Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is a condition wherein the pressure of blood against the walls of the blood vessels is constantly elevated and this condition requires special care when it comes to diet. Would you believe potatoes were not part of the Indian cuisine before the 16th century? It was only when the Portuguese arrived to India, that we were introduced to this peculiar vegetable and its sheer versatility. Since then we have used potatoes in our gravies, curries, rice dishes, halwas, street food, parathas, fries and what not! The Portuguese import became India's favourite veggie and there has been no looking back ever since. The moment we think about potatoes, our mind instantly conjures a treat that is laden in oil or spices. But the truth is that the infamous reputation of potatoes is a tad unfair. Blood pressure is measured in 'millimetres of mercury' (mm Hg) and is written as two separate numbers. The first number or the systolic number measures the pressure inside the arteries when heart muscles contract. The second number measures the pressure in the arteries when the muscle is resting between heartbeats.
It is true that it is one of the most carbohydrate-dense vegetable known, but it is also one of the healthiest foods you can add to your diet. It is packed with vitamin C, fibre, potassium, B vitamins, copper, tryptophan, manganese and eye-health boosting lutein. Being alkaline in nature, it also helps rid your body from excess toxins. Its anti-inflammatory properties help relieve pain and ulcers. Potatoes, if prepared and consumed the right way, could also do wonders to keep your blood pressure levels in check.
Why Potatoes Are Good For Blood Pressure Management?
According to the book, 'Healing Foods' by DK Publishing House, "potatoes are high in chlorogenic acid and anthocyanins, chemicals that help to lower blood pressure. The polyphenol in purple potatoes may also help." Additionally, potatoes are also a good source of potassium. According to Macrobiotic nutritionists and health practitioner Shilpa Arora says, "high potassium food items should be encouraged for high BP. Potatoes, beets, carrots, oranges and bananas are excellent food choices."
Potassium negates ill effects of sodium, by eliminating sodium through your urine. Excess sodium puts extra pressure on walls of your blood vessels that leads to raised blood pressure. Hundred grams of potato contains 421 mg of potassium.
Potatoes are also excellent to calm you down, which is a common complaint among blood pressure patients. The white flesh of potatoes are a good source of tryptophan, an amino acid that has sedative properties, helping in keeping you stress-free and your nerves calm.
How To Have Potatoes For Blood Pressure Management?
Ditch processed preparations like fries, namkeen and patties. They are laden with trans-fats that may spike blood pressure levels. You can consume fresh potato juice. Wash and grate potatoes, put it in cheese cloth and squeeze this juice. Consume it in recommended doses. You can also boil them or grill them, try having them with their skins on. Have potatoes of all colours for a variety of antioxidants.
It is important to note that eating an overall healthy diet may cut risks of such potentially life-threatening and chronic illnesses as hypertension. It is a good idea to consult an expert before making any drastic changes in your diet.
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.