High blood pressure is something that affects roughly 35% of people worldwide. Having undiagnosed and untreated high blood pressure can lead to heart disease as well as stroke. Many people don’t even know they have high blood pressure as it does not always present with symptoms. This is why it is so important to go to your doctor each year for a routine physical and to check your own blood pressure regularly by matching it to a blood pressure chart. In addition to checking your blood pressure, there are some foods you can add to your diet to help keep your blood pressure readings low. The best thing about these foods is that not only are they ideal for supporting healthy blood pressure levels, but they are also excellent for overall health. Here are five nutrient-dense foods to help lower blood pressure.
#1 Garlic: Garlic is one of the most talked about foods when it comes to high blood pressure. Garlic is rich in allicin, which is the enzyme in garlic that gives it that strong smell. Studies have found that allicin helps reduce both systolic and diastolic blood pressure levels. While there are tons of garlic supplements available, raw garlic is best as the enzyme alliinase is released when you chop or chew fresh garlic. Once the alliinase is released, a reaction occurs to form allicin, the enzyme that works to help lower blood pressure. Try adding freshly chopped garlic to a salad or a gluten-free pasta dish to help support optimal blood pressure.
#2 Foods Rich in Magnesium: If you have high blood pressure, you may be familiar with the importance of getting enough magnesium in your diet. In fact, a diet low in magnesium, calcium, and potassium can cause high blood pressure. To make sure you are getting enough magnesium in your diet, be sure to eat enough beans, nuts, and dark leafy greens. Avocados are also an excellent source of magnesium.
#3 Flaxseeds: Flaxseeds are an excellent addition to a healthy diet and can help support healthy blood pressure levels. Flaxseeds are rich in fiber, alpha-linolenic acid, as well as lignans which all may play a role in blood pressure support. Try adding flaxseeds to your morning bowl of oatmeal or added to a smoothie.
#4 Beets: Beets are the ideal vegetable to help support heart health. A study found that beet juice was able to lower systolic blood pressure in as little as six hours after drinking the juice. Beets also contain nitrates as well as pigments that are known to help lower blood pressure. In addition to their heart health benefits, beets are also rich in fiber, folate, and vitamin C making them an excellent addition to your diet. Try roasting beets for a delicious side dish, add them to your salad, or make fresh beet juice with a splash of freshly squeezed lemon juice.
#5 Wild-Caught Salmon: Wild-caught salmon is rich in omega-3 fatty acids making it a great food to add to your diet to help support blood pressure levels. Eating fatty fish like salmon three times per week can be excellent for both heart health, but overall health as well. The omega-3 fatty acids present in salmon can also help to reduce triglyceride levels which is another essential part of supporting heart health.
Remember that having high blood pressure puts you at a higher risk of having a heart attack, stroke, or developing heart disease. It is nothing to take lightly, and eating a healthy diet with foods that help support lower blood pressure is an excellent place to start. Try incorporating these foods into your diet regularly and see what it can do for your blood pressure levels. You may be surprised at what simple dietary changes can do for your heart and overall well-being.