If you happen to have high blood pressure, consuming less sodium may be important to help reduce your blood pressure levels but there are foods that can be good for your heart and arteries too.
Bananas are rich in blood pressure-lowering potassium, and one banana contains about 420 milligrams, or 11 percent of the 4,700 milligrams. Surprisingly, many vegetables are actually higher in potassium than these popular fruits.
A cup of Swiss chard boasts 960 milligrams, a cup of cooked white beans has nearly 1,200 milligrams, and a whole avocado has 975 milligrams.
Dark chocolate is rich in antioxidants called flavanols, which make blood vessels more elastic. An ounce or less a day, with at least 70 percent cocoa is most ideal.
Potatoes are rich in magnesium and potassium, two nutrients that are an important part of the DASH diet (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, or high blood pressure), which suggests a variety of foods to lower blood pressure.
A diet rich in potassium helps the body become more efficient at flushing out excess sodium, which can raise blood pressure, and magnesium helps promote healthy blood flow.
A cold glass of milk can provide a healthy serving of both calcium and vitamin D, which work together to help lower blood pressure by 3 to 10 percent. While the change seems low, they could translate to a 15 percent reduction in heart disease risk.
Other research suggests that people with low levels of calcium are at greater risk of high blood pressure.
A number of studies in the past have shown that egg yolks doesn’t raise heart disease risk. Now, recent research has found that egg whites can have an effect on blood pressure.
A study presented at a meeting of the American Chemical Society reported that when rats with high blood pressure were fed a protein found in egg whites, they experienced a drop in blood pressure that was comparable to a low dose of Captopril, a blood-pressure-lowering medication. Eggs are a solid source of protein, vitamin D, and other healthy nutrients which may be responsible for the effect.
This vegetable is a good source of the blood pressure-regulating minerals magnesium, calcium, and potassium. Previous research in animals has found that a diet high in broccoli sprouts may help reduce blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, and stroke.
Broccoli sprouts are high in compounds that may help reduce damage to arteries, which may play a role in high blood pressure.
According to a study published in April 2013 in the American Heart Association journal Hypertension, people with high blood pressure who drank about eight ounces of beetroot juice experienced a decrease in blood pressure of about 10 mm Hg.
Nitrate, which turns into nitric oxide, a gas that widens blood vessels and aids blood flow was responsible for the effect. A glass a day of beet juice could help keep blood pressure at a lower, healthier level.