Superfood Series: Better Blood Pressure

High blood pressure (or hypertension) occurs when the blood pumped from the heart throughout the body pumps with too much force. This causes the veins to stretch to allow blood to flow easily. If this continues for too long, the arteries can become weak and stretched to function at their best. High blood pressure can lead to an increased risk of heart attack, stroke, and can complicate other health conditions. High blood pressure can be a risk for anyone, but there are specific risk factors that increase a person’s chances of developing high blood pressure.

These include:

  • Family history
  • Age
  • Lack of physical activity
  • Excess weight and obesity
  • Excess alcohol consumption
  • Stress
  • Poor diet

In addition to integrating heart-healthy habits into your life, try integrating these better blood pressure superfoods into your menu to lower or prevent high blood pressure.

Berries
Berries contain natural compounds called anthocyanins that protect against hypertension.

Cereal
Whole-grain, high fiber cereals (oatmeal, oat squares, bran flakes, or shredded wheat) can reduce chances of developing high blood pressure. Top cereal off with berries to double health rewards.

Potatoes
Potatoes are rich in potassium and magnesium. Both these minerals can help lower high blood pressure.

Beet Juice
Beet juice can lower blood pressure within just a few hours. Nitrates in the juice are similar to those in a nitrate tablet.

Skim Milk
Eating low-dairy products can reduce a women’s risk of hypertension. Indulging in yogurt and other low-fat products can reduce risk of high blood pressure.

Dark Chocolate
One-ounce of dark chocolate daily can help lower blood pressure and especially in individuals suffering from hypertension.