High blood pressure is a condition that, if left untreated, can cause serious health problems and even death. The American Heart Association calls it the “silent killer” because it often comes with no symptoms.
High blood pressure can cause the following health problems:
- Damage to the heart and coronary arteries, including heart attack, heart disease, congestive heart failure, aortic dissection and atherosclerosis (fatty buildups in the arteries that cause them to harden)
- Kidney damage
- Vision loss
- Erectile dysfunction
- Memory loss
- Fluid in the lungs
- Peripheral artery disease
The good news is that there are lifestyle changes – including diet – that can help to lower high blood pressure and have you leading a healthier life. Getting sufficient amounts of calcium, magnesium and potassium can help to lower blood pressure, and staying away from sodium can do the same.
What are 10 foods that can help lower high blood pressure?
The following foods are known to lower blood pressure:
- White beans – Eating one cup of white beans will give you 12 percent of your daily dose of calcium, 30 percent of your daily dose of magnesium and 24 percent of your daily dose of potassium. Dried beans that you cook overnight are a better choice, but you can eat the canned white beans as long as you buy the no sodium added or reduced sodium white beans and rinse them well.
- Pork tenderloin – If you eat three ounces of this lean meat, you’ll get 6 percent of your daily dose of magnesium and 15 percent of your daily dose of potassium. This meat is high in protein, low in fat, and has more B vitamins than other types of meat.
- Fat-free, plain yogurt – Eating one cup of plain yogurt will provide 49 percent of your daily dose of calcium, 12 percent of your magnesium, and 18 percent of your daily potassium intake. You can eat it with fruit for breakfast, or you can use it in place of sour cream and other fatty ingredients when you cook meals.
- Kiwi – If you eat just one kiwi, you’ll get 2 percent of your daily calcium, 7 percent of your daily magnesium and 9 percent of your daily potassium. Kiwi is also loaded with Vitamin C and antioxidants.
- Bananas – These tasty fruits are also rich in potassium and magnesium. They are also high in pectin, a soluble dietary fiber and natural detoxifying agent that promotes digestion. Bananas also contain prebiotics that encourage the growth of healthy bacteria in the bowel.
- Kale – Kale is low in calories, high in calcium, magnesium and potassium, and widely considered a superfood. Kale is rich in antioxidants.
- Broccoli – Eating one cup of broccoli gives you 6 percent of your daily calcium, 8 percent of your daily magnesium, and 14 percent of your daily potassium. It’s also got a host of other health benefits.
- Sweet potatoes – They’re high in calcium, magnesium and potassium, as well as Vitamins C and B6.
- Quinoa – This plant-based food provides 30 percent of your daily magnesium and 9 percent of your daily potassium. It’s also got a ton of other vitamins, as well as a lot of protein and fiber.
- Avocado – Avocados are high in heart-healthy fats and disease-fighting compounds.