Every year, on 17th May, the world commemorates World Hypertension Day. People around the world unite to show support for people living with hypertension and to create awareness about Hypertension and its symptoms.

Hypertension (High blood pressure) is a common condition in which the long-term force of the blood against your artery walls is high enough that it may eventually cause health problems, such as heart disease.

Over a billion people worldwide suffer from hypertension, which is a major cause of cardiovascular disease and premature death.

High-stress levels, obesity, poor dietary habits, and a sedentary lifestyle are some of the major causes of hypertension in young people. Prolonged hypertension also puts a person at a higher risk of several medical conditions like chronic kidney disease, stroke, heart failure, and others.

One of the ways to manage hypertension is through proper food choices. Studies have shown that certain foods can lower blood pressure both immediately and over time. Here are some of the foods you can add to your meal plan

Low-fat yoghurt

Low-fat dairy products are high in calcium, which is one of the main compounds that help to lower blood pressure.

Bananas

Bananas are high in potassium, with one medium-sized banana containing approximately 420 milligrams. That amounts to about 9% of the daily recommended allowance. Bananas are also high in fibre and naturally sweeten smoothies, baked goods, and frozen treats. If you buy bananas in bulk, remember that when mushy they start to go bad. Therefore,  peel and freeze them.

Berries

Berries, particularly blueberries, are high in nitric oxide which increases blood flow and thus lowers blood pressure. According to a March 2015 study published in the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, eating less than an ounce of blueberries per day can help significantly lower blood pressure.

Leafy greens

Leafy greens such as kale, spinach, collard greens, arugula, Swiss chard, beet greens, and romaine lettuce are high in potassium which supports normal blood pressure.

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Beets

Beets, like blueberries, are high in nitric oxide, which lowers blood pressure. According to studies, drinking beet juice can help lower your systolic blood pressure significantly.

Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes, which are high in potassium and magnesium, are an important part of a blood pressure-lowering diet. Sweet potatoes are also high in fibre, which is beneficial to your heart.

Oatmeals

Whole grains high in fibre, particularly oatmeal, have been linked to a lower risk of cardiovascular disease.

Salmon

Fatty fish, such as salmon and mackerel, are high in omega-3 fatty acids, which help reduce inflammation and blood pressure.

Avocado

Creamy avocado is high in calcium, magnesium, and potassium. One avocado contains approximately 975 milligrams of potassium, which is approximately 25% of your daily requirement.

Dark chocolate

Good news to chocolate lovers. this sweet treat may lower blood pressure. According to one study, cocoa-rich chocolate lowers blood pressure in people with hypertension.

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What to avoid

Salt

Sodium in salt has been known significantly raise blood pressure.

Caffeine

Caffeine in coffee, tea, cola, and energy drinks can cause short-term blood pressure spikes. According to a review of five trials, drinking up to 2 cups of strong coffee can raise both systolic and diastolic blood pressure for 3 hours after consumption.

Alcohol

Moderate amounts of red wine may have some health benefits, but larger amounts of alcohol can cause significant increases in blood pressure. Heavy alcohol consumption also raises the chances of developing heart failure, stroke, cancer, and obesity.

The edition that celebrates mothers!
Radio Citizen presenter Jeridah Andayi graces our May cover with her three children as we celebrate mothers all month long! Even with her busy schedule and the many hats that she wears, her role as a mother is the one she cherishes most.