Patients with hypertension can benefit from food that lower blood pressure. Try these 5 Chinese soups that contain celery, wolfberry leaves, spinach and carrot.
It is common knowledge that doctors often advise patients to make dietary changes to normalize their high blood pressure before they start prescribing long-term medications.
Some of these dietary changes include:
Reduce salt intake
Avoid foods high in sodium and eat foods high in potassium and calcium
Cut out alcohol and tobacco
If you are accustomized to well-seasoned food, observing the first 2 can mean eating bland tasteless food. But I believe that well-simmered Chinese soups are very flavoursome and only need a touch of salt to enhance its flavour.
Soups are also versatile when it comes to ingredients. Select foods that are low in sodium and high in potassium and calcium. Soups made with lots of vegetables also encourage healthy bowel movement which is believed to help regulate blood pressure.
Even patients that are already on medical treatments can benefit from food that lower blood pressure.
Of course, not all Chinese soups are suitable for hypertension. Avoid beef soups or soups with stocks made from bones. Go with fish and vegetable soups.
Here are 5 Chinese soups that you can try for lowering blood pressure.
1. Soup with fish and wolfberry leaves
Wolfberry or goji leaves are very nutritious and it is beneficial to the liver. A healthy liver is important for blood pressure.
60g white fish fillet
250g wolfberry leaves 枸杞叶 (gou qi ye)
3 slices of ginger
Salt, pepper and sesame seed oil
Wash the wolfberry leaves, remove the leaves from the stems
Wash the celery, remove the roots and leaves, cut into small sections
Rinse the fish fillet and slice thinly
Season the fish lightly with some salt, sesame seed oil and ginger
Tie the wolfberry stems into a bunch and place into a stock pot
Add about 2 litres of water and bring to a boil
Lower to medium heat and simmer for 20 minutes
Remove the wolfberry stems and add the celery and wolfberry leaves
Cook for about 10 minutes, add the fish slices and cook till the fish is just done
Season lightly with salt and pepper before serving
2. Celery tea with red dates
Celery is considered a great natural remedy for high blood pressure. Here are a few simple soup recipes using celery.
50g red dates
2 litres of water
Wash and clean the celery and red dates
Cut the celery into small sections
Place all ingredients in a soup pot and simmer for 30 minutes
Drink the tea as often as possible
3. Celery tea with apple
If you have symptoms such as headaches, flushed cheeks, and is easily excitable, try this recipe.
2 litres of water
Wash the celery and apples
Cut the celery into smaller sections
Place the celery into a pot of water and boil for 2 minutes
Juice the parboiled celery together with the apples
Drink a glass of the juice twice a day
4. Celery rice porridge
This rice porridge is suitable in a diet for high blood pressure and coronary heart disease patients.
250g white rice
Salt and pepper to taste
10 cups of water
Wash and cut the celery into bite-sized cubes
Wash the rice and place in a soup pot together with the celery
Add the water and bring to a roaring boil
Lower the heat to a simmer and cook till the congee is of medium consistency
Add salt and pepper to taste
5. Spinach and century egg congee
This spinach and century egg congee is good for people with hypertension and has been asked to watch their diet. The amount of water depends on the consistency you want. See cooking porridge for the ratio of water to rice.
1 century egg
50g white rice
Prepare the century egg and cut into very small pieces
Clean the spinach and cut into bite-sized pieces
Wash the rice
Place the rice, spinach and century egg int a big pot
Add water and bring to a boil
Season with a little salt before serving
Besides spinach and celery, carrot porridge is also suitable for people with high blood pressure and indigestion.
A true story about high blood pressure
Let me end this page with a true story about a friend's amusing experience with high blood pressure.
During a routine check-up, her family doctor measured her mum's blood pressure and found it to be high. He wanted to prescribe medication but the family was cautious and wanted to see if it could be normalized by lifestyle changes. My friend bought her mum a blood pressure monitor because she knows that blood pressure changes all the time and only regular measurements can truly determine if someone suffers from high blood pressure.
The readings taken at home always showed a normal blood pressure. This was conveyed to the doctor. But when the doctor takes the measurement at his clinic, the reading showed high blood pressure.
Fearing that the monitor wasn't accurate, my friend bought another blood pressure monitor. They started measuring blood pressure using both. The result? Normal readings from both.
Perturbed by this, my friend decided to accompany her mum to the clinic during her next visit. The reason for the high blood pressure became immediately apparent to her.
Her dad always drove her mum to the clinic. Once in the car, her mum started arguing with her dad about the way he drives. By the time they reached the clinic, her mum had calmed down visibly but she had already encountered a stressful situation, so her blood pressure would probably be high.
Upon questioning her dad, she found out that this happened almost every time he drives her to the clinic.
Moral of the story?
Once medication for high blood pressure is prescribed, it is seldom taken off. So, it is good to make sure the cause is medical before starting on medication. If dietary or lifestyles changes can help, then it should be attempted first. In my friend's case, someone else started driving her mum to the clinic.
And I suggest trying these Chinese soups first or any healthy homemade soups first. Isn't it easier and tastier?
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