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World Hypertension Day: Experts share easy lifestyle and nutritional changes that can help reverse condition

Updated on: 16 May,2023 01:21 PM IST  |  Mumbai
Anindita Paul |

On World Hypertension Day, experts share how you can reverse high blood pressure with the right nutritional and lifestyle changes

World Hypertension Day: Experts share easy lifestyle and nutritional changes that can help reverse condition

This picture is used for representational purpose

Globally, nearly 1.13 billion people suffer from hypertension, according to estimates by the World Health Organisation. In the current context, hypertension is the most common comorbidity among Covid-19 patients. It has been frequently reported that hypertension increases the severity of Covid-19 infection and the likelihood of poor clinical outcomes. “In India alone, more than 11 crore people suffer from hypertension, or high blood pressure,” says Karan Kakkad, a nutrigenomics and holistic health coach, and the founder of Reverse Factor.

Left nostril breathing helps with hypertension. Representation pic
Left nostril breathing helps with hypertension. Representation pic

Kakkad points out that the leading cause of hypertension is rooted in poor lifestyle choices: “The innermost lining of our arteries and veins is made up of endothelial cells, which produce nitric oxide, a compound that keeps our blood vessels flexible and regulates blood pressure. Ageing, combined with habits such as smoking, overconsumption of fast food and irregular sleep impedes the cells’ ability to produce nitric oxide. The blockages in our blood vessels increase and the heart has to pump blood more aggressively, raising our blood pressure.”  He, and other experts, suggest the following changes:

>> Green, leafy vegetables such as spinach and lettuce contain chlorophyll, whose chemical composition is similar to that of human blood, says Kakkad. Consuming more green leafy vegetables can improve blood circulation and the health of your arteries.
>> Flaxseeds help regulate blood pressure says Kakkad. He advises consuming two to three tablespoons of flaxseed powder every day.

>> Beetroots contain nitric oxide, which improves the health of your blood vessels, says Vrinda Nair, a consultant dietician at Healthspring.  

>> Detox drinks such as ashground (or ash gourd) juice and a cumin drink made by boiling one tablespoon  cumin seeds in one glass of water (reduce to half a glass) two to three times a day can help. Further, Kakkad recommends chewing the inner portion of the stem of banana plants (discard the fibre) before meals. 

Karan Kakkad and Vrinda Nair
Karan Kakkad and Vrinda Nair

>> Nutritional deficiencies can contribute to hypertension, says nutritionist Karishma Chawla. For choline, consume eggs, fish and nuts. Green leafy vegetables are rich sources of magnesium, while biotin is found in legumes, nuts, mushrooms and broccoli. Eat egg yolks and mushrooms for vitamin D.

Healthy habits
>> Breathing through your left nostril for 30 to 40 breaths before bedtime can help decrease stress and improve the quality of your sleep by activating your parasympathetic nervous system, Kakkad shares.

>> Squats, planks, and push-ups are excellent exercises that sync breathing with physical movement, says Diksha Chhabra, a sports nutritionist. You can adjust the speed and intensity of these movements according to your fitness levels. 

11 Crore - People in India have hypertension

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