According to WebMD, high blood pressure
or hypertension, can lead to heart disease, stroke, kidney disease and other health problems. To lower blood pressure, you can exercise, quit smoking and limit your salt intake. Another major step is eating nutrient-rich foods.
One way to get the nutrients you need is to follow the DASH Diet (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension), which may lower your blood pressure significantly. It focuses on whole grains, fruits, vegetables and low-fat dairy items, and is recommended by the Mayo Clinic.
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Here are five nutrients that can help lower blood pressure:
Eating a variety of fresh fruit helps to increase potassium intake, which combats the effects of sodium that you might consume in other foods. Even if you try to limit salt intake for your high blood pressure, sodium may still be in many processed foods. Potassium is found in fruits such as bananas, peaches, nectarines and orange juice, according to Health.
Leafy green vegetables contain potassium but also have important nutrients such as magnesium and folate. Eat plenty of spinach, kale, red bell pepper, broccoli, sweet potatoes, avocados and baked white potatoes. According to Prevention
, magnesium helps to lower blood pressure by improving blood flow. These foods also provide important antioxidants to protect your cells from damage.
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3. Joy Bauer, founder of Joy Bauer Nutrition centers and nutrition expert on the Today Show recommends dairy products
, including low-fat or skim milk, low-fat yogurt and low-fat cheese, provide calcium and vitamin D, known to improve blood pressure and lower the risk of heart disease.
Seeds and nuts offer plenty of potassium and other nutrients, but choose unsalted varieties to avoid sodium intake. Pistachio nuts, sunflower seeds, hazelnuts, pine nuts, almonds, peanuts and cashews are all good sources of potassium.
Beans provide heart-healthy fiber, magnesium and potassium to lower blood pressure. They are very inexpensive and even include protein without the fat found in protein-rich meat or dairy products. Black, white, navy, lima, pinto and kidney beans are among the varieties that help control your blood pressure.
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