Monday, February 4, 2013

Natural Foods to Lower Your Blood Pressure

Your blood pressure varies throughout the day, but if you consistently have high blood pressure or hypertension, you are putting yourself at risk. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, high blood pressure makes your heart work too hard, contributing to heart disease, congestive heart failure, hardening of the arteries, kidney disease and blindness.
A healthy diet of natural foods low in sodium can help lower your blood pressure. Reduce your sodium intake to no more than 1,500 mg a day or about two-thirds of a teaspoon. Also important is a diet of natural foods high in potassium. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends 4,700 mg a day of potassium.


Eating fruits are an easy way to lower your blood pressure. Replace an existing afternoon snack with one of these potassium-rich fruits: apricots (fresh or dried), avocados, bananas, cantaloupes, dates (fresh or dried), figs (fresh or dried), honeydew melon, kiwi, nectarines, oranges, papayas, pears, plantains, plums, prunes, fresh tomatoes and raisins. Fruit juices can be used instead of coffee, especially grapefruit, orange and prune juice.

Whole Grains

Whole grain foods are great for your body and help lower your blood pressure naturally. They have fiber and add complex carbohydrates to your diet. Look for foods with barley, buckwheat flour, bulgur wheat and oat bran to receive the maximum benefit.

Lean Proteins

Nuts can be a great source of lean proteins that provide extra potassium. The best nuts for this include unsalted, roasted almonds, Brazil nuts, chestnuts, pecans and walnuts. Sunflower seeds are also loaded with potassium.
Fish fillets, including haddock, halibut (Atlantic and Pacific) rockfish (Pacific) and sockeye salmon add variety to your diet and can be beneficial as well.
Lean meats, such as pork tenderloin, lamb quarters and beef tenderloin also are sources to provide the potassium you need.

Low-Fat Dairy

Seek out low fat or non-fat milk products, including milk and yogurt to round-out a well-balanced diet and to provide potassium.

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