Heart ailments and cardiovascular diseases have become a major issue worldwide. Hypertension or high blood pressure is, in fact, one of the forms of a cardiovascular condition that one in every three Indians is suffering from, as per the 2017 report by Cardiological Society of India (CSI). With the alarming rate at which hypertension has become prevalent, it is important to understand the causes behind it in order to manage it. Hypertension is a condition in which the force of blood against the artery wall is too high. It is measured in 'millimeters of mercury' (mm Hg) and the normal limit of blood pressure is considered to be 120/80 while anything between 120/80 - 140/90 is referred to as 'pre-hypertension'. But if the reading goes above 140/90 for a long time, it is time to seek medical help. 

High blood pressure, if left unaddressed, could take a toll on your overall heart health and even lead to a stroke. While there are multiple reasons for high blood pressure, ranging from excess consumption of salt, unhealthy diet, lack of exercise to smoking and stress, there is no fixed cure for it but can only be managed through a healthy diet and certain prescribed medications. 

Since high blood pressure has a lot to do with our regular diet, it is important to keep a check on what and how much we consume in a day. Slashing salt, calories and fats is one way, but there are specific foods that you can include in your diet to naturally keep you blood pressure in check. 

Here Are 5 Foods That You Can Include In your Diet To Manage Hypertension: 

1. Spinach 

Rich in fibre, potassium, folate and magnesium while being low in calories – a combination which is key to lowering and maintaining blood pressure levels. Spinach is loaded with all of those things. Add it to your salads, soups and juices for best results. 

2. Oatmeal 

A high-fibre diet of whole grains such as oatmeal helps reduce both your systolic and diastolic pressure, this help in maintaining a healthy blood pressure. Oatmeal makes for a perfect morning meal as one-pot cereal, top it with a few berries and fruits of your choice and you are done! 

3. Banana 

Low in sodium and rich in potassium, bananas are just what you need to load up on to lower blood pressure. No, we don’t mean an overdose of it, but a banana or two every day in your fruit bowl, smoothies and cereals is a great idea.  

4. Chia Seeds 

As per researchers, chia seeds are a rich source of omega 3 fatty acids which works naturally as a blood thinner, thereby reducing blood pressure. The best way to include chia seeds in your diet is to simply soak them in a glass of water for about 40 minutes and drink up! You can have a glass full if it every day.  

5. Watermelon 

A wonderful summer treat, refreshing and cooling, watermelon contains an amino acid called L-citrulline which has proven to lower blood pressure. It is known to be a heart-health promoting food loaded with fibre, lycopene, vitamin A and potassium. Just slice and chop the watermelon rind off, eat as is and you can even make a smoothie or juice of it for your morning meal every day during the summer season.  

While these are generic tips to manage blood pressure levels, do not add or subtract anything from your diet without consulting an expert, especially if you are on medication.