Are you looking for a way to reduce your blood pressure? If so, you may be wondering if rice is good food for this purpose. According to the USDA, 90% of all Americans consume rice at least once a week. The average consumption per person is only around 1 pound a year; however, Asians consume over 6 pounds of rice per year. Rice consumption levels are similar in different parts of the world.
In this article, we’ll take a look at the evidence on whether or not rice can help lower blood pressure. We’ll also discuss the health benefits of brown rice, why dietitians recommend eating whole grains, and some other ways to reduce blood pressure.
- What is high blood pressure, and what are the risks associated with it?
- What are some of the causes of high blood pressure, including diet and lifestyle choices?
- Is rice good for high blood pressure, and if so, what kind of rice should you eat to lower your blood pressure levels naturally?
- Are there any other foods that can help reduce high blood pressure, or should people with hypertension stick to a low-sodium diet exclusively?
- How can you effectively monitor your own blood pressure levels at home without needing to go to the doctor every time?
- Summary: Is Rice Good For High Blood Pressure
What is high blood pressure, and what are the risks associated with it?
The force of blood against your artery walls is called blood pressure. High blood pressure, also called hypertension, is when this force against the arteries is too high. Over time, if untreated, high blood pressure can damage the arteries, heart, and kidneys and increase your risk of heart attack, stroke, kidney disease, and even early death.
Experts estimate that about 75 million American adults have high blood pressure. That’s almost 1 in every 3 adults.
Blood pressure readings are given as two numbers:
Your systolic (sis-TOL-ik) and diastolic (di-a-STOL-ik) pressures. Normal blood pressure for an adult is less than 120 systolic and less than 80 diastolic (less than 120/80).
What are the risk factors for high blood pressure?
- You may be at risk for high blood pressure if you:
- Are overweight or obese
- Drink too much alcohol (more than 1 to 2 drinks per day)
- Don’t get enough physical activity
- Eat an unhealthy diet with too much salt
- Have a family history of high blood pressure
High blood pressure usually has no symptoms, so you may not know that you have it unless you get tested. A simple blood pressure test is the only way to find out if you have high blood pressure. Everyone age 18 and older should get checked at least once every two years.
If you’re not sure if you have high blood pressure, check with your doctor or nurse at every well-child visit or other visits to the doctor’s office.
What are some of the causes of high blood pressure, including diet and lifestyle choices?
There are many causes of high blood pressure, including diet and lifestyle choices. Some people may be more genetically given to high blood pressure, while others may develop the condition due to health conditions like obesity or diabetes.
The causes of high blood pressure are mainly:
- Unhealthy lifestyle choices – such as smoking, not being physically active, excess use of sodium, and eating an unhealthy diet.
- Family history.
- Ageing – your risk of high blood pressure increases as you get older.
- Being from a south Asian family (from countries like India, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka) – your risk is higher than if you’re from another ethnic group.
- Drinking too much alcohol
- Being overweight or obese
- Other conditions. High blood pressure may also be caused by other conditions, such as kidney disease, thyroid problems, or sleep apnea. Talk with your doctor about whether some of these other conditions may be contributing to your high blood pressure.
Is rice good for high blood pressure, and if so, what kind of rice should you eat to lower your blood pressure levels naturally?
Rice is a staple for many cultures around the world, and it’s also a great source of low-cost protein. However, it’s not always clear which kinds of rice are best in terms of nutrition.
Brown rice is generally considered healthier than white rice. White rice loses much of its nutritional value during processing to remove the bran and germ. For example, brown rice still contains the bran and germ that are removed when white rice is processed. These parts of the rice contain fiber and nutrients that get lost in the refining process.
Brown rice is a type of whole grain, which means it has more fiber, magnesium, and other nutrients than white rice. It also has more antioxidants than white rice, which may help reduce your risk of chronic disease. In particular, brown jasmine rice may help lower cholesterol levels and blood pressure while improving blood sugar control in people with diabetes.
Are there any other foods that can help reduce high blood pressure, or should people with hypertension stick to a low-sodium diet exclusively?
Of course, first and foremost, everyone should seek medical advice when considering any diet or lifestyle change to improve their health.
For those with high blood pressure, it’s important to speak with a doctor about the right treatment plan — which may include prescribed medications, weight loss, and/or a low-sodium diet.
The American Heart Association recommends that people with high blood pressure eat a diet that is low in sodium (less than 1,500 mg per day) and rich in fruits and vegetables. This type of diet has been shown to help lower blood pressure and preserve good kidney function.
The DASH diet is a moderate-sodium diet, meaning it’s not ultra-low in sodium. But it does focus on increasing the number of fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy products you eat.
The DASH diet includes plenty of foods that can help reduce high blood pressure, and also naturally lower in sodium, such as fruits and vegetables. It also recommends eating lean meats, fish, poultry, and beans, which are good sources of protein and fiber. And it urges you to limit sugar-sweetened beverages, sweets, and red meat.
The main point of the DASH diet isn’t to restrict any food group — there’s no “forbidden food” rule with this plan — but rather to focus on the overall quality of your diet. By eating more healthful foods, you’re bound to take in less sodium.
If you have high blood pressure or prehypertension (blood pressure readings between 120/80 mm Hg and 139/89 mm Hg), following the DASH diet can help lower your blood pressure as much or more than a low-sodium diet. The effect appears to be greatest when people who already have high blood pressure follow the plan.
How can you effectively monitor your own blood pressure levels at home without needing to go to the doctor every time?
The best way to monitor your blood pressure levels at home is with a blood pressure monitor. You can buy a standard version that goes on your arm or a wrist version, which is just as accurate.
Here are a few tips on using one:
- Take several readings and make sure they’re consistent before you start relying on the numbers.
- Don’t smoke or drink coffee before taking a reading.
- Make sure the cuff is placed correctly on your arm or wrist.
Summary: Is Rice Good For High Blood Pressure
Overall, the results of these studies suggest that rice may play a role in reducing blood pressure. However, studies have not yet proven that rice can lower blood pressure in people with hypertension. If you have high blood pressure and choose to eat rice, it’s important to limit the rest of your sodium intake. Consuming too much sodium can lead to high blood pressure over time; it’s better to get your sodium from food instead of by taking salt or eating salty foods. You can also read our previous blog post about how much sodium per day for high blood pressure.
However, more research is needed in order to make a definitive statement on the matter. In the meantime, it is still important to consult with a doctor or dietitian to see if rice can be part of your overall health plan.