How Papaya Works to Lower Blood Pressure + 9 Other Foods That Can Help
7 minute read
Papaya is a tropical fruit known for its sweet taste and delightful flavor. Enjoyed all year round, this fruit makes a great snack, addition to any meal, and a good ally for boosting your overall health.
As with most fruits, the papaya offers beneficial antioxidants and nutrients to boost your health, and it has been discovered to lower blood pressure too. The potassium content in papaya could allow it to serve as an effective antihypertensive treatment.
How Papayas Can Help Hypertension
The high potassium content in the papaya is the reason it serves to lower blood pressure so effectively. This fruit is one of the best dietary sources of this mineral that works in opposition to sodium, which causes your blood pressure to elevate.
The western diet is full of processed and convenience foods, which are loaded with sodium. As a result, high blood pressure or hypertension is a common condition in this country.
Too much sodium and elevated blood pressure can damage your blood vessels, causing atherosclerosis and contributing to heart disease. Your risk of stroke or heart attack dramatically increases with hypertension, so it’s important to get it under control sooner rather than later.
The potassium in papaya fruit counteracts the activities of sodium, and it regulates your blood pressure. As part of a regular diet, this potassium can help to lower blood pressure and protect your heart. These protective actions of potassium in the papaya have been proven in several clinical studies. However, moderation is essential, as the digestive enzyme in papaya (papain) has been known to have adverse effects in large quantities.
The ideal way to benefit from the potassium in papaya without risking too much papain is to have a smoothie each day, make some papaya salsa to add to meals, or eat one or two each week as a snack.
Along with making sure you do not consume too much papain, there can be some dangers to having too much potassium. As with all nutrients and minerals, there is an ideal amount to consume for optimal health.
Too much potassium can be a problem for those with kidney disease, as your kidney is responsible for excreting potassium. If not effectively removed, the potassium can build up, and this can have adverse effects on heart health.
Other Foods That Benefit Blood Pressure
The papaya is a great way to get natural potassium to help lower your blood pressure. If you have kidney issues you may need to find other ways to promote healthier blood pressure.
Thankfully, there are a number of foods out there that can help you regulate blood pressure and work to protect the health of your heart.
Beets and beet juice are great for lowering blood pressure. In fact, your numbers can drop a few points within a couple of hours.
The nitrate content in beets helps to protect your heart, which is important to those with high blood pressure. You get the same benefit whether you drink beet juice or eat them raw or cooked.
2. Leafy Greens
Vegetables like broccoli, kale, and spinach help to regulate sodium levels in your kidneys, which help to control blood pressure. Be sure to always buy fresh, as canned versions will be loaded with sodium and additives that take away from the benefits.
Berries of every kind are packed full of flavonoids, which are powerful antioxidants. These small fruits have a big and positive impact on hypertension. They help to maintain blood vessel health and protect them from oxidative damage. Daily consumption results in healthy blood flow and low blood pressure.
The potassium in bananas works in the same way as the potassium in the papaya. By counteracting the harmful effects of sodium, bananas help to lower blood pressure and protect heart health.
Bananas also help to increase energy levels, and this will be sustained energy rather than the crashes and spikes you get from sugary foods or energy drinks.
5. Skim Milk and Yogurt
These dairy items are low in fat, which reduces triglyceride levels and your risk for arterial clogs. They’re both high in calcium, which is beneficial for treating high blood pressure. Calcium, like potassium, works on hypertension right away, and it can lower your numbers within a few hours.
Oats are one of the most nutritious foods on the planet, and they’re a great way to start your day. Full of fiber for digestive health, they also contain beneficial nutrients for your blood pressure.
Oat bran helps to lower blood pressure, and they’ll help you regulate hypertension naturally.
This lean source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids helps your heart and blood pressure by lowering overall triglyceride levels. High triglycerides can lead to the accumulation of plaques in your blood vessels, which then restricts blood flow. As your heart works harder to pump blood, your blood pressure elevates.
By reducing triglycerides, you promote healthier blood flow and reduce hypertension.
The legends will tell you garlic keeps vampires away, but it helps keep hypertension away too. High in nitric oxide, garlic promotes blood vessel dilation, which means your blood can flow easier. This lowers blood pressure and improves oxygen distribution to your body.
Garlic is a great way to flavor your meal and avoid using salt too.
9. Dark Chocolate
Sometimes the sweet treats can be good for you too. Dark chocolate contains more cocoa than milk version, and cocoa benefits blood pressure. Full of antioxidants to reduce hypertension and protect from oxidative damage, dark chocolate can help keep you healthy.
The higher the percentage of cocoa is in the chocolate, the more benefit you get for your blood pressure and heart.
The Bottom Line
High blood pressure significantly increases your risk for heart disease, but it can be easily regulated. With a balanced diet, regular exercise, and the help of the potassium in papaya, you can protect your heart and prevent hypertension.
As with all natural treatment options, you should discuss this with your doctor first, but a papaya a day will definitely help to keep hypertension away.