Did you know having high blood pressure increases your risk of heart disease, stroke and kidney disease? With heart disease killing 79 Australians every day, you’d be right in thinking reducing your high blood pressure is a brilliant idea.
High blood pressure, or hypertension, affects one in ten Australians but medications, dietary alterations, and other lifestyle changes can lower high blood pressure while reducing the risk of associated conditions.
In this post, we’re talking foods that can help you reduce high blood pressure.
Berries like strawberries and blueberries contain antioxidant flavonoids called anthocyanins. Research into hypertension has found that these compounds have a reduced risk of high blood pressure.
Choose juicy, plump berries and wash them under cold water before eating. Add to porridge for a warming breakfast or pop a few in a bowl as a sweet treat any time of day.
These deep purple veggies are rich in nitric oxide, which helps to dilate blood vessels and lower your blood pressure. Research has shown that this effect is swift, with a reduction in blood pressure within only 24 hours!
Beetroot is an excellent addition to a Sunday roast, a colourful addition to risotto (yes, your risotto will turn purple!) or sliced and added to a salad sandwich.
3. Nuts and seeds
Nuts and seeds contain a nutritious cocktail of protein, fat, vitamins and minerals. When it comes to heart health, consumption of nuts and seeds has been linked to lower levels of bad cholesterol.
Snack on unsalted, natural nuts to get the most benefits. Mix up your own trail mix, or you could even make your own granola using your favourites. We love using nuts and seeds in our breakfasts (like our Nutty Coconut Brekkie Bowl) and in our snack packs.
Let’s talk potassium. Potassium plays an essential role in managing high blood pressure as it reduces the effects of sodium and relieves tension in blood vessel walls. Rich in potassium, one medium-sized banana contains 12% of your daily requirement.
Bananas are versatile – add to porridge, protein pancakes or even sliced on toast. Bananas are delicious baked in yummy banana bread. They also make a handy portable snack.
Yoghurt is a filling and yummy breakfast or snack that is high in calcium and protein. Plus, according to the American Heart Association, yoghurt-eaters reduce their risk of developing high blood pressure.
We love to serve our homemade muesli with a scoop of creamy yoghurt. We’ve also put a healthy twist on pannacotta by adding yoghurt!
Oats are an everyday superfood rich in a particular type of fibre called beta-glucan. Research has shown that beta-glucan can reduce bad cholesterol and lower blood pressure.
We use oats in muesli and porridge so you can start the day with a filling and good for you meal. Oats are also a healthy addition to baked goods like loaves, muffins and pancakes.
7. Oily fish
Salmon, sardines, mackerel and other oily fish are excellent sources of protein and are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3s have been shown to lower triglycerides, diminish inflammation and lower your blood pressure.
We use fish in our lunch and dinner recipes to ensure you’re getting all the benefits of omega-3s. A simple but delicious dinner is pan fried salmon served with greens and lashings of lemon juice.
8. Leafy green vegetables
Like beetroot, leafy green veg contains nitrates which help to dilate blood vessels and lower your blood pressure. Leafy greens include kale, lettuce, spinach, cabbage and chard.
We love to use seasonal greens in lots of meals. For example as a tasty side, or blitzed into a yummy pesto or cooked into a curry or stew.
9. Dark chocolate
A small square of quality 60-70% dark chocolate daily can help lower blood pressure for somebody with hypertension. Do you need any more convincing?
We like to use quality chocolate in our snacks, like our Choc Chunk Cookie or Cherry Ripe slice. Add yours to your meal plan now.