Like with so many other health concerns, such as diabetes, cancer and heart disease, food is a powerful ally when it comes to blood pressure control. The right foods can help lower blood pressure, reducing your risk of heart disease while also supporting a delicious and healthy lifestyle.
In general, following a diet that is high in fiber and low in sodium is a smart strategy. The DASH Diet was specifically designed for individuals needing to reduce blood pressure, and it incorporates a large variety of lean proteins, fruits and vegetables, whole grains plus low- and non-fat dairy. Year after year, this diet is selected as the best overall diet for health for good reason.
More specifically, foods like these have been linked to a lower blood pressure and are easy to find at the market and on restaurant menus nationwide:
- Yogurt – According to recent research, probiotic-rich yogurt may give you an upper hand in the blood pressure battle. Research indicates that regular and long term consumption of good-for-you gut bacteria like that found in yogurt can have a positive effect on blood pressure.
- Oatmeal – When you think high fiber food, chances are you think oatmeal. This hearty whole grain is loaded with heart-healthy fiber, and it is not only budget-friendly but also easy to find at restaurants nationwide.
- Beets – For a quicker fix, especially after a stressful day, you may want to order a beautiful beet salad or sip some beet juice. Studies have shown that within hours of consuming beet juice, blood pressure drops by several points. Researchers believe this positive effect is due to the plant nitrates present in beets (and other vegetables).
- Dark Leafy Greens – Is there anything greens can’t cure? These veggies, along with potatoes, bananas and several other fruits and veggies, are rich in potassium, which can help balance sodium in the body. This balance is one of the keys to healthy blood pressure.
- Dark Chocolate – Our list wouldn’t be complete without this sweet treat! A Harvard study found that a small amount of dark chocolate, rich in flavonoids, each day could help lower blood pressure especially in those with hypertension.
In addition to a healthy diet to lower blood pressure, regular exercise and maintaining a healthy weight can help you manage or lower blood pressure.