High blood pressure can be a cause of heart attack or heart failure. There are 2 major causes of high blood pressure.
First one is the amount of blood. Increase of blood in the blood vessel causes high blood pressure. The cause of increase of blood in the blood vessel is too much intake of salt. When you take too much salt, your body tries to reduce the concentration of salt in the blood by increasing water in the blood, leading in high blood pressure. In this case, reducing salt improves high blood pressure.
Second one is contraction of the blood vessel. When the blood vessel becomes small, the pressure in the blood vessel becomes higher. This is caused by negative lifestyle habit such as drinking too much alcohol, smoking or too much intake of salt.
Food to improve high blood pressure caused by the contraction of the blood vessel
This food is rich in polyphenol. Polyphenol produces nitrogen monoxide which softens the blood vessel, widening the blood vessel and lower the blood pressure. Even if people with normal blood pressure eat this food, their blood pressure doesn’t change. In a research, 350 people who was suffering from high blood pressure ate this food for 4 weeks and 90 % of them had improvement in their blood pressure.
The food is chocolate. Polyphenol contained in chocolate improves the contraction of the blood vessel. Other foods containing polyphenol are red wine, black tea, onions and apples.
Polyphenol content in 100 grams
Red wine: 180 mg
Black tea: 100 mg
Apple: 220 mg
Onion: 90 mg
Chocolate: 840 mg
Recommended amount of chocolate a day is 5 pieces (25 grams) (Fig. 1). You don’t need to eat bitter chocolate. According to the 4 weeks research, there was no change in their weight. 5 pieces of chocolate is about 150 kilocalories. High cacao content chocolate is recommended because they are rich in polyphenol.