If regular health checks reveal elevated blood pressure (hypertension), doctors are usually quick to prescribe Atenolol, Lisinopril or one of the other branded medications to reduce the symptoms. However, nature has its own treatments, including blood oranges, tangerines and citrus peel that can all help lower hypertension as part of a high blood pressure diet.
Do You Have High Blood Pressure?
- Normal blood pressure is <120 systolic mm Hg (the upper figure) and <80 mm Hg (the lower figure)
- Prehypertension is 120-139 over 80-89
- High blood pressure is considered to be in the range 140-159 over 90-99
The symptoms of high blood pressure can include headaches, flushed skin, breathlessness when not exercising, and dizziness. If not kept in check, high blood pressure can lead to chest pain, nose bleeds and even more serious health issues.
Introducing the High Blood Pressure Diet
You may have heard of the DASH Diet, which stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension and that is a good model for a High Blood Pressure Diet. It recommends eating plenty of fruit and vegetables (5-8 portions per day) along with whole grains and low fat foods. Red meats, fried foods, sugary treats and sweetened beverages should all be avoided, or considered occasional treats.
Citrus Fruits in the High Blood Pressure Diet
By emphasizing citrus fruits, particularly blood oranges, tangerines and citrus peel, you can make the high blood pressure diet even more effective.
Blood oranges have a dark red pulp which is due to the presence of anthocyanin, a powerful antioxidant. They are also high in bioflavonoids, vitamins A and C, potassium, iron, calcium and fiber. These elements all help lower hypertension and prevent the buildup of bad cholesterol which can lead to heart disease and stroke.
Tangerines are another easy fruit to include in any high blood pressure diet. These low calorie fruits contain 3.5 grams of fiber and just 100 calories in one cup of tangerine segments. They also contain high levels of vitamins A and C and antioxidants, making them heart-healthy foods.
Lemon peel contains even more vitamins, nutrients and health benefits than lemon juice. Add citrus peel zest to sweet and savory dishes and blended drinks. Lemon peel helps regulate high blood pressure and is high in polyphenols which reduce cholesterol levels, making it another top citrus source to include in your heart-healthy high blood pressure diet.