Bananas and chocolate? Six foods that help lower blood pressure
Written by Melissa Ip, edited by Heartisans. Melissa Ip, MA, RD, is a registered dietitian with a masters in health education and diverse experience in nutrition education for adults and children.
If you’ve had high blood pressure for a while or were diagnosed recently, it may feel like that there’s nothing you can eat that doesn’t contain high amounts of sodium. But did you know that some foods might help you lower your blood pressure?
Bananas are rich in potassium, a nutrient that can help the kidney flush sodium out of the body. No time for breakfast? Add a banana to your morning routine for a quick and tasty potassium boost. Cut and freeze bananas for a refreshing mid-afternoon snack in the office.
Celery is an often overlooked vegetable, but the same compound that gives celery its unique scent may also reduce blood pressure. Stir-fry celery with pork, add celery to your roasted vegetables, or enjoy its raw crunch with peanut butter or hummus.
Soybeans are rich in isoflavones that can help widen blood vessels, leading to lower blood pressure. Trying substituting meat with tofu, chips with edamame, or iced tea with soy milk.
Chocolate lovers may be happy to hear that certain compounds in cocoa can reduce blood pressure. Be sure to choose chocolate that is at least 70% cacao, and remember to enjoy chocolate in moderation like any other food.
Garlic not only adds aromatic flavors to foods, but a growing number of studies are demonstrating the positive impact of garlic on blood pressure.
Pack a small bag of unsalted pistachios for a sustained energy boost in the afternoon.
Of course, no single food will reduce your blood pressure alone. So eating these foods should always be part of healthy diet.
Stay tuned for our next episode of the nutrition series.