When it comes to treating hypertension (high blood pressure), dietary approaches such as diet low in salt (sodium) is typically the major concern. This is reasonable since salt can directly affect your blood pressure (BP). But did you know that choosing the appropriate source of your carbohydrates like breads high in fiber also can help? If you still don’t have any idea where you can get your healthy carbs – below are pieces of helpful information about healthy bread and other sources of carbohydrates that are not only helpful to make you full in energy but also can give a slightly positive impact on your BP!
Regardless the issues of carbohydrates or breads that you should you choose in effort of lowering your BP, the most important thing is you eat them not too much.
Even veggies and fruits contain calories, so watch on the calories.
Eat that your body needs – if there are more calories input than that you burn, you can gain weight! Overtime, it can lead to overweight and obesity which then eventually can worsen your hypertension.
In fact, obesity is risk factor of hypertension. Some statistics show that hypertension is more common in obesity people than others with healthy weight.
This is reasonable since more excessive weight you gain can make the heart work harder than usual. Increased heart rate means increased volume of blood that flow through your arteries – as a result, your blood pressure can raise easily.
Carbohydrates high in fiber, especially rich in soluble fiber are great for your BP.
They are also helpful for your weight control because can make you full longer throughout the day. Moreover, good carbohydrates should not only be able to provide steady energy, but also contain more essential nutrients for the body such as essential minerals, antioxidants, and even vitamins.
If compared with refined grain, whole grain bread is much healthier. It is rich in healthy fatty acids, certain phytochemicals, fiber, mineral, vitamins, potassium, and even antioxidants.
Refined grain is poor in nutrients because its bran and germ are separated from the kernel so it only contains carbohydrates – though it has an extended lifetime and a softer texture.
In addition, whole grain breads may also help reduce the risk of certain diseases. Some studies learned the essential nutrients of whole grain – and some showed that they may decrease the risk of hormone-dependent cancers, gastrointestinal problem, type-2 diabetes, and heart diseases.
Fiber of whole grain (particularly its soluble fiber) has been shown to increase good cholesterol (HDL) and reduce bad cholesterol (LDL) – a reason why whole grain can give positive impact on your BP, because having chronic high cholesterol (high bad cholesterol) is linked to the high risk of hypertension.
The following is the summary of important points why whole grain bread is good to help lower blood pressure:
- Since they also contain potassium, eating them can help provide plenty of dietary potassium for your body. In fact, potassium deficiencies are one of risk factors of high blood pressure. So if you want to lower your systolic and diastolic pressure, make sure to get plenty of dietary potassium a day!
- They are rich in fiber which means can help lose your excessive weight if you are overweight. Losing few pounds of weight in obese people can significantly help reduce bad cholesterol and improve blood pressure.
- According to Mayo Clinic, they may also help reduce damage to your arteries.
- They may help improve your insulin sensitivity which means you will have good blood sugar control and reduce your risk of type-2 diabetes. Chronic high blood sugar can affect your BP. It is also one of risk factors of hypertension.
Barley is also rich in soluble fiber, and this is the key of why barley breads are recommended for one of good choices for the source of your energy if you have hypertension.
Like the fiber of whole grains, fiber of barley can act as a powerful agent to help lower your bad cholesterol. In DASH diet (the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension), the dietary fiber should be not lower than 30 g a day.
Why high amounts of bad cholesterol (LDL) in the blood stream are bad for your BP? The bad cholesterol deposits can increase your vascular resistance which then eventually can make your BP rise easily. These deposits can lead to narrowing and hardening artery such as a condition called atherosclerosis.
If compared with white rice, brown rice is more nutritious. While eating 5 or more servings of white rice is linked with increased risk of diabetes (type-2 diabetes), eating 2 or more servings of brown rice can help improve the insulin sensitivity and reduce your risk of type-2 diabetes – according to a research conducted by the Harvard School of Public Health.
When it comes to the essential nutrient contents such as fiber, vitamins, phytochemicals, and minerals – brown rice contains these nutrients much higher than white rice.