1. Bananas 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 hearthealthy 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. Th e AHA says one medium specimen has about 420 milligrams of potassium, which is a signifi cant amount for a relatively small amount of food. Th e daily recommended potassium intake for adults is 4,700 milligrams, so just one fruit will have you well on your way.
2. Whole grains 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 says going for whole grains ensures you get all the good stuff — bran, germ, and endosperm.
Refi ned 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. 3. Low-fat yogurt Unless you also happen to be lactose intolerant, you’re good to go when it comes to dairy products. Some evidence indicates dairy is benefi cial for lowering blood pressure, but you want to make sure you’re choosing the lowfat variety, as we know people with high blood pressure should avoid trans and saturated fats.
Th e Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) Diet, which has been praised for lowering blood pressure, encourages people to incorporate low-fat dairy products into their diets. Th is includes low-fat yogurt and fat-free milk.
4. Fish Everyone needs their protein, but red meat defi nitely isn’t the way to go if you’re trying to control high blood pressure. Because fi sh contains less saturated fat, it’s a good option. Plus, according to the AHA, the omega-3 fatty acids found in fi sh may reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. Th e best options for a heart-healthy diet include halibut, tuna, and salmon. Banana
5. Nuts 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 off ender among those with high blood pressure. So, whether you prefer pistachios to walnuts, snacking on these staples will help keep your heart healthy.
6. Legumes Legumes aren’t half bad, either. One study examined the role these fi ber-rich foods play in controlling blood pressure among patients with diabetes. In a press release, lead study author Dr. David Jenkins said legumes have a “blood pressure-lowering eff ect in diabetic patients.”
Not to mention, legumes are a great source of protein.
7. Olive oil In addition to being good for those with arthritis, due to its antiinfl ammatory properties, olive oil is loaded with heart-healthy fats. According to Mayo Clinic, the healthy fats found in olive oil are monounsaturated fatty acids. Th ese healthy fats can help lower total cholesterol, along with bad cholesterol. Th e Arthritis Foundation recommends two to three tablespoons daily, and points out that extra-virgin olive oil is a better option, as it isn’t as heavily processed.
8. Spices You know salt can harm cholesterol and blood pressure, so curbing your desire to sprinkle it on everything is a must. Th e AHA recommends a daily limit of 1,500 milligrams for most adults, so it’s time to start swapping salt for healthier alternatives. One way the organization recommends shaking your salt habit is by taking advantage of the wide variety of spices and seasonings available. For example, use basil on fi sh, lamb, and lean ground meats. Use nutmeg on fruits, potatoes, and chicken. Th ere’s a way to make your favorite foods tastier without salt, you just have to do some experimenting.
9. Lean chicken Ditching burgers and steak for good is a tall order for meat lovers. But if you can fi nd ways to swap it for chicken more often than not, you’ll be doing yourself a favor. According to the AHA, chicken has less cholesterol and saturated fat than red meats. Seeing as how cholesterol and saturated fat can raise blood cholesterol and make heart disease worse, this diff erence really does matter. Stick to lean, skinless cuts of chicken.
10. Leafy greens Leafy greens, like spinach and kale, may help reduce blood pressure, thanks to magnesium. Research has found taking 300 milligrams of the mineral a day for one month can elevate blood magnesium levels and reduce blood pressure. Furthermore, a press release on the research reads, “High magnesium levels in the blood were linked to improvements in blood fl ow, another factor associated with lowered blood pressure.” Additional foods that are high in magnesium include whole grains, beans, and nuts.