If you’d rather not take medication to control your blood pressure, there’s good news. You may be able to keep it under control by changing your diet. Before starting any new diet, it’s always important to discuss your medical conditions with your physician and take any medication you’re prescribed. However, the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet was specifically designed to help manage high blood pressure. Sticking to the DASH diet, getting regular exercise, and following your doctor’s instructions can lower your blood pressure and help you live a healthy life.
So, what’s involved in the DASH diet? You probably think about a low-sodium diet with limited processed foods when you think about lowering your blood pressure. However, eating foods that contain plenty of calcium, magnesium, potassium, protein, and fiber will help lower your blood pressure naturally. These include:
- Yogurt: Low-fat dairy products are a great source of calcium.
- Bananas: One banana has about 420 milligrams of potassium, about nine percent of the recommended daily intake.
- Berries: Berries are packed with nitric oxide, which increases blood flow to lower blood pressure.
- Leafy Greens: Greens like kale, spinach, collards, arugula, Swiss chard, and Romaine lettuce are great sources of potassium.
- Beets: Like berries, beets are high in nitric oxide.
- Garlic: The blood pressure reducing compound allicin is released when garlic is crushed or chopped.
- Sweet Potatoes: Sweet potatoes are high in fiber, potassium, and magnesium.
- Oatmeal: High-fiber whole grains like oatmeal reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.
- Salmon: Fatty fish like salmon contain omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D.
- Avocado: One avocado has about 25 percent of the RDA of potassium, along with calcium, magnesium, and potassium.
- Quinoa: This supergrain has about 15 percent of your daily magnesium, as well as plant-based protein and fiber.
- Broccoli: Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli are high in calcium, potassium, magnesium, and vitamin C.
- Peaches and Nectarines: These fruit cousins share a high potassium content.
- Kiwi: Eating three a day significantly lowers blood pressure.
- Red Bell Peppers: These peppers are high in potassium, vitamins A and C, and fiber.
- Unsalted Pumpkin Seeds: Pumpkin seeds and pumpkin seed oil each provide magnesium and zinc. Be careful to find the unsalted kind or roast your own.
- Dark Chocolate: The flavonols in dark chocolate lower the risk of cardiovascular disease and promote healthy blood vessel function.
- Pistachios: Pistachios lower blood pressure by reducing heart rate and blood vessel tightening.
- Pomegranate: Pomegranates and pomegranate juice both contain a high level of antioxidants.
- Olive Oil: When cooking or making salad dressing, use polyphenol-rich olive oil to help lower your blood pressure.
At the Wellbridge Family of Athletic Clubs, we’re committed to the health and wellbeing of our members. At our clubs, you’ll be greeted by our friendly team before you’re challenged and motivated by top-notch instructors in our fitness classes. You’ll make new friends because you belong here. So join today or contact us to learn more.