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High blood pressure is a silent killer.

It is a lifestyle disease that requires a lifetime of attention, and can often lead to complications such as heart failure, kidney failure and stroke among others and one needs to watch out for symptoms including throbbing headaches, dizziness, breathlessness and visual difficulties.

Hypertension is a serious condition, but it can be managed with a few tweaks to ones diet.

Here are few foods that can help control hypertension.

Bananas: When it comes to foods that lower blood pressure, a banana is right on top of the list as it is filled with potassium, which balances out the negative effects of salt.

Leafy Greens: Leafy greens such as spinach are low in calories and high in fiber and they are packed with nutrients such as potassium and magnesium. These ingredients are vital for maintaining blood pressure levels. Include romaine lettuce, arugula, kale, turnip greens, spinach and collard greens in your diet.

Beetroot: The crimson red beetroots are high in nitric oxide, which is believed to relax blood vessels, thereby improving blood flow. One research found that the nitrates in beetroots lowered blood pressure within 24 hours. Include beetroots in your stir-fries and stews to get the most out of the vegetable.

Oatmeal: Oatmeal is the perfect breakfast meal as it is rich in fiber and low in fat, and studies have found that it reduces both systolic and diastolic pressure.

Dark Chocolate: The flavanols found in dark chocolate are thought to widen blood vessels, thereby facilitating blood flow, one research claims.

“Dark chocolate has been shown to have some effect on reducing high blood pressure,” said Blood Pressure UK, reported Express.“Some studies had shown that dark chocolate may have a blood pressure lowering effect. The researchers found that pressure reduction seen in the combined results for people with hypertension was up to 5mm Hg systolic [top number]. In theory, this is a similar reduction to the known effects of 30 daily minutes of physical activity [4-9mm Hg].”