Hypertension – or high blood pressure – aﬀects 30% of adults in America and is a leading cause of cardiovascular disease.
But, there’s good news for anyone diagnosed with hypertension. Studies conﬁrm that what you eat can have a positive eﬀect on your health.
Foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, seafood, olive oil, and low-fat dairy are perfect partners to help you lower and maintain a desirable blood pressure level. Add in a little exercise everyday and you’re well on your way to a more healthy you.*
Another aspect of eating well is controlling sodium intake. It’s recommended that those with high blood pressure should limit their salt consumption to 1200mg (that comes to ⅔ teaspoon per day if you were wondering).
And that’s what’s so wonderful about the foods mentioned above – they are full of ﬂavor, ﬁber, nutrients, vitamins and minerals – and low in salt and calories.And when you season your foods with herbs and spices, you’ll add tons of wonderful ﬂavor without the need for added sodium.
Here are a few tips to help you achieve a desirable blood pressure level:
- Include fruits and vegetables with each meal. Even for breakfast, you can add veggies to an omelet, or sliced fruit or berries to your oatmeal. Try to eat 5 or more each day.
- Snack smartly. Eating a small snack between meals can help satiate your hunger cravings; a piece of fruit, or a handful of unsalted walnuts or almonds can do the trick. The calories from snacks should be incorporated into your overall calorie intake, not in addition to it, however.
- Know what you’re buying. Read Nutrition Labels and Ingredient Lists to make sure you know just how much sodium is in each serving. Speaking of servings, pay attention to the amount of the serving size. You might be eating more than the serving size, meaning you’re consuming more calories, fat, and sodium.
- Add some physical activity whenever possible, 30 minutes a day is all it takes to reap the beneﬁts. Can’t carve out a dedicated 30 minutes to exercise? Look for ways to add activity throughout your day. Take the stairs, walk whenever possible, and do some stretches or light exercise while watching TV. It’ll amaze you how it all adds up!
- Stay hydrated. Drink 8-10 glasses of water, eat hydrating foods like carrots, celery and cucumbers. Water keeps our bodies functioning properly and also helps keep hunger in check.
- Cook more of your own meals. Studies show that most of our salt intake comes from restaurant and highly-processed foods. When we cook for ourselves, we’re in control of how much salt we add to our meals.
For more information on managing your blood pressure, check out our ONE September toolkit. We provide more tips, easy recipes, some research, information on diﬀerent types of salt, as well as a shopping list you can use to plan your weekly shopping trips – and even a fun quiz to test your BP IQ!
*Always check with your doctor ﬁrst before changing your diet or exercise routine.