3 Heart-Healthy Foods for Lower Blood Pressure
What’s your blood pressure? If it’s less than 120/80, you’re doing great. If it’s higher than that, you could have elevated or high blood pressure. And if you don’t know, well, you’re in the same boat as a lot of other people.
About 1 in 3 adults in the United States have high blood pressure, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It’s a risk factor for the leading cause of death in America...heart disease.
If you have high blood pressure, you may not even know it. It’s one reason a health professional checks your blood pressure every time you visit the doctor, and blood pressure monitors are readily available at grocery stores, gyms, and pharmacies.
Your food choices have a direct impact on blood pressure. One of the reasons many adults have high blood pressure is directly related to diet. Foods like french fries, hamburgers, processed meats, chips, and other processed foods are high in sodium.
The average adult consumes about 3,500 mg of sodium per day, but less than 1,500 mg of sodium per day is ideal, according to the American Heart Association.
Want to keep your blood pressure in check? These three foods can help:
Leafy greens are high in potassium. When you eat leafy greens, higher potassium levels cause your kidneys to get rid of excess sodium. When your kidneys respond this way, it can help lower blood pressure levels.
Leafy greens can include spinach, kale, turnip greens, arugula, Swiss chard, and others. Try:
- Breaded Chicken Stuffed with Broccoli & Cheese with Gravy, Mashed Potatoes & Spinach
- Vegetable Caponata with Orzo & Spinach
- Eggplant Parmigiana and Polenta with Spinach & Roasted Peppers
Eat more fish. Two times a week is recommended. Fish is a good protein source. It’s also high in omega-3 fatty acids that help protect your heart. Try:
Garlic and herbs
In a recent study, researchers found that eating more foods prepared with garlic may help control blood pressure. That’s because nutrients found in garlic help increase nitric oxide levels that help keep your arteries open. Adding more herbs (like basil, thyme, and rosemary) to food for flavoring, instead of salt, is also a good way to limit sodium and control blood pressure. Try:
- Spinach Mushroom Lasagna with Garlic Green Beans
- Chicken Patty with Rosemary Gravy with Lima Beans and Spring Vegetables
Looking for more Low Sodium meal ideas? Check out our Low Sodium menu.