3 foods you should eat this fall if you’re struggling with high blood pressure
High blood pressure it can arise from a number of problems. From an unhealthy lifestyle to plain old genetics, there are many reasons why you may be dealing with hypertension. However, there are also many things you can do to get your body back to a healthier blood pressure – and that includes making changes to your diet. While certain things like fried, salty foods to avoid, there are also foods you can add to your diet to eradicate the problem.
To find out some of the best foods you can eat regularly to lower your blood pressure, we spoke to health experts Lisa Richardsnutritionist and creator of the Candida diet, and Laura Ali, dietician. We’re told that flaxseeds, walnuts, and yogurt are three healthy options you should be reaching for this fall!
Adding more fibers Your diet is a great way to lower your blood pressure, and Richards says flaxseed is a fantastic source of this nutrient. “Flaxseed is rich in fiber, which helps improve gut health, remove toxins from the body, and lower cholesterol. Each of these fiber benefits would help lower blood pressure as a side effect,” she explains. However, to get the most benefit from this seed, she says you should eat ground flaxseed: “The body absorbs flaxseed best when it’s ground because the enzymes aren’t able to adequately break down the outer shell.” I got it! Fortunately, flaxseed can easily be incorporated into a number of recipes, including smoothies, oatmeal, and “even some desserts.” Yum! Count on us!
There are many benefits of snacking healthy nuts like walnuts, and Ali tells us that lowered blood pressure is just one of the benefits. “Walnuts are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, fiber and an antioxidant called ellagic acid, all of which can help reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke,” she notes. In fact, she points out, one study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association “found that substituting nuts for foods higher in saturated fat helped reduce blood pressure over a 6-week period.” Nice! This means that swapping out your processed snacks for a handful of nuts can do wonders for your overall health. Additionally, you can easily incorporate nuts into a variety of meals that you eat regularly. “Mix ¼ cup of chopped walnuts into your morning oatmeal, toss them into a salad, or stir them into a chicken salad or over vegetable pasta,” suggests Ali.
Are you eating enough calcium? If not, Ali says you might want to up your intake—not just for your bones, but for your heart health, too. “Calcium makes our heart muscle contract, pumping blood through our body,” she explains. One great, tasty source of calcium is yogurt. “Research has shown that people who eat 5 or more servings of yogurt a week have a significantly reduced risk of high blood pressure than those who eat it less than once a month,” says Ali. Wow! Fortunately, she points out that yogurt is an incredibly versatile food, so you shouldn’t have a hard time fitting it into your diet. As it turns out, it’s good for more than just parfaits! “Try adding plain or fruit-flavored yogurt to a smoothie, or adding a little lemon juice to make a fruit dip or herbs to make a creamy salad dressing. Use plain yogurt instead of sour cream or buttermilk in recipes. Use it to make a cream sauce or swap it for buttermilk or sour cream in pastries,” she says. We’re testing all of these ASAP!
Of course, lowering blood pressure is ultimately a concentrated effort. You should always prioritize an overall healthy lifestyle by exercising regularly, reducing stress, and incorporating other good habits into your routine. But diet can play a major role in this process, and eating these foods regularly is definitely a good idea!
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