Hypertension, also known as high blood pressure, affects millions of Americans.
The good news is that there are many healthy foods that can help you bring down your blood pressure. So if you have high blood pressure, add these foods to your cart next time you go grocery shoppping and incorporate them into your future diet.
Most of us begin our lives and spend our childhoods with a consistent intake of milk. However, too many of us cut back our milk consumption as we get older. Studies have shown that individuals who consume lots of high-calcium and low-fat dairy products significantly reduced their risk of developing high blood pressure. Low-fat yogurt, skim milk and low-fat cottage cheese are excellent options to add to your diet.
2. High-fiber cereal
A diet featuring high-fiber, whole-grain foods can help lower cholesterol and reduce the health consequences of hypertension. Cereal is a great way to start off your day with high-fiber. Just be sure to check the nutritional information on the label and look for at least 5g of fiber per serving (recommended daily fiber amount: 29 grams per day for men and 26 grams per day for women).
Blueberries are packed with antioxidants that can help in the fight against not only hypertension, but many serious illnesses. Blueberries, along with raspberries and strawberries, contain anthocyanins. Studies have shown that fruits containing anthocyanins help people with hypertension significantly lower their blood pressure levels.
Potatoes are packed with potassium and magnesium which according to the American Heart Association (AHA), are minerals that can help in the fight against hypertension. Many older adults fail to get enough of these minerals in their diets. So, next time you’re looking for a healthy side with your entree, bake a potato (just be sure to keep the butter to a minimum).
5. Dark Chocolate
The flavonoids in dark chocolate can help to lower hypertension making this a very healthy snack for people struggling with high blood pressure. These healthy flavonoids are only found in dark chocolate, not milk chocolate. Most experts agree that the recommended daily dose of dark chocolate is approximately 1 to 2 ounces.
A key part of reducing blood pressure involves increasing your potassium. Bananas are loaded with potassium. However, bananas do contain a significant amount of natural sugar and calories, so don’t eat more than 1 per day. A great idea is to slice some bananas on your high-fiber cereal or add to a healthy green or fruit smoothie.
Avocadoes are full of healthy monounsaturated fats. Research has shown that a diet high in this type of fat can help lower blood pressure and reduce the health risks associated with hypertension. Avocadoes make an excellent addition to sandwiches, salads and tacos.
8. Omega-3 rich fish
Fatty fish like salmon and mackerel are rich in omega-3 fatty acids which have been shown to reduce diastolic and systolic blood pressure. Omega-3 fatty acids also reduce inflammation and lower triglycerides. Instead of eating fish everyday, another great way to get your daily dose is by taking omega-3 fish oil supplements.
Garlic is another excellent option that you can eat to naturally reduce blood pressure. This is because garlic contains allicin which is a sulphur compound that is formed from it being crushed, chopped or chewed. This assists in lowering supine systolic blood pressure and mean supine diastolic blood pressure. To obtain the maximum benefits of garlic to lower blood pressure, it is recommended that it be eaten raw. Simply add some raw, minced garlic to oil and vinegar in a salad dressing or in a fresh tomato salsa.
10. Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
Olive oil stabilizes blood sugar levels. It also consists of antioxidants called polyphenols which is thought to be responsible for the drop in blood pressure for people suffering from hypertension. Specifically extra virgin olive oil has been shown in multiple studies to reduce LDL cholesterol and the systolic pressure of patients with high blood pressure.
Beets are great for lowering blood pressure and the health issues associated with hypertension. A study* conducted by the Queen Mary University of London in 2015, showed that the nitrates found in beet juice can have a direct and significant effect on blood pressure.