The food you consume directly impacts your health, including your blood pressure. Some foods can help decrease it, while others can have the reverse effect. In fact, your diet is so vital to your blood pressure that what you eat can prevent and, as well as remedy high blood pressure, also known as hypertension—sometimes, changing how and what you eat can help you avoid or eliminate medications.
At Healthstone Primary Care Partners in Weston, Pembroke Pines, and Davie, Florida, our team takes a holistic, patient-first approach to care. Whenever possible, we advocate preventive
lifestyle choices over medication or other invasive treatments.
So when it comes to preventing and managing high blood pressure, we aim to help patients create a healthy eating routine. Here we outline five foods that prevent hypertension. Each listing provides nutrients that are vital for lowering your blood pressure:
Whether you go for chickpeas or pinto beans, these power-packed legumes will help lower high blood pressure. Beans are an exceptional source of potassium, magnesium, and soluble fiber.
Fresh is always best. Canned beans have all the same nutrients, but are usually high in salt. If you go for canned beans, choose one without sodium or reduced sodium. Rinsing the beans before using will also help eliminate excess salt.
Beets may not be among your stables, but they should be. Beets and beet juice are great sources of nitrates. Nitrates are substances that convert to nitric oxide inside your body.
Your body naturally produces nitric oxide, which is crucial for blood vessel health. Nitric oxide relaxes and widens your arteries, allowing more blood to flow through and significantly lowering blood pressure.
While beets are among the best sources of nitrates, spinach, celery, and radishes can also increase your nitric oxide intake.
3. Citrus fruits
Citrus fruits, including oranges, grapefruits, and lemons, are a leading source of vitamin C. Vitamin C is a dynamic antioxidant that supports healthy arteries and lowers blood pressure by reducing inflammation. Vitamin C also protects the artery lining by boosting nitric oxide levels.
In addition to citrus fruits, sweet red peppers, broccoli, and brussels sprouts are all potent sources of vitamin C.
4. Dark leafy greens
Leafy greens, including spinach, Swiss chard, kale, beet greens, and collards, are recommended for guarding against a wide range of health conditions, from stroke to some cancers. You can add hypertension to the list too.
Leafy greens contain magnesium and potassium: both are essential in preventing or lowering high blood pressure.
Potassium naturally excretes sodium through the urine. Sodium dramatically raises your blood pressure. Along with potassium, dark leafy greens help lower blood pressure by relaxing the walls of your blood vessels. Most of us consume an excess of sodium and not enough potassium, a double whammy for healthy blood pressure.
The more potassium you eat, the more your sodium levels drop. Along with leafy greens, avocados, bananas, and raisins are packed with potassium.
Oats are full of soluble fiber and magnesium, which both reduce blood pressure. As mentioned above, magnesium helps relax blood vessels; soluble fiber protects your blood vessels by reducing levels of bad (LDL) cholesterol.
As cholesterol builds up in your arteries, the fatty plaque enlarges and hardens. Both changes damage the artery’s health and contribute to elevated blood pressure.
Soluble fiber also helps maintain your blood sugar in the normal range. High blood sugar leads to hypertension as the excess sugar hampers the production of nitric oxide.
Don’t let your hypertension hamper your health and vitality. By making a few dietary changes, you can significantly reduce your blood pressure — and we’re here to help. Call our office or request an appointment online today.