Hypertension, also known as high blood pressure, is a condition that can eventually lead to a number of serious conditions, including heart problems. In many cases, physicians will recommend a regimen of diet, exercise and prescription medication to lower blood pressure levels back into acceptable limits. While your doctor may have given you some specific ideas of what foods to eliminate or at least minimize from your diet, here are some suggestions of foods that will work with your medication and exercise to manage your blood pressure effectively.
Fresh fruit – Vitamin C, potassium, and several other nutrients found in fresh fruits are essential if you want to lower blood pressure levels. Make sure to enjoy several portions of apples, bananas, oranges, blueberries, and grapes daily. All these are normally available in supermarkets throughout most of the year. If you must go with canned fruit, buy brands that do not add sugar; choose brands that pack the fruit in its own juice. Since sugar can elevate blood pressure, you don’t need any fruits that are packed in heavy syrups.
Vegetables – Add some color as well as plenty of nutrition to your blood pressure diet by enjoying dark green vegetables whenever possible. Kale, collards, and other greens are great options. Yellows and reds don’t hurt either, so add in some yellow and red bell peppers, summer squash or some dark red kidney beans. Just make sure to leave off seasoning your cooked vegetables with red meats or their juices. Try a little peanut oil and spices like garlic and cayenne pepper to add some zest. If you crave a salad, use less iceberg lettuce and toss in some raw spinach. You what you need to bring down your high blood pressure, plus a tastier salad.
Nuts – Walnuts are an excellent option if you need to lower blood pressure. Filberts, peanuts, and almonds are also great choices when you want a quick snack. Make sure to buy the unsalted types. If you want a little added flavor, you can always toss them in a little garlic or cayenne powder.
Whole and Multi-grains – Whole grains such as wheat and oats are ideal ways to get the fiber you need and satisfy your hunger pangs. Brown rice can help soothe the nervous system even as it provides fiber and helps lower blood pressure levels. The thiamin in rice will also have a calming effect, which makes it that must easier to relax.
Poultry and Fish – Lean cuts of chicken and fish, baked or broiled (not battered and fried) can help settle your cravings for red meat and work with your medication and other lifestyle changes to ease high blood pressure levels. Use different combinations of spices to jazz up the taste of the meat and keep the portions within reason.
Keep in mind that while including these foods in your diet plan will help lower high blood pressure, they are no substitute for following your doctor’s advice and taking your medication as prescribed. Once your blood pressure is under control, there may be the chance to lower or eliminate the medication over time and under the watchful eye of your physician. Until then, get exercise each day, eat right and take the medicine as directed.