Foods That Can Help Improve Your Blood Pressure

Foods That Can Help Improve Your Blood Pressure

Hypertension, or chronic high blood pressure, puts you at risk of stroke and other serious health issues. If you’re among the more than 80 million Americans with hypertension, we have good news: Simple dietary changes can help get your blood pressure under control.

While some people develop hypertension with no identifiable cause, the condition can often be linked to a poor diet and being overweight. Those extra pounds take a toll on your heart, making it work harder to circulate your blood and causing your blood pressure to rise.

At the primary care practice of Beth and Howard Braver, MD, our board-certified team of physicians helps patients in Aventura and Hollywood, Florida, lower their blood pressure and live healthier lives. 

To give you a head start getting your numbers under control, we explain which foods to avoid and which to add to your plate.

Whole foods

If you want to lower your blood pressure, the first food group to turn to is whole foods. Processed foods may be tempting and convenient, but they’re full of ingredients and chemicals that raise your blood pressure, like sodium.

Whole foods are foods that are in or close to their natural state. They haven’t been refined and have only whole foods as an ingredient. Processed foods have been changed from their natural state in a food processing plant and have many ingredients. 

If food comes in a box, bag, or packages, think twice if you’re serious about getting your blood pressure under control. 

Examples of processed foods include canned foods, dried soup mixes, frozen and boxed meals and mixes, lunch meats, sausage, bacon, ham, deli meats, condiments, and packaged snack foods.

Fruits and vegetables

Fruits and vegetables are whole foods, but if you’re hoping to lower your blood pressure, they’re also your best friend. 

Fruits and vegetables help you manage your weight and keep your blood pressure under control because they’re full of the fiber, vitamins, and minerals that keep your heart healthy and strong. 

If you want to reverse hypertension, don’t think about fruits and veggies as a side dish. Make them the centerpiece of your plate. Eat at least four to five servings of both fruits and veggies every day. You don’t have to eat them raw. You can add them to soups, stir-frys, and more.

Whole grains

Reach for whole grains like brown rice instead of refined grains like white rice to help lower your blood pressure. Refined grains are stripped of their nutrients and have less fiber than their whole grain counterparts. 

Look for grains, pastas, breads, rices, and foods made from whole grains. Not only do these foods help your blood pressure, but they’re better for your waistline.

Nuts and seeds

Nuts and seeds are whole foods as well as excellent sources of protein, potassium, and magnesium. They have plant compounds called phytochemicals that research shows offer protection against cardiovascular disease and work to strengthen your heart. 

Consume nuts and seeds in moderation, as they’re higher in calories and fat than most fruits, vegetables, legumes, and beans.

Beans and legumes

Beans and legumes also have phytochemicals, and by adding these to your plate in place of high-fat or high-sodium meats, you give your heart health a boost. And since they’re loaded with fiber, they’re a great food for weight loss. 

Think about adding black beans, lentils, chickpeas, tofu, and other beans and legumes to your salads, soups, and main dishes. 

Healthy low-fat and no-fat foods

You need fat to stay healthy, but consuming too much fat hurts your heart and raises your blood pressure. To lower your blood pressure, reach for low-fat and no-fat foods from plants, like olives and avocados. 

Stay away from transfats and saturated fats, which are in eggs, cream, milk, butter, cheese, and meat. Check food labels carefully and pick foods that are the lowest in saturated fats. 

To learn more about the link between your diet and blood pressure or to schedule a blood pressure screening, contact us today.

You Might Also Enjoy...

A Closer Look at Secondary Hypertension

Over 80 million Americans have chronic high blood pressure. But did you know an underlying health condition can trigger this disease? Called secondary hypertension, this condition needs medical attention. Here’s what you need to know.

Why You Shouldn't Leave Your Diabetes Untreated

If you’re one of the millions of Americans with diabetes, you’re at risk for developing complications that threaten your life. Take a moment to learn how managing your diabetes can help you avoid these complications and even reverse your disease.

How To Tighten Saggy Skin Without Surgery

Are you dreaming of tighter, firmer skin but hoping to avoid cosmetic surgery? You’re in luck! Nonsurgical skin tightening offers amazing results — no scalpel or downtime required. Here’s what you need to know.

How To Manage Herpes Flare-Ups

Genital herpes is a common sexually transmitted disease affecting roughly 1 in 6 Amercans. The infection can trigger flare-ups, when symptoms are active. Here’s a look at how to cope during an outbreak.

What Happens During Preconception Counseling?

If you’re thinking about starting or expanding your family, preconception counseling can give you the best start for a healthy pregnancy and baby. Here’s what to expect and how preconception counseling benefits you and your baby.

Know Your Risk Factors for Osteoporosis

If you’re concerned about developing osteoporosis, understand your risk factors so you can take steps now to prevent this debilitating disease. Keep reading to learn what you need to know about osteoporosis and whether you’re at risk.