Hypertension is a common affliction that an estimated 75 million people in the US alone suffer from. You probably know it by another name – high blood pressure.
High blood pressure is a major cause of heart disease, kidney disease, strokes, and other serious problems. Sometimes, however, hypertension can go completely unnoticed – and untreated – for years, because the symptoms aren’t immediately apparent.
Certain risk factors for hypertension are out of your control, but eating certain foods that help is fully within your control. In this article, we’re going to highlight 10 different foods that will help lower your blood pressure.
Yes, any of your common leafy greens can help lower your blood pressure. That’s because they contain potassium, which aids your kidneys in expelling more sodium through your urine.
This, in turn, lowers your blood pressure. You’ll obviously want some leafy greens that are especially high in potassium, so here’s a list for you.
- Romaine lettuce
- Turnip greens
- Swiss chard
If eating any of these veggies raw doesn’t sound appealing to you, you can blend some of them with a banana and nut milk for a delicious – and totally healthy – green juice.
Surprisingly, berries are rich in flavonoids, which are great combatants against hypertension. They’re also very easy to include in your diet.
Get your hands on some blueberries, raspberries, or strawberries, and throw them on your cereal in the morning. You can also keep them at hand for a quick, healthy bite at any time of day.
This stuff is very easy to incorporate into a healthy lifestyle, and it provides you with a high-fiber, low-sodium alternative to what you might normally have for breakfast.
Additionally, you can make the first meal of the day even tastier and healthier by sprinkling some berries on top.
Most people know that bananas are high in potassium, and if you’ve been reading along up until now, you’ll know that potassium is highly effective at lowering your blood pressure.
Bananas make for a great, quick, healthy snack, and you don’t really need to make a lot of diet adjustments in order to incorporate them.
Yogurt is rich in calcium and low in fat, making it a great snacking alternative. It also goes well with fruits and granola, which only serves to enhance yogurt’s “healthy” factor.
When buying yogurt, however, be sure to look out for any added sugar. Try to find yogurt with the lowest sugar per serving possible – the lower, the better.
This one may come as a surprise, but it turns out that garlic – when incorporated into an already healthy diet – can help reduce the risk of heart problems as a result of high blood pressure.
That’s because it contains nitric oxide, which promotes the widening of the arteries, which then helps reduce blood pressure.
Herbs and Spices
Much like garlic, many herbs and spices contain nitric oxide and can help lower your blood pressure. The best examples include rosemary, cinnamon, basil, and thyme.
Pomegranates are a healthy fruit that you can enjoy raw or as a juice. Drinking a cup of pomegranate juice just once a day over four weeks can seriously reduce your blood pressure in no time at all. We recommend enjoying a cup of pomegranate juice with your breakfast.
Unsalted seeds are high in potassium and magnesium, as well as a bevy of other minerals that help reduce blood pressure. A cup of pumpkin seeds in between meals can serve as a great snack.
Your eyes don’t deceive you. That’s right, you can still enjoy chocolate while trying to live a healthier lifestyle. Dark chocolate consists of about 60% cocoa while containing significantly less sugar than normal chocolate.
It’s a decadent and delicious snack, and you should probably buy yourself some… right now.
This list should be enough to get you started towards living a healthier, hypertension-free lifestyle. Hopefully, you’ll see some concrete results quickly. Until then, be as healthy as possible, eat three meals per day, and – seriously – buy some dark chocolate.