High blood pressure (hypertension) is one of the most common preventable risk factors in heart disease. High blood pressure is defined as systolic blood pressure (SBP) values of 130 mm Hg or more. Diastolic blood pressure (DBP) of more than 80 mm HG, or both.
Whilst medicines are used to help regulate high blood pressure, change of diet and lifestyle can also help to lower blood pressure levels. It has been recommended that people with high blood pressure follow a healthy, nutritious diet.
Below are 10 examples of food that have been proven to help lower blood pressure. I have added a couple of tasty, healthy receipes for you to try.
A green, leafy vegetable, that is packed with blood-pressure-regulating nutrients, including Vitamin K, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Magnesium, Manganese, Potassium, Iron, and riboflavin. It is in season from June to August, and from October to April. It is popular in French and Italian Cooking
Pumpkin seeds are rich in many antioxidants and nutrieints including magnesium, potassium an arginine. Their high magnesium content helps to lower and regulate blood pressure. They are also a high source of fibre. However, they are high in calories, so limit the size of the portions.
Fatty fish such as salmon, sardines, trout, etc. are an excellent source of omega-3 fats. Omega-3 fats are a group of unsaturated fats which are important for health. Eating them can help to reduce blood pressure and prevent heart attacks
Flaxseeds originated in the Middle East. They are now a very popular health food and are often mixed with water and used in vegan cooking where eggs are required for binding. Flax seeds have a high content of Omega-3 fats and fibre. They have been linked to health benefits such as reduced risk of heart disease and Type 2 diabetes and improved digestion
As well as being a good source of Vitamin C & A, they also contain potatassium, calcium and magnesium. Potassium helpt to regulate heart rhythem and also helps rid the body of excess fluid and sodium, helping to lower blood pressure. Sweet potatoes are also a good source of fibre
Bananas contain antioxidants, are a good source of fibre and a rich source of potassium. One banana provides approx. 400mg of potassium. A medium size banana contains approx. 105 calories and they are a healthy and convenient snack.
Leafy Green Vegetables
These are rich in nitrates, which help to manage blood pressure. The health benefits also include: improved digestive health, balancing cholesterol levels, nourishing skin and enhanceing the complexion and maintaining cardiovascular health. Examples of leafy greens are: cabbage, fennel, kale, lettuch, spinach
As well as being gluten free, oats are a great source of vitamins, minerals, fiber and antioxidants and have many health benefits including reduced risk of heart disease, lower blood pressure and weight loss. Oats contain a soluble fibre called beta-glucan, whose health benefits include reduced LDL and total cholesterol levels, reduced blood sugar and insulin response. Substiture rolled oats instead of breadcrumbs to give texture to food or start off the day with a bowl of oatmeal.
Berries are rich in anthocyanins, which have been linked with lower blood pressure. It is believed that they act as antioxidants as well as helping to relax and widen blood vessels, thereby reducing blood pressure. Top sources of berries to try are blueberries, raspberries and blackcurrents which contain over 100mg of antocyanins per 100g. Try adding some berries to a bowl of oats for breakfast or having them as a healthy snack.
Garlic is very nutritious and has few calories. It is a natural antibiotic and antifungal food. It contains allician and research has found that it can have a positive impact on blood pressure. Many meals can be enhanced with the flavour of garlic, including pasta sauces, stir-frys and tray bakes.
Worried about your diet?
If you are unsure about your diet or would like some advice, book a nutritional consultation and get some individual advice on your diet, plus a four week healthy eating plan that has been individually written for you. The consultation and healthy eating plan costs £65.00. All consultations are currently undertaken via a private zoom call due to social distancing restrictions.
To book a consultation, please download and fill in the food questionnaire which contains a 3-day food diary and make a payment using the PayPal button below. On receipt of payment I will contact you to arrange a convenient time for your private consultation.
Recipes for you to try
Below are two healthy easy to cook recipes, including a vegan version of the Swiss chard gratin. Click on the picture to see the recipe, which you can print. I hope you enjoy them. Let me know if you make them and any comments or suggestions you have at firstname.lastname@example.org