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Pulses Can Control High Blood Pressure: Here's How

New study reveals that a nice mix of lentils and legumes can help in controlling high blood pressure.

Pulses Can Control High Blood Pressure: Heres How

Healthy lifestyle can help in dealing with high blood pressure


  1. Lentils are rich in soluble and insoluble fibre
  2. They can reduce levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol in the body
  3. They have most nutrients essential for heart health

Dealing with blood pressure is one of the most common problems faced by people in India. Living a healthy lifestyle is considered as an effective way to control high blood pressure. According to a study conducted by University of Manitoba, eating a nice mix of legumes can help in controlling blood pressure. The study was done by feeding beans, lentils, peas and chickpeas to rats suffering from heart illnesses and unhealthy blood pressure levels. It was concluded that lentils have the capability to alter physical properties of blood vessels, thereby regulating flow of blood, oxygen and nutrients throughout the body.

Clinical nutritionist Monisha Ashokan says that cholesterol lowering properties of lentils and legumes make them great for regulating blood pressure. "Lentils and legumes are very rich in both soluble and insoluble fibre. This brings down LDL (bad) cholesterol in the body," she says.

pulses 620New study reveals that lentils can help in controlling high blood pressure
Photo Credit: iStock

Also read: Check If You Have Signs Of High Blood Pressure Without Meeting A Doctor

Explaining, she adds, "This leads to lesser cholesterol in the arterial walls which allows smoother flow of blood. High cholesterol blocks arterial walls, thus leading to obstructive flow of blood. It makes the heart work really hard to pump blood throughout the body and this is what causes high blood pressure."

City-based nutritionist highlights the fact the study helps "reinforce faith in our traditional Indian food items and meal combinations."

She agrees that a traditional Indian meal includes food items in appropriate proportions from all major food groups. This is irrespective of the region to which it belongs. "A simple meal - comprising dal-chawal or roti-dal-sabzi - is a combination cereals and legumes in proportions that complement the amino acid profile of each other," says Pooja while adding that the resulting combination has all essential amino acids which the human body requires, in adequate amounts.

"Such meals are high in protein, fibre, minerals, vitamins and antioxidants. All of these nutrients are important for keeping the heart healthy," says Pooja.

Also read: These Are By Far The Best Practices To Follow To Reduce Blood Pressure

Other foods which are good for people suffering with high blood pressure are:

1. Bananas

Being low in potassium, bananas are considered to be good for controlling blood pressure.

bananas are rich in potassiumBananas can help in controlling blood pressure

2. Spinach

There are numerous health benefits of a leafy green veggie like spinach. The content of potassium, folate and magnesium make spinach an important food to be consumed by people suffering from high blood pressure.

spinachNutritional qualities of spinach are good for controlling high blood pressure

3. Watermelon

Watermelon is a wonderful fruit to be eaten in summer time. It contains an amino acid called L-citrulline, which helps in lowering blood pressure.

watermelonAn amino acid in watermelon can help in controlling high blood pressure

4. Beetroot

Nitrates in beetroot are extremely helpful in regulating blood flow. It is known to have a surprisingly positive effect on blood pressure as well.

beetrootBeetroot helps in regulating blood flow
Photo Credit: iStock

5. Sunflower seeds

Sunflower seeds are considered great for heart health. They are a good source of Vitamin E, fibre, folic acid and protein.

sunflower seeds Sunflower seeds are good for controlling high blood pressure

Also read: Climb Stairs: Here's How It Will Reduce High Blood Pressure

Following are the foods to avoid for people suffering with high blood pressure:

1. Processed meat

People suffering from high blood pressure should keep a check on their salt intake because of its sodium content. And processed foods, especially processed meats have high contents of sodium so that they can be preserved for a long period of time. Processed meat should be avoided by people suffering from high blood pressure.

processed meatHigh blood pressure patients should avoid processed food
Photo Credit: iStock

2. Pickles

Just like processed meat, pickles too have high contents of salt because they need to be preserved for a long period of time. People suffering from high blood pressure should avoid pickles.

Pickles contain preservatives which can be harmful for blood pressure patients
Photo Credit: iStock

3. Alcohol

People suffering from high blood pressure should refrain from alcohol as much as possible. Drinking alcohol in excessive amounts can contribute to high blood pressure.

High blood pressure patients should refrain from alcohol

4. Sugar

Not only does sugar contribute to weight gain and obesity, it can also increase your blood pressure. Obese and overweight people have often been found to have high blood pressure.
Blood pressure patients should avoid excessive sugar

(Monisha Ashokan is a clinical nutritionist)

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(Pooja Malhotra is a nutritionist based in Delhi)

Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.


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