By Mariam Adeoti, Osun

HYPERTENSION (high blood pressure) is one of the critical health conditions around the globe which gives way to other ailments. Although, it produces no specific symptoms, hence, health professionals advise that individuals need to regularly check their blood pressure.

Over time, high blood pressure damages blood vessels and also increases risks of developing other serious health problems such as heart attack, stroke, kidney diseases. Healthy blood pressure constantly reads 90/120 which means the blood pressure is above 90 but less than 120 when measured.

Indeed, adequate consumption of foods rich in potassium, calcium, magnesium and naturally low in sodium lowers the blood pressure. The food items listed below help to reduce the risk of hypertension.

•Banana:

It is a good source of potassium, calcium and magnesium. Increasing the intake of banana which is rich in potassium widens the lumen of the blood vessels (vasodilation). Also, banana should be eaten raw as against frying,fats from oil increases the level of cholesterol in human body.

•Sweet potatoes
High intake of sweet potatoes are at most times discouraged because of its high sugar contents. However, high intake of potassium and relatively low sodium essentially lowers high blood pressure. They are high in fiber and this prevents constipation.

•Beans
Healthy blood pressure can be achieved by adequate intake of beans regularly. They are rich in calcium,magnesium and potassium. They are readily available, relatively cheap and healthy for consumption.

•Tomatoes
Tomatoes should be included in our high blood pressure diet, it is also rich in potassium and vitamin c which gives support to the heart.

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