8 Foods to Help Lower Blood Pressure

8 Foods to Help Lower Blood Pressure

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Low-fat Milk:

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It truly does a body good! Drinking heart-healthy low-fat milk will provide you with calcium and vitamin D — the two nutrients work as a team to help reduce blood pressure by 3 to 10 percent. Although this doesn’t sound like much, it could add up to about a 15 percent reduction in risk for cardiovascular disease.

Spinach:

A green leafy delight,spinach is low in calories, high in fiber, and packed with heart-healthy nutrients like potassium, folate, and magnesium — key ingredients for lowering and maintaining blood pressure levels. Need an easy way to eat more of this great green? Try mixing fresh spinach leaves into salads or adding them to sandwiches. And definitely try these Spinach Turkey Burgers.

Sunflower Seeds

Sunflower seeds are also a great source of magnesium. A quarter cup of these super seeds make a nutritious snack — but be sure to buy them unsalted, since you’ll also want to minimize your sodium intake.

Beans

Nutritious and versatile, beans (including black, white, navy, lima, pinto, and kidney) are chock-full of soluble fiber, magnesium, and potassium, all excellent ingredients for lowering blood pressure and improving overall heart health. Add beans to your favorite salads, soups, or wraps; as a bonus, they’re pretty inexpensive.

Baked White Potato

Baked white potatoes are rich in both magnesium and potassium, two vital nutrients for heart health. When potassium is low, the body retains extra sodium (and too much sodium raises blood pressure). On the other hand, when you eat a potassium-rich diet, the body becomes more efficient at getting rid of excess sodium. Like potassium, magnesium is also a key player in promoting healthy blood flow. Therefore, maintaining a healthy balance of both minerals can help keep high blood pressure at bay.

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Bananas

This functional fruit is packed with potassium, so it’s a great choice for an on-the-go snack. Add a banana to your breakfast (my Banana-Raspberry Oatmeal makes a great morning meal) or for an evening treat, slice a banana into several half-inch wheels, place them in a small plastic bag, and freeze.

Soybeans

Soybeans are another excellent source of potassium and magnesium. Look for soybeans in the pod (edamame) in the freezer case at your grocery store; for a healthy snack, boil one cup and pop them directly out of the shell into your mouth. If you miss the salt, lightly sprinkle with salt substitute.

Dark Chocolate

Hooray for dark chocolate! Eating about 30 calories a day of dark chocolate — just one tiny square — was shown to help lower blood pressure after 18 weeks without weight gain or other adverse effects, according to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). Choose dark chocolate consisting of at least 70 percent cocoa powder. Because chocolate is also high in calories, you’ll want to be very careful not to overdo it.

Courtesy of joybauer

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More tips to Help to Lower Blood Pressure:

  • Eat more poultry, fish, nuts, and legumes (beans) and less red meat.
  • Choose low-fat or nonfat milk and other dairy products instead of full-fat versions.
  • Turn to vegetables and fruits instead of sugary or salty snacks and desserts.
  • Select breads, pasta, and other carbohydrate-rich foods that are made from whole grains instead of highly refined white flour.
  • Eat fruit instead of drinking fruit juice.
  • Use unsaturated fats like olive, canola, soybean, peanut, corn, or safflower oils instead of butter, coconut oil, or palm-kernel oil.
  • Rely on fresh or frozen foods instead of canned and processed foods.
  • Choose low-sodium foods whenever possible; use herbs, spices, vinegar, and other low-sodium flavorings instead of salt.
  • Don’t skip meals; try to eat one-third of your calories at breakfast.
  • If you need help, record everything that you eat day by day for a week. Have this information reviewed by a dietitian.

7 Foods That Are Good For High Blood Pressure

7 Foods That Are Good For High Blood Pressure

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Hypertension: The Silent Killer

High blood pressure, or hypertension, is a serious health problem common among Americans. Over time, it causes blood vessel damage that can lead to heart disease, kidney disease, stroke, and other problems.

Hypertension sometimes is called the silent killer because, by itself, it produces no symptoms. If you don’t get your blood pressure checked regularly, hypertension could go unnoticed, and untreated, for years.

High Blood Pressure and Diet

Your diet plays a big role in whether you have high or normal blood pressure. Dietary recommendations for lowering blood pressure, such as the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet, include reducing your intake of fat, sodium, and alcohol.

The DASH guidelines also suggest eating more foods rich in potassium, calcium, and magnesium. In general, you should eat more low-fat protein sources, whole grains, and plenty of fruits and vegetables. The following slides present some of the best foods you can eat to lower your blood pressure.

Leafy Greens

Foods high in potassium give you a better ratio of potassium to sodium. Improvements in this ratio can help with lowering blood pressure. Leafy greens like romaine lettuce, arugula, kale, turnip greens, collard greens, and spinach are high in potassium.

Try to opt for fresh or frozen greens, as canned vegetables often have added sodium. Frozen vegetables, on the other hand, contain just as many nutrients as they do when fresh and are easy to store.

Berries

Berries, especially blueberries, are rich in natural compounds called flavonoids. One study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that consuming these compounds may prevent hypertension, and possibly help to reduce high blood pressure as well.

Blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries are easy to add to your diet. Put them on your cereal every morning. Keep frozen berries on hand for a quick and healthful dessert.

Potatoes

Potatoes are high in both potassium and magnesium, two minerals that can help to lower your blood pressure. They are also high in fiber, which is necessary for an overall healthy diet. Enjoy a baked potato as the centerpiece of your dinner. Instead of fattening and salty butter and sour cream, try adding plain yogurt or salsa for flavor.

Beets

Researchers at the Queen Mary University of London found that patients with high blood pressure saw significant improvements in blood pressure from drinking beetroot juice. The study authors concluded that it was the nitrates in the juice that brought down the participants’ blood pressure within just 24 hours.

You can juice your own beets or simply cook and eat the whole root. Beetroot is delicious when roasted or when added to stir-fries and stews. Remember to use caution when handling beets—their deep red color will stain your hands and clothes.

Skim Milk

The DASH diet recommends increasing the amount of calcium-rich foods that you eat. Skim milk is an excellent source of calcium and is low in fat, another important element of a diet for lowering blood pressure.

Swap out your higher-fat milk for skim milk, or if you don’t care for milk, eat more low-fat or non-fat yogurt. Just watch out for those that are high in sugar.

Oatmeal

High-fiber, low-fat, and low-sodium foods are just what you want for lowering your blood pressure, and oatmeal fits the bill. Oatmeal for your breakfast is a great way to charge up for the day.

On its own, oatmeal can be bland, but refrain from adding too much sugar. Instead, add fresh or frozen berries to sweeten it up, and maybe just a touch of honey.

Bananas

Bananas are a great way to add potassium to your diet. Adding foods that are rich in this mineral to your diet is better than taking supplements, and it’s easy. Slice a banana into your breakfast cereal or oatmeal, or take one to work every day for a quick, easy, and inexpensive snack.

Courtesy of Health Line

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