7 Superfoods to help lower high blood pressure
High blood pressure is a pressing problem that can harm your heart and your health. It can damage your arteries, which forces your heart to work much harder and less efficiently. Over time, this can increase your risk of heart disease, stroke, and kidney disease. While high blood pressure affects nearly half of all Americans, many people don’t know they have it. It may be a common condition, but it’s also a preventable one. Medications can help lower blood pressure, but prevention is the best prescription. If you’re concerned about hypertension, diet can make a difference, so rather than go to the pharmacy, head to the grocery store instead. Some of the healthiest foods, known as superfoods, are some of the best for lowering blood pressure. These foods are considered superior sources of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients that are thought to be especially good for your health. So check out the best superfoods for high blood pressure and start supersizing your servings.
1. Turn over a new leaf
Leafy greens like spinach, kale, and lettuce are all naturally high in nitrates, which are known to help lower blood pressure. These greens are also superior sources of potassium and magnesium, which can help balance the effects of excess sodium that can elevate your blood pressure. But don’t limit yourself to just leafy greens because broccoli, cabbage, and Brussels sprouts are also full of these mighty minerals, which make each of these veggies good food for high blood pressure management.
2. Dive into salmon and fatty fish
Fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel, and sardines tip the scales with their abundance of omega-3 fatty acids, making them excellent foods for lowering high blood pressure. Research has shown that their heart-healthy fats may reduce blood pressure levels by decreasing inflammation and bad cholesterol. If you aren’t a fan of fish, you can still get the benefits of these fatty acids from walnuts, flax seeds, and tofu.
3. Pick some berries
Blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries are bursting with antioxidants, including anthocyanins, which give berries their bright color. According to several studies, these anthocyanins have also been shown to help reduce overall blood pressure. A little-known secret is that the darker the berries, the more antioxidants they contain. If you’re concerned about hypertension, add a handful of bright-colored berries to yogurt and cereal, mix some into muffins, or blend them into a smoothie, since they’re some of the best superfoods for high blood pressure.
4. Go for yogurt
What’s the scoop on yogurt as a food for high blood pressure? Yogurt is packed with calcium and potassium, which can help regulate blood pressure levels. Yogurt is also full of probiotics, which not only maintain the health of your gut, but also help keep your blood pressure at a healthy level. While yogurt is a convenient grab-and-go snack, you can also enjoy it stirred into salads or mixed into zesty dips.
5. Get cracking on pistachios
Pistachios are much more than they’re cracked up to be since these buttery nuts have been found to help lower high blood pressure. These nuts are powerful superfoods for high blood pressure because they’re full of potassium, magnesium, and monounsaturated fats that have a strong impact on your blood pressure. So start sprinkling some of them over yogurt bowls and salads, blending them into a pesto for pasta, or simply grabbing a handful for a protein-packed snack to help lower high blood pressure.
6. Root around for beets
These dark red veggies are high in nitrates that help your blood vessels relax, which leads to better blood flow and lower blood pressure. But these benefits go beyond the basic beetroot to beet juice and beet greens, too. So from root to juice to leaf, beets are known as one of the best superfoods for high blood pressure. Eat your beets sliced in salads, blend them into juices, or stir-fry the greens for a side dish.
7. Choose dark chocolate
This bittersweet treat is another good food for high blood pressure since it’s rich in antioxidants and polyphenols, which studies have shown to help lower high blood pressure. Just remember to choose dark chocolate with at least 70% cacao and try to indulge in no more than two squares a day as a sweet reward for following a high blood pressure diet.
If you have hypertension, visit your SignatureMD-affiliated doctor to discuss how these superfoods, along with other healthy strategies, can help you manage this pressing problem.