Blood pressure on the rise? Eat these foods…
Most people know that certain foods can raise their blood pressure. For example, trans fats and excess sodium are two main culprits that can lead to hypertension. Trans fats damage the linings of your arteries, causing them to harden (the Mayo Clinic says some doctors call trans fats the “worst fats of all”) and sodium holds on to water in your bloodstream, putting pressure on your arteries and making your heart work harder.
But just as some foods increase your blood pressure, others can help keep it low. According to National Academy of the Sciences research, getting recommended amounts of potassium, magnesium and calcium will help maintain normal blood pressure levels by offsetting the effects of sodium in your system and dilating blood vessels for smoother flow. There is a lot of evidence that incorporating foods rich in these nutrients into your diet, along with protein and fiber, helps maintain healthy blood pressure.
The list below shows excellent sources for potassium, magnesium and calcium, so be sure to include these foods in your meal planning. We’ve also included some recipes to make maintaining a healthy blood pressure as delicious as possible.
- Leafy greens – Spinach with White Beans or Spinach and Carrot Brownies
- Fish – Chili-glazed Salmon with Brown Rice
- Low-fat dairy – Berry yogurt Parfait or Parmesan Dressing for a green salad
- Nuts and Seeds – Toasted Pumpkin Seeds or Pepito Pesto Pasta
- Dried fruit – Apricots and figs are great snacks on the go or Chicken with Figs and Apricots.
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Photo credit: Hapi Food Group Artisan Cereal