Lower Blood Pressure Naturally: Eat This Nutrient!
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), having high blood pressure (hypertension) puts you at risk for both heart disease and stroke. These conditions are leading causes of death in the United States. About 78 million Americans(32%) have high blood pressure. This contributes to about one million heart attacks and 800,000 strokes each year. The higher your pressure reading, the greater your health risk. Only about half (54%) the people have the condition under control.
High blood pressure is “silent”
People are frequently unaware they have hypertension as there are no obvious symptoms. For that reason, an elevated blood pressure reading during a doctor of clinic visit might be your first sign of a problem. As readings change frequently, it’s important to keep a regular eye on your readings. In addition to regular blood pressure checks, try to address diet and lifestyle modifications if necessary.
Decreasing stress and lowering weight (easy steps here) are two important and effective strategies for addressing this problem. But, there is another little known diet strategy to decrease your blood pressure. That strategy is decreasing your sodium along with increasing your dietary potassium. It’s an easy first step to controlling what is called the “silent killer.”
Potassium rich foods lower blood pressure naturally
We’ve all heard that reducing sodium intake can help lower blood pressure. What consumers are less aware of is that decreasing the salt in your diet may be only 50% of what you need to do to prevent high blood pressure and stroke risk. The rest of the story has to do with eating enough potassium rich foods. Potassium is found primarily in unprocessed whole foods. Consequently, it’s easy to get to the 4700 mg recommended potassium intake when eating lots of calories and unprocessed foods.
However, if you limit your calories and eat a lot of junky processed food, it’s much harder to reach your potassium recommendations. In order to get the most potassium for the least amount of sodium, consider eating the listed foods. In addition to being loaded with nutrients to lessen stroke and heart attack risk, these foods are high in fiber to fill you up. It’s noteworthy, that all that extra fiber is a great way to control appetite and shed a few pounds as well. Finally, weight loss can be very important in decreasing blood pressure.
Potassium rich foods that are also low in sodium
|Food||Potassium (mg)||Sodium (mg)|
|one medium potato||926||17|
|One cup winter squash||896||2|
|One cup low sodium V-8 juice||820||140|
|½ cup pitted dates||584||2|
|1/2 cup spinach||510||2|
|One cup low sodium tomato juice||556||24|
|3.5 oz. sweet potato||398||68|
|½ cup kidney beans||370||1|
|One small banana||362||0|
|½ cup prune juice||353||5|
|½ cup uncooked oatmeal||335||2|
|1.5 oz. box raisins||322||5|
|3 oz. cooked beef or chicken||290||47|
|½ cup cooked broccoli||278||29|
|One cup raw sliced mangoes||257||3|
|¼ cup wheat germ||256||3|
|½ cup any melon||242||27|
|4 ounces orange juice||240||1|
|½ cup cooked carrots||183||45|
|One oz. walnuts (14 halves)||125||1|
|One tablespoon ground flaxseed||82||4|
Increasing potassium & decreasing sodium will lower blood pressure naturally
By choosing more of these foods, you will slash your sodium while boosting your potassium. This boosts your chances of steering clear of stroke and heart attacks by normalizing your blood pressure! And, you may be able to eliminate or decrease your use of medication.
Use this information at your own risk. Although I am a licensed IL dietitian/nutritionist, I am not your dietitian. The information in my blog Chew on This located at www.mydietmatters.com is for educational and informational purposes only. It is also my own opinion and subject to change in the future. Please consult with your own medical professionals for individual treatment.