5 Ways to Manage your Blood Pressure Naturally
By Jill Weisenberger, MS, RDN, CDE, CHWC, FAND
Did you know that the vast majority of adults have blood pressure readings that need attention?
There’s a good chance that your blood pressure is too high. Here are five diet hacks that will help improve your health and maintain a healthy blood pressure.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about one in three adults in the US has high blood pressure or hypertension. An equal number have prehypertension – blood pressure that’s higher than normal, but not as high as the hypertension range. Only about half of those with high blood pressure have their numbers under control. And about 20% don’t even know they have it.
Blood Pressure Matters
It’s normal for blood pressure to vary throughout the day. It should rise during physical exertion and drop during rest. But if it stays high, it can damage your heart, blood vessels, brain, kidneys, and eyes. High blood pressure contributes to about 1,100 deaths each day. For that reason, and because high blood pressure is often without symptoms, it’s been dubbed the “silent killer.”
5 Diet Hacks to Manage Blood Pressure
You can get started on a path towards a healthier blood pressure by eating foods with less sodium and those with more potassium, calcium, magnesium, and fiber. Losing weight, if overweight, and avoiding or cutting back on alcohol intake are also helpful. And don’t forget the exercise!
Rinse canned beans and vegetables. You’ll wash away about 40% of the sodium in canned beans when you drain and rinse them
Eat fruits and/or vegetables with every meal and snack. These are naturally low in sodium and high in potassium and other nutrients for healthy blood pressure.
Use half the seasoning pack. When cooking a packaged dish with a seasoning pack, trim half the sodium by using only half of the seasonings. Feel free to sprinkle additional sodium-free herbs and spices from your spice rack or add a fresh squeeze of lemon to further boost flavor if you'd like.
Sprinkle nuts and seeds. Pumpkin seeds, Brazil nuts, almonds, etc., give us a healthy dose of magnesium, an important mineral for blood pressure management. Toss some on salads, over chopped fruit, or on steamed vegetables.
Look for ways to incorporate dairy into your meals and snacks, especially whole and organic dairy products. It’s likely that the combination of dairy nutrients (calcium, magnesium, and potassium) with dairy protein is the reason for the healthy blood pressure connection.
This information is for educational purposes only. The statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Consult your physician if you have any question regarding a medical condition