Five Whole Foods for Lower Blood Pressure
We’ve all heard it before: An apple a day keeps the doctor away. But it turns out, the old saying might be more true than you think. Fruit is one of the best choices for reducing blood pressure. Find out what foods are the most effective at reducing blood pressure according to researchers.
According to one study conducted as recently as March 2015, the high levels of Nitric Oxide could be responsible for the effect that blueberries have on blood pressure. According to the study, subject who ate a 22 grams of dried blueberry powder daily for 8 weeks saw an average 5.1% reduction in their blood pressure “top number” and a 6.3% reduction in the bottom number. The other subjects of the test ate a placebo powder. So far, the research indicates that blueberries have one of the most unique natural effects on blood pressure among other fruits and vegetables.
Fruits high in potassium are among the best choices for those with high blood pressure. Potassium is actually one of the key minerals that our body uses to maintain organ function. Potassium helps your kidney filter the extra fluid from your blood, while sodium causes your body to retain extra fluid that increases pressure on cell walls. Depending on what your blood work reflects, one way to improve your blood pressure could be to increase your potassium intake through natural sources, while reducing the amount of sodium in your diet. Processed foods are full of sodium, even foods that seem benign or don’t taste that salty.
3. Red Beets
Just like blueberries, red beets contain the compound Nitric Oxide. Nitric Oxide relaxes the blood vessels, which helps blood flow more easily to heart, muscles and organs more easily. Nitric Oxide is also especially valuable because you’ll have a more difficult time exercising as it’s levels reduce in your body. Of course, exercise is an integral component of a heart healthy lifestyle. As we age, exercise helps prevent stiffening in the arteries. Red Beets are a natural source of this chemical. Beetroot soaks up the minerals found in soil and passes them onto you
4. Sunflower Seeds
Sunflower seeds contain both fiber and Magnesium, which both help reduce blood pressure. While the link between Magnesium and blood pressure is still debated, the most recent studies still indicate that Magnesium can help lower blood pressure. Sunflower seeds are a great alternative to processed salty snacks like chips. If you’re looking to cut back on fat and carbs, sunflower seeds are a good natural alternative to improve your blood pressure through diet.
Just like bananas, spinach is a potassium rich whole food that’s excellent for reducing blood pressure. Spinach also contains magnesium, the beneficial chemical also found in sunflower seeds. Not only is spinach high in protein (which keeps you full), it’s also full of vitamins and minerals while maintaining a very low calorie count. According to the USDA, just one 100 gram serving contains close to 40% of your daily recommended dose of vitamin C. Spinach also comes in several varieties, making it a versatile addition to lots of meals.
If you’re looking to benefit your blood pressure, a good place to start is improving your diet. In addition to exercise and smoking cessation, making simple efforts towards a healthier diet can make a real impact at your next doctor’s visit. To speak with a specialist about your cardiovascular health, visit www.cvgcares.com today!