Blood pressure is affected by many dietary and behavioral components such as adiposity, sodium intake, potassium intake, alcohol consumption, and toxic burden.
The American Heart Association (AHA) estimates almost half of all adults in the United States have high blood pressure. High blood pressure has been considered the predominant risk factor for cardiovascular disease. The AHA also recently reported that 45.4% of deaths in the U.S. caused by a cardiometabolic mortality of heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes in 2012 were due to a poor diet.
Eat a healthier diet to manage blood pressure which may reduce your risk for cardiovascular disease, dementia, stroke, and kidney dysfunction.
Increase your intake of plant foods! Vegetarians have been found to have lower blood pressure and increasing fruit and vegetable intake has been shown to lower blood pressure.
Nutrients in your Diet Impact Blood Pressure
Daily potassium intake has been shown to significantly reduce blood pressure in people with high blood pressure. Diets low in potassium and high in sodium are linked to high blood pressure.
Potassium Rich Foods:
- White Beans
- Sweet Potatoes
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, most of the sodium in our diets is from packaged processed foods and restaurant food. Adding a little salt to fresh homemade meals is not the major culprit to excess sodium in the diet.
Quick Tips to Reduce Sodium in Your Diet:
- Prepare more meals at home
- Buy fresh or frozen vegetables
- Choose fresh or frozen lean meats or fish instead of canned, cured, smoked, deli, or processed meats
- Keep high sodium sauces to a minimum, such as store bought BBQ sauce, tomato sauce, and soy sauce
- Prepare your own salad dressings
Consuming adequate calcium, within the recommended dietary amount, may help the management of healthy blood pressure.
Foods Rich in Calcium:
- Tofu, fortified with calcium
- Turnip Greens
- Chia Seeds
Research Shows –
High Blood Pressure and Disease Facts
Cardiovascular Disease: High blood pressure has been associated with strong evidence for causation of cardiovascular disease. High blood pressure is a risk factor for heart failure, a-fibrillation, heart valve disease, and coronary heart disease, which is the number one cause of mortality worldwide.
Dementia: High blood pressure in midlife and later in life, and also high blood pressure in midlife and then with a reduction of high blood pressure later in life, have both been associated with an increased risk for subsequent dementia and cognitive decline. High blood pressure is an important risk factor to address for reducing dementia risk.
Stroke: High blood pressure is the most crucial controllable risk factor for stroke. Management of blood pressure has been shown to reduce stroke prevalence. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), stroke is the second leading cause of death worldwide. About 75% of stroke burden is due to poor diet, smoking, and physical inactivity.
Renal Disease: High blood pressure is a known risk factor for renal disease, making management of blood pressure imperative for protecting against accelerated loss of renal function.
Eat Your Beans
In honor of National Eat Your Beans Day, July 3rd, let’s try some bean recipes to help keep a healthy blood pressure. Pulses, beans, lentils, and peas have been shown to significantly lower blood pressure in people with high and without high blood pressure. Beans are packed with fiber and protein, which have been shown to naturally help reduce blood pressure. The three recipes below include different sized, shaped, and colored beans.
Beans are rich in potassium, naturally low in sodium, and provide calcium. White beans provide more calcium than many other beans, a good reason to try my White Bean Summer Salsa Recipe!
- Add More Beans to your Diet:
- Roast beans for a snack
- Add beans to zucchini pasta
- Puree beans into a dip
- Make a salad dressing out of hummus
- Toss beans into any salad
Bean consumers have been shown to have lower systolic blood pressure over non-consumers.
White Bean Summer Salsa
2 tomatoes, cored
1 small red onion, peeled
1/2 jalapeño, cored and seeds removed
1 avocado, pit removed and peeled
1 mango, peeled
1 bunch fresh cilantro, stems removed
1 1/2 cups white beans, cooked and cooled
Juice from one lime
Small sprinkle of sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
Add tomatoes, red onion, and jalapeño to food processor and blend until finely chopped. Pour mixture into medium sized bowl. Finely chop avocado, mango, and cilantro and add to tomato mixture. Stir in white beans. Squeeze in juice of lime. Add a small dash of sea salt and pepper to taste. Stir to combine.
Easiest Black Bean Burgers
2 cups cooked black beans
3/4 cup oats
1/2 cup walnuts
2 cloves garlic, peeled
1/2 cup fresh parsley
1 tsp prepared mustard
1 tsp chili powder
1 Tbs coconut aminos
Small dash of sea salt and pepper
Add all ingredients to a food processor and blend until combined. Form into 4 patties, tightly pressing mixture together so burger will hold shape. Grease a cast iron skillet. Arrange patties in skillet and bake or grill at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.
2 cups fresh or frozen lima beans, thawed
2 Tbs olive oil
1 cup fresh sweet corn or frozen organic corn, thawed
1 orange bell pepper, cored and diced
1 Vidalia onion, peeled and diced
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1/2 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
1/4 cup fresh basil, finely chopped
Small sprinkle of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Boil lima beans in medium saucepan over medium-high heat for 8-10 minutes.
While lima beans are cooking, heat olive oil in skillet over medium heat. Add corn, bell pepper, onion, and garlic to skillet and cook for 10-12 minutes.
Once lima beans are finished cooking, drain lima beans and add to skillet. Cover skillet and cook for 8-10 minutes more. Remove from heat and stir in fresh parsley, fresh basil, and flavor with small sprinkle of sea salt and pepper.
FEEDING MAXWELL CHALLENGE:
Explore unusual heirloom dried beans such as yellow eye beans, cranberry beans, and calypso beans.
Cardiac Monitoring Available at MaxWell Clinic™
At MaxWell clinic, for our patients that are at risk of having a heart arrhythmia and as part of our deep health evaluations, we utilize a remarkable Medical Technology called Zio.
Zio is an easier way to monitor irregular heartbeats so physicians can get the information they need to make a quicker, more accurate diagnosis. Hundreds of thousands of people just like you have worn a Zio monitor—it was designed to be easy to use.
To help further support healthy blood pressure, consider the following supplements that contain food-derived extracts that support vascular health:
Please speak with your doctor or medical provider before taking any supplement.
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