7 Foods to Help Control Blood Pressure


7 Foods to Help Control Blood Pressure

How’s your blood pressure? It’s a major risk factor for heart disease, and there aren’t any symptoms.

High blood pressure slowly damages the heart and artery walls. They become stiffer, limiting blood flow and forcing your heart to work harder. And if you’re over 50, you need to pay closer attention to blood pressure than younger people. Why? An estimated 30 to 50 percent of adults over age 50 have high blood pressure, according to the National Institutes of Health.

Normal or healthy blood pressure is less than 120/80. If it’s above that, you may have elevated or high blood pressure. And if you do, making some changes or additions to your diet can help.

Check out these 7 foods that help control blood pressure:

1. Salmon and fish

Fish contains omega-3 fatty acids. Research shows that omega-3 fatty acids help reduce blood pressure and prevent inflammation and constriction of blood vessels that force your heart to work harder. Eat fish 2-3 times a week. Try:

  • Salmon & Vegetable Linguini
  • Salmon Caponata with Orzo & Spinach - Individual Meal
  • Baked Tilapia, Brown Rice & Minted Carrots
  • Tilapia & Rice Pilaf with Mushroom & Artichoke Hearts
  • Tilapia with Miso Ginger, Black Beans, Rice with Peas & Carrot

2. Beans & lentils

Beans, beans, the magical fruit. The more you eat, the more you…You’ve probably heard the rhyme. And if you eat beans, you’ll get the last laugh. Why? Beans are a good source of fiber, potassium, and magnesium, which all help control blood pressure. Try:

  • Chicken Paprika with Brown Rice & Green Beans - Individual Meal
  • Chicken Patty with Rosemary Gravy with Lima Beans and Spring VegetablesGrilled Pesto Chicken Breast Patty with Lima Beans & Three Seasons Blend

3. Carrots

Carrots contain chemical compounds that help control blood pressure. So what’s the best way to eat them? Baked or steamed is great. But research suggests that the nutrient density of carrots is highest when they’re raw. Either way, carrots can help control blood pressure.

  • Beef Barley Stew, Brown Rice & Minted Carrots
  • Breaded Pollock, Peas with Mushrooms, Onions, Red Peppers, Carrots
  • Chicken Patty over Rice & Gravy with Bean Blend & Carrots
  • Grilled Chicken with Florentine Rice, Asparagus & Carrots
  • Pork Patty & Zesty Orange Rice with Green Peas & Carrots

4. Tomatoes

Eat tomatoes in a fresh salad or on a sandwich. Top pasta with tomato sauce. Add tomatoes to soup or stew. Tomatoes contain potassium and lycopene, which may help prevent high blood pressure and heart disease. Try:

  • Chicken Meatballs with Spaghetti & Zucchini
  • Meatloaf & Tomato Sauce, Brown Rice with Peas & Carrots

5. Broccoli

Broccoli is packed with antioxidants that help control blood pressure. This leafy-green vegetable, also known as a cruciferous vegetable works well with a lot of different foods or as a side: Try:

  • Beef Bourguignon, Brown Rice & Broccoli
  • Cheese Omelet, Broccoli & Cinnamon Apples
  • Chili with Beans with Carrots & Broccoli Florets
  • Plain Omelet, Sweet Potatoes & Broccoli

6. Herbs and spices

One of the primary dietary factors that contribute to high blood pressure is sodium. And most seniors and adults consume too much sodium (3,400 mg per day average).

The goal is less than 2,300 mg of sodium per day, according to the American Heart Association. If you already have high blood pressure, limit sodium to 1,500 mg per day.

Why so much sodium? Processed foods like french fries, pizza, burgers, sauces, processed meals, and fast food are all high in sodium. Extra sodium comes from the salt shaker.

Instead of seasoning food with salt, try using herbs and spices, including rosemary. Try:

  • Chicken Patty with Rosemary Gravy with Lima Beans and Spring Vegetables

7. Spinach

Here’s one more food to add to your diet to help control blood pressure...spinach. It’s a good source of antioxidants, potassium, calcium, and magnesium. Nutrients found in spinach may also help prevent hardening of the artery walls. Try:

  • Chicken & Bean Red Burrito with Cheese Sauce, Spinach and Corn with Peppers
  • Italian Style Chicken Breast (Caponata) with Orzo & Spinach
  • Spinach Mushroom Lasagna with Garlic Green Beans
  • Three Cheese Ravioli & Spinach Alfredo

Hungry for more healthy Senior-Friendly meals? Check out the complete menu HERE.