For folks with high blood pressure, it’s important to be cognizant of how diet will ultimately lower, or contribute, to their high blood pressure. The American Heart Association says, “Eating a heart-healthy diet is important for managing your blood pressure and reducing your risk of heart attack, stroke, and other health threats.”
We’ve done some digging, and have found 10 foods that will help keep those BP numbers where they need to be. Check it out.
You can’t go wrong with fruits and vegetables, no matter how healthy you are. But you may not know the reasons why these foods are key for a heart-healthy diet. As it turns out, foods high in potassium help manage high blood pressure because it can minimize the impact sodium has. When you consume lots of potassium, found in many fruits and veggies, your body is able to get rid of more sodium through your urine.
Bananas are one of your best options. The AHA says one medium specimen has about 420 milligrams of potassium, which is a significant amount for a relatively small amount of food. The daily recommended potassium intake for adults is 4,700 milligrams, so just one fruit will have you well on your way.
By now, most people know they shouldn’t be eating white bread and that whole-wheat or whole-grain options are better. Registered dietitian Keri Gans tells Health going for whole grains ensures you get all the good stuff — bran, germ, and endosperm. Refined grains, on the other hand, have been stripped of the bran and germ. Luckily, there’s a long list of whole grains to choose from, including quinoa, barley, and brown rice.
Unless you also happen to be lactose intolerant, you’re good to go when it comes to dairy products. Some evidence indicates dairy is beneficial for lowering blood pressure, but you want to make sure you’re choosing the low-fat variety, as we know people with high blood pressure should avoid trans and saturated fats. Need more convincing? The DASH Diet, which has been praised for lowering blood pressure, encourages people to incorporate low-fat dairy products into their diets. This includes low-fat yogurt and fat-free milk.
Everyone needs their protein, but red meat definitely isn’t the way to go if you’re trying to control high blood pressure. Because fish contains less saturated fat, it’s a good option. Plus, according to the AHA, the omega-3 fatty acids found in fish may reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. The best options for a heart-healthy diet include halibut, tuna, and salmon.
Nuts contain heart-healthy omega-3 fats, so there’s little argument about their importance in a diet focused on lowering high blood pressure. Additionally, SFGate says certain nuts could lower cholesterol, which is often a huge offender among those with high blood pressure. So, whether you prefer pistachios to walnuts, snacking on these staples will help keep your heart healthy.