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Healthy Foods That Can Help You Control Your Blood Pressure

Aug 17, 2007
If you find your blood pressure has risen, do not panic. There are many foods that can be removed or added to your diet that will help get the numbers back in control. Stress plays an important factor in blood pressure, so the most important thing is to not worry yourself into a panic that will definitely make the blood pressure rise.

Blood pressure is linked to heart disease, so it is important to get your blood pressure readings under control. This is especially true if your cholesterol readings are also high.

Foods to restrict:

The first thing to do is cut salt from your diet. Many meats, fruits, and vegetables contain natural sodium, so they already add salt to your diet. Avoid adding additional salt to your diet. Sodium allows vessels to expand. This increases the amount of blood flowing throughout the body, hence the raised blood pressure reading.

If you find the reduced levels of salt alter your enjoyment of food, use herbs for seasonings. Thyme, oregano, dill, marjoram, rosemary, and tarragon can all add loads of flavor to any meal. Mrs. Dash, a no-salt additive, uses lemon and orange peel as well and can be very useful in flavoring food.

Cut back the amounts of saturated fats. These can add weight to your body, which in turn can raise blood pressure and bad cholesterol levels. Stay away from cheese, butter, fatty meats, and processed foods.

Cutting meats from a diet has been proven to drop blood pressure readings by up to 2.8 points. Beef, pork, veal, and liver can all be high in saturated fats. Chicken breast and turkey breast are better options.

Add these foods:

Potassium is an important mineral. It helps regulate the water that is able to flow through the blood vessels. High blood pressure restricts the amount of water so you need to balance it out. Bananas, avocados, grapefruit, potatoes, squash, and tomatoes are all potassium rich. Add these to your diet.

Foods rich in calcium and magnesium also help with high blood pressure. Add sardines, spinach, tofu, all beans, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds (also called pepitas), skim milk, soymilk, and fat free yogurts. You can use many items from this list to put together a quick breakfast shake. Mix some frozen fruit with yogurt, skim milk, or soymilk, add a touch of honey or the herb stevia, and blend until creamy. Add some flax seed oil for additional health benefits.

Increase all fruit and vegetable servings. Tomatoes, sweet potatoes, squash, mushrooms, asparagus, broccoli, and cauliflower are only a sampling of the vegetables that can help reduce blood pressure readings. Oranges, strawberries, melons, and blueberries are great additions to your diet because of their high levels of vitamins and minerals.

Seafood, especially salmon, is rich in good cholesterol. You should add seafood to your diet immediately. Poached salmon with fresh vegetables is a quick and easy meal that will go a long way in helping lower blood pressure readings.

A high blood pressure reading is scary, but it does not have to mean your world is coming to an end. Taking a proactive stance and changing your diet is a great way to get your blood pressure under control.
About the Author
Gregg Hall is an author living in Navarre Beach, Florida. Find more about this as well as food gift baskets at http://www.gourmetgiftbasketsplus.com
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