Could going Plant-Based Lower your Blood Pressure?
By Nick, Blue Wave's Level-2 Live Better Advisor
High Blood Pressure? Why not try adding more plant-based foods.
If you suffer from high blood pressure, then you’re not alone. Around 1-4 adults in the UK suffer from the same thing. This is a problem when we consider that high blood pressure is the leading risk factor globally for heart attacks, strokes and other cardiovascular diseases (source Blood Pressure UK).
So, what can be done about this? A number of recent studies demonstrate that increasing the amount of plant-based foods in your diet while limiting animal products is likely to reduce your blood pressure. Don’t worry, if you love your meat and dairy too much to give it up completely, this might not be necessary. A review of the current research by the University of Warwick pointed out that, “complete eradication of animal products is not necessary to produce reductions and improvements in blood pressure. Essentially, any shift towards a plant-based diet is a good one."
That being said, here are three simple changes that may potentially help you benefit from the blood pressure-lowering effects of plant-based foods:
1. Oat Milk: High in calcium and vitamin D but without the saturated fat of Dairy. This is an excellent alternative to use in your teas, coffees and breakfasts. If you wanted to get some additional calcium into your diet, then green vegetables are an excellent source.
2. Tempeh: This traditional Indonesian food packs 20g of protein per 100g and is one of the best sources of plant-based protein available. Unlike lots of meats, it’s low in saturated fat and contains no cholesterol. It’s also high in iron, manganese, phosphorus, magnesium and calcium. Look for Tempeh that is organic and GMO free.
3. Dried Fruit & Nuts: If you’ve got a sweet tooth and find yourself snacking on chocolate, try replacing some of it with dried fruit like raisins or apricots. Adding some almonds, walnuts and/or Brazil nuts into the mix, will also give you a load of healthy fats, minerals and vitamins.
Please seek medical advice before embarking on any dietary or lifestyle change.