10 Foods That Naturally Help Lower Blood Pressure
When it comes to elevated blood pressure, healthcare professionals may suggest that their patients start a regular exercise routine, consider taking blood thinners, and focus on a wholesome diet that eliminates high-sodium foods. Whether you're considering one solution or all three, you don't have to stick to the DASH Diet or other regimented programs in order to achieve results. A heart-healthy diet is rich in fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy, and other fiber-rich ingredients—and all of these food groups have one thing in common.
All are high in potassium. Jamie Vespa MS, RD, of Dishing Out Health, believes the key to cooking wholesome meals that also work to lower blood pressure is focusing on this mineral: "Potassium can help flush sodium out of the kidneys and counteract salt's role in high blood pressure," Vespa says. "When your sodium-to-potassium ratio is in check, it can help protect your heart from cardiac-related diseases."
Those experiencing elevated blood pressure levels should aim to consume at least 4,700mg of potassium per day, in line with current federal recommendations. While Vespa admits the DASH (otherwise known as Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) eating plan has a heightened focus on these foods, she says that there should also be increased whole grains and heart-healthy fats as well. "By shifting to a more whole-foods-focused diet and including just one potassium-rich food in all of our meals, we can make strides to hit that daily quota," she says. "Plus, most foods rich in potassium are also great sources of other important micronutrients and fiber, so this shift can naturally help lower ones risk of heart disease."
Focus on incorporating exercise into your daily routine, if possible—aerobic exercises, for example, will help strengthen cardiac muscles and lower your systolic blood pressure, enhancing your efforts in the kitchen as well.
Nearly any fruit you choose wil