Control your blood pressure naturally with these low-glycemic foods

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(Natural News) High blood pressure (hypertension) is no small matter – it’s one of the key risk factors for cardiovascular health problems. If you are hypertensive, or know someone who is, studies suggest that a natural, drug-less way to lower blood pressure is by following a low-glycemic diet.

Unlike foods with moderate or high scores on the glycemic index (GI), low-GI foods are slower in raising a person’s blood sugar levels. Having high blood sugar can damage nerves and blood vessels, which can lead to high blood pressure.

The GI, which is a scale from 1 to 100, indicates how fast carbohydrate-containing foods can increase blood sugar levels compared to pure glucose. Each food item has a GI score – the lower the score, the longer it takes for that food item to increase a person’s blood sugar. Foods that have a GI score below 55 are considered low-glycemic. Medium-GI foods have scores ranging from 55 to 70, while high-GI foods have scores above 70.

Low-glycemic foods to add to your diet

While there are many low-GI foods, the ones listed below are some of the best foods to add to an anti-hypertensive diet.

1. Kidney beans

Kidney beans have a GI score of 24. These beans are loaded with fiber and protein. They also offer potassium and are very low in fat.

2. Chickpeas

Chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans, are a low-GI legume, having a 28 GI score. They also contain good amounts of protein and fiber, as well as key nutrients like calcium, potassium, and vitamin B9 (folate). Chickpeas can be a substitute for potatoes or white rice, which both have high GI scores. You can also make a quick and easy snack by roasting chickpeas. Chickpeas are also made into hummus, a popular Middle Eastern dip.