If you have high blood pressure, a.k.a. hypertension, chances are your doctor wants you to re-examine your diet. First things first: Slash your sodium intake, which is pretty easy if you cut out processed foods and increase the amount of whole, fresh foods in your diet.
Next, while you’re at the store loading up on all those healthy foods, be sure to include ones that can actually help to lower your blood pressure. Here are three:
1. Flaxseeds. Not so long ago, you could only find flaxseeds in natural food shops. Now they’re in mainstream grocery stores and even warehouse clubs. Maybe that’s because recent studies have linked these tiny seeds (when they’re ground up) with a range of health benefits, especially heart health. A 2013 study in the journal Hypertension found that consuming flaxseed in a variety of foods was associated with decreased blood pressure. We’ve got plenty of recipes for you to try them in, like chewy oat-and-fruit granola bars for breakfast, flaxseed-falafel sandwich for lunch and lemon-flaxseed loaf cake for, well, any time!
2. Hibiscus tea. Several studies have linked drinking hibiscus tea with a reduction in blood pressure, including a 2010 study at Tufts University that found three daily servings of hibiscus tea over six weeks led to reduced blood pressure in people with pre-hypertension or mild high blood pressure. The tart, ruby-red tea is delicious hot and especially cold – with peaches!
3. Beets. The sweet, earthy bulbs and their slightly bitter greens – both of which are used in this salad – have lots of potassium. That’s important when you have high blood pressure, as potassium can lessen the negative effects of sodium on the body. Really love beets? Research shows that drinking a glass of beet juice a day can help significantly lower blood pressure.
Author: Hope Cristol