7 Foods for a Healthy Heart

7 Foods for a Healthy Heart

Anyone who has high blood pressure is likely to know that it takes some lifestyle changes to get the numbers back into a healthy zone. One of those lifestyle changes involves eating the right foods for high blood pressure reduction. It is still important to follow your doctor's instructions  but there are heart-healthy foods that can also help support healthy blood pressure levels.

In general, it's recommended that people with high blood pressure eat whole grains, a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, foods that are low in saturated fat, total fat and cholesterol, and low fat dairy foods. Red meats and sugar, and foods high in sodium should be avoided.

What are some of the best foods for high blood pressure? Here are 7 that are easy to find, easy to add to your diet, and effective in working to lower blood pressure.

  1. Bananas. Studies show that adequate potassium intake can lower blood pressure, and this delicious fruit is packed with potassium. It's also been observed that eating 1 ½ to 2 bananas a day can give you enough potassium to lower your blood pressure by two or three points, reducing the risk of stroke.
  2. Oatmeal. It's on almost everyone's list of foods for high blood pressure reduction strategies. Oatmeal is easy to prepare, inexpensive and a favorite comfort food. Its heart-healthy components include magnesium and potassium, which are especially critical for blood pressure patients who take diuretics because they are lost when excess fluids are eliminated. Oatmeal is also rich in folic acid (folate), niacin, calcium, and soluble fiber, which all play a role in lowering blood pressure.
  3. Salmon. Packed with omega-3 fatty acids, salmon is one of the best foods for high blood pressure. How do omega-3s help reduce the risk of heart disease? It appears that they
    may decrease triglycerides (a type of cholesterol) and also lower blood pressure.
  4. Beans. Black or kidney beans are good foods for high blood pressure. They are high in B-complex vitamins, which help control homocysteine levels – a culprit in the formation of hardening of the arteries. Beans also contain niacin (B-3), which is often used to lower blood pressure and reduce the level of LDL or "bad" cholesterol.
  5. Walnuts. These nuts contain the heart-friendly fats: mono- and poly-unsaturated, as well as omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin E, making them one of the best foods for high blood pressure. Almonds are in this category, too.
  6. Garlic. Of all the foods for high blood pressure, garlic may be one of the easiest to use in everyday cooking, as well as one of the most effective in relaxing blood vessels and increasing blood flow. Allicin, an active ingredient in garlic, is responsible for the blood-pressure lowering benefits.
  7. Dark chocolate. It's true – one of the favorite foods for high-blood pressure battles is CHOCOLATE, the darker the better. Dark chocolate contains reservatrol, which supports cardiovascular health, and other antioxidants.

Eating these seven naturally vitamin- and nutrient-rich foods for high blood pressure can improve your overall diet. Enlist them in the food fight against high blood pressure.

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