Many of us are familiar with general concepts around blood pressure. Why does it matter and what is the role of moringa in regulating blood pressure?
High blood pressure forces your heart to work harder to pump blood to the rest of your body. Blood pressure is the measurement of the force of your blood pushing against the walls of your arteries, as your heart beats. High blood pressure doesn’t have many noticeable symptoms but can lead to serious and sometimes fatal implications. These implications include stroke, heart attack, and kidney failure to name a few.
In the United States about 75 million adults (nearly 1 out of 3) have high blood pressure, and high blood pressure costs the country $46 billion per year. After reviewing some details of high blood pressure, we’ll explain how moringa can help reduce blood pressure.
Two Forms of High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure is sometimes referred to as hypertension. There are two forms of hypertension that are the result of high blood pressure. These include primary and secondary hypertension.
Primary hypertension, also referred to as essential hypertension, is the result of many years of gradual contributing factors to high blood pressure. These contributing factors include lifestyle choices such as diet and exercise, as well as biological factors such as genetics.
Secondary hypertension refers to high blood pressure that is the result of a secondary factor such as an underlying medical condition, drug use, or other medications. For this type of blood pressure, it is common practice to treat the underlying condition, as well as the high blood pressure. This combination can help reduce the risk of the serious implications mentioned above.
High blood pressure is complicated. It is largely influenced by a series of lifestyle habits occurring over the years, including family health history and overall diet. Exercising and adding moringa to your daily routine can be a a tiny part of the health puzzle. If you’re curious about overall reasons to consume moringa, we summarized it for you in the blog 10 Reasons To Eat Moringa Everyday.
Healthy Foods as Medicine
A diet lacking nutrient-dense foods is one contributor to high blood pressure. The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) developed a diet specifically for preventing high blood pressure. This is called the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet. This diet includes lots of fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy products. It also includes whole grains, fish, poultry, beans, seeds, nuts, and vegetable oils.
This diet asks that you cut down on foods high in sodium and sugars, as well as limiting red meat and alcohol.
Fruits and vegetables high in potassium are great for reducing and preventing high blood pressure. Potassium helps regulate the adverse effects that excess sodium has in our bodies. Just like many other leafy greens, moringa is high in potassium, vitamins, and minerals. Moringa has three times as much potassium as bananas, making it an amazing source of potassium. At 140mg of potassium per serving, moringa is an excellent addition to a diet for preventing high blood pressure.
We summarize some additional moringa benefits, gram per gram, in the graphic below.
This supergreen is more nutritious than kale and provides powerful anti-inflammatory benefits that rival those of turmeric. A side-by-side comparison shows that moringa has 2 times as much protein, 4 times as much calcium, and 6 times as much iron as kale.
Unlike Kale, moringa also contains polyphenols and isothiocyanates, which have been studied extensively for their role in helping people protect against heart disease and cancer.
Exercise and Maintaining a Healthy Weight
Exercising regularly and maintaining a healthy weight are essential in preventing high blood pressure. Aerobic exercises, also known as cardio, are types of exercise that require your heart to beat at a faster rate so that it can pump oxygenated blood to the muscles you are engaging.
These forms of exercise provide many benefits, including strengthening your heart, lowering your blood pressure, and helping you maintain a healthy weight.
Some examples of aerobic include hiking, jogging, cycling, swimming, dancing, cross-country skiing, and kickboxing. Don’t forget to grab a moringa bar to take with you when exercising. If it’s not moringa, that’s okay! Just know that eating a healthy snack directly after exercising will help your muscles recover and give you a post-exercise lift. Yogurt and fruit are also great post-workout foods.
Maintaining a healthy weight is crucial in preventing many health problems, including high blood pressure and the associated risks mentioned above. Being overweight or obese puts you at a high risk for developing high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, and more.
Managing your weight can be aided by developing healthy lifestyle habits such as eating healthier high-fiber foods that help keep you full, and exercising more.
Managing stress is an important aspect of living a healthy life. While we cannot control what happens to us, we can consider how we process and react to what happens to us. There’s also a great Ted Talk by psychologist Kelly McGonigal, who talks about the role of changing how we think about stress, as one way to work towards better health.
The link between stress and high blood pressure is still being studied, but stress can influence other damaging lifestyle factors. These factors include unhealthy “stress-eating” diet, alcohol consumption, and other forms of substance abuse. It’s natural to crave high-sugar foods and “quick fixes” when stressed. Knowing how your body responds to stress, and what you might crave when stressed, can help reduce those quick urges.
4 Tips on Reducing Stress
Learning how to manage your stress levels and communicate when stressed is essential to maintaining good mental and emotional health. We’ll go into this a bit more with four easy tips, below.
1) Simplify your morning routine.
Starting your day with a hectic morning is stressful for anyone. It can leave you frazzled and unable to focus for the rest of the day, which can add further stress. One simple tip is to consider your morning routine: are you always in a rush? It’s understandable if you are.
Look for a few easy changes that help you free up time in the morning, and try getting some things done the night before. It may seem like a small change, but even something as simple as laying out your clothes the night before can help. Maybe you can wake up 10 minutes early for some mindful breathes before coffee or tea.
You can also save time by prepping breakfast the night before, whether that’s laying out smoothie ingredients or making Creamy Raspberry Moringa Oats!
2) Take time to breathe.
Sometimes it’s hard to remember to simply breathe deeper. We can spend an entire day with crun
ched posture over a desk, and shallow breathing. Find some time in your busy day to sit quietly and focus on your breath.
When we breathe deeper, we experience benefits such as increased muscle relaxation, improved oxygen delivery, endorphin release, and lowering blood pressure. Try some of these breathing exercises to help you relax and feel refreshed.
3) Give yourself time to be active.
Research has shown over and over that regular exercise directly reduces stress levels. Try to designate at least 15 minutes out of the day to move your body. Go for a walk, do yoga, stretch, or any other type of exercise that your heart desires! It can be hard to get started, but often times, that’s the hardest part of exercise: getting started.
4) Find opportunities to be creative.
Take some time out of your day to work the right side of your brain by doing something that sparks creativity. Play an instrument, draw some doodles, paint, or find a fun DIY project to do. You can also get #moringainspired and use our moringa powder to dream up some recipes of your own.
At Kuli Kuli, we believe that moringa is one piece of the larger health puzzle. Has moringa helped you with your daily health routine? Let us know in the comments!
Follow us @kulikulifoods so we can see some of your favorite ways to add this energizing superfood to your daily routine.