercise, diet control and stress reduction can easily bring back the normal blood pressure.
Chronic high blood pressure can damage your vital organs like the heart, kidneys, eyes and brain. It is called silent killer as there are no symptoms for many years. It gets detected on a routine blood pressure checkup during your visit to a doctor for some other ailment.
You must begin to control it as soon as you become aware of it. Food items such as bananas can help to reduce blood pressure.
Table of Contents
- Why Banana Reduces Blood Pressure?
- Banana Orange Smoothie for Blood Pressure Control
- Other Tips and Precautions
Infants to adults everyone loves bananas. They are one of the highest consumed fruits around the world. Bananas are fully packed with nutrients. Use of ripe yellow skinned bananas is well known but even unripe banana with green skin is used in cooking with vegetables.
Banana does help in lowering blood pressure. Any low sodium diet or fruit with potassium content will help in reducing high BP. One of the most important elements and relevant in the case here is its Potassium content. Banana contains 422 mg of potassium in 100gm.
According to National Institute of Health. Dash diet which contains fruits and vegetables providing potassium through natural sources not only reduces blood pressure but also provides overall protection to the heart. So eat a banana a day and increase the chances of keeping your blood pressure under control.
It is alarming to know that about 35 % of people don’t take their morning breakfast because they have to rush to work. This statistic was collected by National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI).
NHLBI has suggested a meal plan that provides low sodium and high potassium diet to maintain your heart health. The benefits of low sodium and high potassium are received in the form of lower blood pressure.
A medium size banana, a bowl of bran flakes with low fat milk, a slice of whole wheat bread with trans-fat free spread and a cup of orange juice can make a healthy balanced quick breakfast which can be taken even when you are in a hurry, according to NHLBI.
When the arteries get clogged by sticking of low density lipoproteins or bad cholesterol on the walls of arteries, the first symptoms emerges in the form of raised blood pressure. The process is called atherosclerosis. Over a period of time the arteries gets hardened and heart attack, stroke and kidney failures may occur.
A banana a day can save all the trouble. The actual process of LDL depositing takes place by oxidation of the LDL. Banana helps stopping the oxidation hence the deposits are stopped.
This whole process of stopping the oxidation is managed by low sodium levels and high potassium levels in the bloodstream. High content of potassium in banana is responsible for this transformation.
Orange also contains a good amount of potassium. You can make a smoothie with or without yogurt as a tasty and healthy drink to reduce your blood pressure. Best time is to consume it with a light breakfast. Here is how to prepare the orange banana smoothie:
- Squeeze juice of 2-3 oranges.
- Peel open one medium or large size banana and cut into small pieces
- Add the orange juice and banana pieces in a blender
- Blend it well to make a smooth mixture
- You can add cinnamon powder to taste
Don't add any sugar or salt. Sip it slowly and enjoy. This will keep you heart healthy if you drink it daily.
Banana is a low fat content fruit, but its fat contains small quantities of sterols such as sitosterol, campesterol, and stigmasterol. These sterols are structurally similar to cholesterol and as a result they can stop absorption of dietary cholesterol. This reduction in absorption of cholesterol keeps the blood cholesterol levels in check.
Banana contains 3% of fiber of which one third or 1% is soluble fiber. These water soluble fibers help reduce clogging of arteries thereby providing good cardiovascular protection.
Overall eating one or two bananas a day is good for protecting your heart health. However as you grow older( above 70) your kidneys may not be able to handle potassium. So check your potassium levels before continuing your habit of young age of eating a banana daily.
Banana is tasty, healthy and easily available at affordable prices. So what better medicine can you get for your better heart health?
High blood pressure is a lifestyle disorder. Following changes will not only control it but will also help you to lead a healthy life longer.
- Exercise daily. A brisk walk of 30-45 minutes or equivalent physical activities of any kind is good starting point.
- Eat nutritious and healthy foods rich in potassium and magnesium.
- Avoid high sodium diet as sodium promotes water retention which increases blood pressure.
- Learn to sleep well. A good night's sleep is essential for overall healthy life.
Bottomline is to change your lifestyle to develop healthy habits.