These 8 Foods Will Help Reduce Your Blood Pressure
High blood pressure is something that should not be taken lightly. It is something that people too often brush off as not a big deal, which is the reason that it is referred to as “the silent killer.” Many people leave high blood pressure, also known as hypertension, untreated, or they may not even know they have it in the first place.
It produces no symptoms and can pass by unnoticed for years. And you’ll be surprised to find out how many people in the United States suffer from high blood pressure: a whopping 75 million. That’s 29% of the adult population — 1 of every 3 adults in America have high blood pressure.
Between the lack of symptoms and the incredibly high numbers of people who suffer from it, everyone needs to make getting their blood pressure checked a top priority. And how often should you do this? As you age, it’s a good idea to get your blood pressure checked every year.
It’s always better to err on the safe side and catch any issues with your blood pressure before things get out of hand, especially since it can even lead to leg pain.
How to Keep Your Blood Pressure Regular
In addition to getting your blood pressure checked annually, you also want to be sure that you are leading a lifestyle that promotes a healthy blood pressure level. The best ways that you can keep your blood pressure regular are to:
Be active! Get out there and get moving.
Toss the cigarettes. Cutting smoking out of your life will be a great way to improve your blood pressure
Cut back on the cocktails. You don’t have to quit drinking completely, but be aware and careful of how much you’re drinking.
Keep your weight down. Having too much extra weight is one of the top ways someone can develop high blood pressure.
Watch what you eat. Your diet has a massive effect on your blood pressure, so you’ll want to focus on keeping your diet healthy. Speaking of diet, that’s what we are here to talk about today: how you can use food to help keep blood pressure issues out of your life. There are some factors that put you at risk of hypertension that you cannot control, including:
- Family history
However, following the above ways on how to keep your blood pressure low will greatly reduce your chances of suffering from any major blood pressure surprises. And eating a diet that promotes healthy blood pressure levels is one of the best, and most easily controllable ways you can make a difference in your life. Ensuring you’re getting enough fiber, magnesium, and potassium in your diet while also keeping sodium levels low is absolutely key. Let’s take a look at some specific foods to work into your everyday life that will help ensure you stay far away from any high blood pressure problems.
Reduce Your Blood Pressure With These Foods
Berries are packed full of flavonoids, which studies have found help lower blood pressure. It is thought that many people who suffer from high blood pressure have low levels of flavonoids, so by consuming foods that are high in them such as berries, you’ll likely decrease your rates of high blood pressure. And when choosing which berries to eat, they’re all great, but blueberries are the best.
The secret ingredient in beets that make them key to reducing your blood pressure is nitrate. When consumed, your body turns nitrate into nitric oxide. And what does nitric oxide do? It helps blood flow through your body by widening your blood vessels. Since not everyone loves to eat beets on the daily, it seems much more easy and realistic for people to consume beet juice. And by drinking up just one glass of this red juice a day, you will be keeping your high blood pressure at bay.
Since potassium plays a major role in lowering your blood pressure, you’re going to want to ensure you’re reaching for bananas. One banana packs a whopping 11% of your daily potassium intake (which is estimated should be 4,700 milligrams).
As mentioned above, eating foods that are high in calcium, potassium, and magnesium are very important in maintaining regular blood pressure. And, it just so happens that white beans check off all three of those things, and at quite high levels. This type of bean has 13% of the calcium, 24% of the potassium, and 30% of the magnesium you need every day. You can use white beans in side dishes and soups, and they also double as a great source of protein for vegetarians.
It’s important that you eat your greens for many reasons, but one of them is to keep your blood pressure low. Leafy greens are high in potassium, which allows your kidneys to get rid of more sodium via your urine. And we all know that high sodium is bad for blood pressure. Here are the greens you’ll want to pick up at the store to up your potassium intake:
- Swiss chard
- Collard greens
This breakfast staple is something you’ve likely seen many people with high blood pressure eating. But do you know why they’re eating it? The high levels of fiber in oatmeal help people to maintain healthy body weight and lower their risk of obesity, which is one of the leading causes of blood pressure issues. Oatmeal helps to lower both your systolic and diastolic blood pressure, so serve yourself up some for tomorrow’s breakfast. Add some blueberries on top for extra blood pressure lowering powers.
We look for a legitimate excuse to eat chocolate anywhere we can find it and are thrilled that eating some dark chocolate is a great way to lower your blood pressure. Like berries, dark chocolate is packed full of flavonoids that help to make it easier for blood to pass through your blood vessels. However, don’t go overboard — keep it to a maximum of an ounce of dark chocolate per day, and make sure that it is at least 70% cocoa.
These nutty little treats are a key player in reducing blood pressure due to their ability to reduce blood vessel tightening, and thus, your heart rate. Just one serving of pistachios a day is all you need to keep your heart healthy. (But good luck in sticking to just one serving of these!)
These are just some of the numerous foods that you should incorporate into your diet to keep your blood pressure levels in a healthy place. As you can see, eating these does not require any major effort on your part — they are all easy to buy and consume. With just a few changes to your diet, you’ll be amazed at the increase in heart health you’ll be providing yourself.
So take this list with you next time you head to the grocery store and keep your home stocked with these heart-healthy eats.