Diet choices are one of the most important things to consider if you suffer high blood pressure. Anyone under a great amount of stress most likely suffers high blood pressure. You get hot, anxious, sweaty and feel short of breath. Sound familiar? It can feel like a panic attack, and feels like your heart is pounding out of control. This can happen for a number of reasons. For starters, cortisol begins to increase in the body anytime we get anxious or nervous. This causes a faster heartbeat along with shortness of breath. Cortisol is the hormone that is released during a time of panic, when we need that flight or fight energy. Yet, a consistent excess of cortisol is detrimental to our health and blood pressure. A diet high in sodium also causes a faster heartbeat, because the heart is having to work harder to pump blood through the body and filter excess sodium. Sodium and potassium are both needed to balance out blood pressure in the body. Potassium even helps relieve stress in the body, and B vitamins, the mineral magnesium, the amino acid trytophan and other amino acids found in protein, along with water rich food can also help combat excess blood pressure from high stress. Try to eat more calming, potassium rich foods that will help you if you suffer high blood pressure from your diet or stress. Take some of these suggestions below, and eat them daily to help bring you back down to a calm, healthy state.
Carrots are one of my favorite vegetables, and also one of the best to nosh on if you suffer high blood pressure. Carrots aren’t just rich in fiber and water, but also two nutrients that help lower your blood pressure naturally, and fight stress. These are Vitamin C and magnesium, both in high amounts. Carrots help calm you down, with each sweet nibble. I love the baby carrots to snack on, but even cooked ones offer similar benefits. Next time you’re stressed and want to reach for the chips, grab some carrots and munch on them with perhaps even a few raw almonds! This makes for a crunchy, satisfying snack that will calm you down and lower your blood pressure in just minutes.
Fish is one of the best protein sources for your heart, and for your blood pressure. Fish is rich in potassium, believe it or not, and it’s also rich in omega 3 fatty acids, which naturally work to combat stress and fight high blood pressure. Most fish, including salmon, halibut, tuna and trout, also contain a large amount of B vitamins and magnesium. These, especially vitamins B6 and B12, help to fight stress in the body by calming you down in just minutes.
3. Plain Greek Yogurt
Dairy gets a bad rap, but nonfat, plain Greek yogurt is a miracle food for your blood pressure. It’s one of the best sources of potassium you can find in such a high protein food. It’s also rich in Vitamins B and B12, magnesium, Vitamin D, iron, and calcium. Calcium is another wonderful mineral for your blood pressure. The combination of all the nutrients help to calm you down in just a few bites. In fact, in a recent study, researchers found Greek yogurt ( plain and nonfat), to be a powerful tool in lowering high blood pressure in patients who suffered on a regular basis. Nondairy sources do not offer the same benefits, unfortunately, but if you buy a high quality organic source, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with consuming Greek yogurt, unless you have a proven intolerance or allergy.
4. Leafy Greens
Leafy greens like collards, kale, spinach and romaine are rich in Vitamin C, magnesium, omega 3 fatty acids, and B vitamins. All of these help fight high blood pressure, and greens are naturally healing to the body, which help this process even further. Leafy greens are also wonderful for combating multiple heart issues, and can actually reverse the damage from high blood pressure and heart disease.
Bananas are one of the best fruits to eat for high blood pressure, due to their potassium content, along with their Vitamin B6 content. Bananas are high in sugar though, but one a day is a great way to combat high blood pressure. Bananas are also high in the amino acid tryptophan, which is an excellent nutrient to consume for high blood pressure. Tryptophan instantly calms you, satiates you, and relaxes you. Other foods rich in tryptophan include turkey, pumpkin, chicken and yogurt.
Cashew are rich in Vitamin B6 and also rich in magnesium. They are also rich in monounsaturated fats that help reduce stress and high blood pressure. They’re also a decent source of protein as well, and taste delicious! Be sure to buy raw and unsalted, since roasted varieties are often roasted in heart damaging oils, and excess salt from salted cashews can reverse the benefits they have on lowering your blood pressure.
I love almonds! Luckily, almonds are one of the best foods you can eat for high blood pressure, along with fighting stress, inflammation, hunger, moodiness, anxiety and even cravings for salt. Almonds are rich in healthy monounsaturated fats that help fight high blood pressure, the mineral magnesium, fiber, protein and they’re also wonderful for reducing stress due to their B vitamin content. Choose raw and unsalted and eat up to 20 a day, which is a full serving. Or, you can have 2 tbsp. raw almond butter instead. Almonds are great on top of yogurt, smoothies, salads, or just pairing them with another one of these blood pressure friendly foods.
Celery has been proven to fight stress and high blood pressure very effectively. It’s rich in Vitamin K, which is one of the best vitamins to eat to lower high blood pressure. Vitamin K assists with proper blood flow and clotting. Celery is also rich in potassium, sodium and water, in almost the perfect ratio. This helps balance these minerals in your body and helps correct imbalances that may occur. Celery is also very high in fiber, which fills you up fast and with just a few bites, your blood pressure is lowered, almost instantly. I love celery in salads, or dipped in raw almond butter as a yummy snack.
9. Dark Chocolate
Lastly, dark chocolate is another one of my favorite foods, and possibly my top favorite, foods for eating to fight high blood pressure. The key is to stick with the darkest varieties you can find. Dark chocolate is rich in magnesium, more so than any other food on the planet. Magnesium is the best mineral to fight anxiety in the body.Dark chocolate also contains stimulants that help fight pain and sadness, which naturally calms you down and lowers your blood pressure. I like to stick to 100% dark chocolate, but anything above 85% cocoa solids should be great for you! Dark cocoa powder is one of the best things to eat for high blood pressure as well, and has been proven to reverse the signs of artery disease from high blood pressure. Dark cocoa, and regular cocoa are two of the best sources of chocolate to consume if you want a low calorie approach, with wonderful blood pressure lowering results.
Avocados, sweet potatoes, winter squash, pumpkin, pumpkin seeds, and almost all nuts, seeds, fruits and vegetables are wonderful for lowering high blood pressure, so include a variety of all of them to get the best benefits. What’s your favorite food on this list and do you ever eat it when you’re stressed?