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Normalize High Blood Pressure With Plant Foods

Plant Based Super Foods In Heart Dishes

Keeping blood pressure within the healthy range is vital to maintaining excellent cardiovascular health. High blood pressure also known as hypertension increases the risk of heart disease and stroke, both of which are the leading causes of death in the United States. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that about 75 million adult Americans are living with high blood pressure. To put into perspective, 1 in 3 adults in the United States have hypertension. Another 75 million adults also have pre-hypertension—a condition in which a person's blood pressure values are higher than normal but not enough for the person to be diagnosed with hypertension.

So what could be responsible for the high rates of hypertension in our country? The answer is simple: our diets. The Western dietary pattern encourages the consumption of unhealthy foods, such as processed foods, pastries, meat, eggs, and dairy products, that fill our bloodstream with cholesterol, thereby promoting the development of hypertension. Unlike animal-based diets, consuming whole-food, oil-free, plant-based diets—which research has shown—can help lower and normalize high blood pressure.

High blood pressure is not really a disease itself; it is actually a symptom of diseased arteries. Healthy arteries are flexible and elastic, accommodating changes in blood flow. Consistent consumption of diets dominated by animal foods high in cholesterol and saturated fats overload the bloodstream with cholesterol and lead to the deposition of the excess cholesterol in the arteries. Plaques form when cholesterol lodges in the arteries. The accumulation of these plaques leads to the narrowing and hardening of the arteries, resulting in the loss of elasticity of the arteries and rise in blood pressure.

Eating generous portions of cholesterol-lowering foods, such as legumes, whole grains, and citrus fruits, regularly not only promotes the excretion of excess cholesterol from the body via the feces but also increases circulating levels of high density lipoproteins (HDL). High density lipoproteins (HDL) also known as good cholesterol carriers are like vacuum cleaners for cholesterol in the body. They remove excess cholesterol and plaques from the arteries and send them to the liver for excretion via the feces. Flushing cholesterol plaques out of the arteries restores the stiffened arteries back to their original elastic state and helps revert high blood pressure numbers to a normal, healthy one.

Giving up greasy fast foods, meat, fish, dairy products, and eggs for oil free plant based whole foods may not seem easy at first. But it is definitely worth it. And the reward of adopting a plant-based dietary lifestyle might be both a healthy blood pressure and a lifetime of better cardiovascular health.

Additional Information:

(1) Major Sources of Cholesterol

(2) Western Diet Seems to Be the Cause of High Cholesterol

(3) High Blood Pressure: A Symptom, Not a Disease

(4) Vegetarian Diets and Blood Pressure: A Meta-Analysis

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