Eat Right – Foods that Lower Blood Pressure
If you are among the millions of global residents with high blood pressure, it might surprise you to know that foods can help lower your blood pressure. Yes, that’s right, eating the right foods can help you manage your blood pressure. In a recent study published by Harvard Medical School’s Harvard Health Publishing, results demonstrated that increasing your intake of foods with high levels of potassium reduced blood pressure levels.
Traditionally, studies have shown sodium to increase blood pressure levels resulting in doctors encouraging the avoidance of salt in order to manage high blood pressure. And thus, the recommendation for those diagnosed with high blood pressure has been a low sodium diet. Of course, this new evidence suggests the intake of more potassium-rich foods can be as effective as the low-sodium diet.
The Science Behind the Latest Findings
The researchers from the new study believe the reason these potassium-rich foods work to lower blood pressure results from a high intake of potassium which, in turn, increase kidney function in the excretion of excess water and salt. Salt and its effect on high blood pressure is what makes low-sodium diets effective for patients with high blood pressure. Now, the science suggests that by increasing your consumption of potassium laden food acts as a diuretic in those with high blood pressure, decreasing your blood pressure levels by lowering the levels of salt in the body.
Presenting Potassium-rich Foods to Lower Your Blood Pressure
If you or someone you love suffers from high blood pressure, you already know that a balanced diet focused on fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and low-fat dairy products which eliminates excess salt, refined sugar, and saturated fat can help keep your blood pressure at a safe level. Now with the addition of these potassium-rich foods, you can help manage and lower your blood pressure.
- Bananas – Bananas may be the most well-known among the potassium-filled foods available meaning they can begin right away to help reduce your blood pressure. In addition, bananas are a great source of energy and filled with other beneficial nutrients. Bananas also improve your ability to get a good night’s sleep and fight against cramps. And on top of that bananas come in their own packaging and are delicious to eat!
- Tuna – Tuna is an incredible source of lean protein. Tuna is packed with potassium and omega 3 fatty acids, both of which are known to have positive effects on high blood pressure.
- Dark Leafy Greens – These green powerhouses are not only laden with potassium, but also with calcium and magnesium. So, when your mom told you to eat your greens, she was right!
- Milk – Milk is great for helping to lower blood pressure. Full of HDL cholesterol (the good cholesterol), milk can not only help lower your blood pressure but also improve your cholesterol levels. Milk is also loaded with magnesium, a mineral that also works to lower your blood pressure.
- Fat Free Plain Yogurt – Just a single cup of this powerhouse delivers 18 percent of the potassium, 12 percent of the magnesium, and 49 percent of the calcium your body needs on a daily basis.
Rounding out the blood pressure lowering foods are more of your favorites (or soon to be favorites) including: potatoes, halibut, sundried tomatoes, apricots and their juice, kidney beans, white beans, prunes (dried plums) and their juice, cantaloupe, honey dew melon, raisins, dates, lima beans, mushrooms, grapefruits and their juice, peas, and oranges and their juice.
Following a healthy diet filled with potassium-rich foods, along with regular blood pressure checks, and visits to your doctor can help you manage your high blood pressure.