In our corporate wellness practice, we see countless over-stressed employees come to us with high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Since both are indications that can lead to heart disease, it’s important to get a grip on them as early as possible. Last week we tackled cholesterol and this week we are all about healthy blood pressure.
Conventional wisdom suggests the usual:
- Lose the extra pounds and ensure your BMI is within the healthy range
- Eat well
- Careful with the salt
- Quit smoking
- Give up coffee
- Manage your stress
And while those methods are proven to support better blood pressure, it reads as a long list of don’ts. At BHH, we like to focus on the positive. So, we’re sharing our list of fun foods to include if you’re looking to manage your blood pressure.
Chocolate: Yes, you read that correctly. Your fave treat might actually work to lower blood pressure. Dark chocolate, thanks to it’s polyphenols, actually support healthy blood pressure. Studies show the link between polyphenols and a reduction in both systolic and diastolic blood pressure among those with hypertension. As always, watch the sugar content and choose at least 70% cacao like this one.
Avocado toast: Avocados are some of the highest potassium-containing foods around and they happen to be extra delish on top of some gluten-free bread. Potassium is a key mineral in water balance and therefore blood pressure balance. Making sure you get enough potassium is a surefire way to regulate the negative effects of too much sodium in your diet. But “why the toast,” you ask? A study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition founds that eating three servings of whole grains per day was linked to a reduction in systolic blood pressure.. So, grab some avos, throw them on toast, blend them in smoothies or eat them with some red pepper flakes.
Pomegranates: Not only are these guys easy on the eyes, they’re also loaded with potassium. fiber, vitamin C and vitamin K, among other nutrients. In addition to being full of heart-healthy vitamins and minerals, a small study out to the UK also found that poms work to reduce cortisol…so you can check “manage your stress” off the list as well.
Matcha Lattes: Matcha is a pretty common super food these days. Loaded with catechins that have countless heart health benefits, matcha also reportedly inhibit vascular constriction and high blood pressure. But you’ll experience even great effects if you whip our beloved matcha into a latte. Recent studies suggest that the vitamin D, calcium, potassium, phosphorous, bioactive small peptides in low-fat dairy products (cheese excluded) work to support lower blood pressure.
Spinach Dip: Just one cup of spinach contains 40% of our recommended daily value of magnesium and magnesium plays a key role in regulating systolic and diastolic pressure among those with hypertension. One study found that just 12 weeks on a magnesium supplement was enough to start seeing healthier blood pressure results. Just don’t load up on the cheese.