Helping your Parent Lower Blood Pressure
The importance of keeping blood pressure at the correct level is numerous. High blood pressure can lead to damaged arteries that can affect almost every part of the body and ultimately lead to a heart attack or stroke. Decrease in circulation due to damaged arteries can lead to dementia or mild cognitive impairment. It is one of the most common causes of kidney failure. Damage of blood vessels in the eye can lead to loss of vision.
The good news is that high blood pressure can often be controlled through lifestyle changes or a combination of medication and healthy living. In addition to exercise, diet is the most important area of one’s life to explore. A healthy diet consists of an abundance of fruits and vegetables, high-quality protein, low-fat dairy products, whole grains and healthy fats and foods rich in potassium, calcium and magnesium. There are specific foods that should be included in diets of those looking to lower their blood pressure.
Specific Foods that Help Lower Blood Pressure
- Beets. These beautiful purple vegetables contain natural nitrates. These compounds cause arteries to dilate, reducing blood pressure. Researchers in Australia found a reduction in systolic blood pressure six hours after giving men and women beet juice to drink.
- Rich Omega-3 Foods. Omega-3 is a fatty acid found in salmon, sardines, olive oil, walnuts and flaxseed. Researchers measured blood pressure in 2,036 healthy adults and found those that had the highest amount of omega-3 in their diet had the lowest blood pressure.
- Cashews and Almonds. These tree nuts contain high levels of magnesium, a mineral known to significantly reduce high blood pressure.
- Garlic. Allicin is believed to be the magic ingredient in garlic that produces its blood pressure lowering effects. Due to this compounds instability when heated, raw garlic is your best choice.
- Kale. This superfood is rich in magnesium, potassium and vitamin C. The combination of these three nutrients is a potent mixture useful in lowering blood pressure.
- Green Tea. This Chinese tea is rich in polyphenols that are known to improve blood flow and pressure. In fact, 25 studies agree that long-term drinking of green tea significantly reduces blood pressure. Three to four cups a day are required to reap the benefits.
It takes more than introducing a few select foods into your loved ones diet to promote health and help lower blood pressure. A change in diet and exercise routines does, however, have a large affect on the health of the body’s arteries and therefore blood pressure. If your parent is currently taking high-blood pressure medication, it’s a good idea to keep an eye on their pressure so that they’re doctor can alter their prescription dose as their blood pressure improves naturally.
Home Care Provider
A home care provider can help keep your loved one healthy by grocery shopping for artery-healthy food choices and then return to your loved one’s home to prepare. They can assist with the daily activities of living as well as accompany your parent on their daily walks or provide transportation to the local gym or senior community center.
If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring home care in Princeton, NJ or the surrounding areas, please call Independence Home Care today at 609-208-1111 for more information.