Foods that Lower Your Blood Pressure

Foods that lower your blood pressure should be on your shopping list if you've been diagnosed with hypertension. But just because a nutrient has been shown to have a positive effect, that doesn't mean you can eat as much of it as you want, or, conversely, that cutting another "bad" nutrient completely out won't have other adverse effects.

According to the American Heart Association, potassium may be able to help lower your blood pressure. However, the AHA also cautions that too much potassium can disrupt the fluid balance in the body for some people. Therefore, the AHA recommends that you either get the potassium, and other nutrients that you need, through eating a variety of foods or consult with your physician before you decide to take supplements. Foods that are rich in potassium include:

  • Bananas
  • Halibut
  • Lima beans
  • Orange juice
  • Potatoes
  • Tuna

Although studies do not yet indicate that calcium can prevent high blood pressure, there is some evidence those who do not get enough calcium in their diets have a higher risk of developing high blood pressure. Foods that have high calcium content include:

  • Collards
  • Low- or non-fat milk
  • Low- or non-fat yogurt
  • Soybeans
  • Spinach
  • Tofu

Although magnesium supplements have not yet been shown to prevent hypertension, it is advisable to consume adequate amounts of magnesium as part of an overall healthy approach to eating. Foods on your "must eat" list that contain magnesium include:

  • Artichokes
  • Buckwheat flour
  • Whole wheat flour
  • Almonds
  • Spinach
  • Cornmeal
  • Black beans

A healthy diet that can help you combat high blood pressure is low in sodium, or salt. Salt can contribute to high blood pressure for some people. Your diet should include a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, should be rich in high fiber foods and should have a dose of whole grains. Concentrate on lean meats and eat fish at least two times a week. Avoid fast foods and check any prepackaged foods that you buy for the foods' sodium content. 

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