Low-fat dairy products are a great source of calcium, which is one of the main compounds that help fight high blood pressure. Feller adds that potassium, protein, vitamins, and minerals from yogurt are great compliments to your diet as well. A 12-ounce serving of low-fat yogurt will give you about 30 percent of the recommended amount of calcium for the day.
Try it: For a burst of morning energy, mix a cup of low-fat Greek yogurt with granola, almond slivers, and berries for an extra heart-healthy boost. Stock up on these best yogurt brands and give it a try on this Tomato Toast with Mint Yogurt and Sumac Vinaigrette.
Bananas are rich in potassium, with one average-sized banana packing about 420 milligrams. That’s about nine percent of the recommended daily intake. Prest notes that potassium is great for blood pressure management and research has shown diets low in potassium are associated with higher blood pressure. Bananas are also rich in fiber and lend a natural sweetness to smoothies, baked goods, and frozen treats. Peel and freeze mushy bananas when they start to go bad.
Try it: Try them sliced with your breakfast, like these Peanut Butter-Banana Pancakes
Berries, but specifically blueberries, are packed with nitric oxide, a gas that helps increase blood flow, thus lowering blood pressure. A March 2015 study by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics found that even less than an ounce of blueberries a day can help significantly lower blood pressure.
Try it: Add blueberries and other berries to your morning oatmeal and salads for lunch, or make them your dessert after dinner. Check out these creative and delicious ways to eat more berries for more inspiration, or five into this decadent Blueberry Smoothie Bowl.
Leafy greens that include kale, spinach, collard greens, arugula, Swiss chard, beet greens, and romaine lettuce are excellent sources of potassium and magnesium. These work together to regulate blood pressure, Bland says. Think outside of the salad and glorify your greens in omelets, smoothies, and sandwiches.
Try it: If you want to sneak greens into a flavorful meal, try this Roasted Chicken and Potatoes With Kale.
Similar to blueberries, beets are high in blood pressure-reducing nitric oxide. Research has shown that drinking beetroot juice can help lower your systolic blood pressure by four to five mmHg. Try adding beetroot juice to your diet, and if you buy store-bought juice, make sure there isn’t added sugar.
Try it: Enjoy beets in a salad (like this Swiss Chard and Beets Salad), soup, or slaw
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According to the National Institute of Health (NIH), the compound allicin in garlic may be able to help reduce blood pressure. Allicin is released when garlic is crushed or chopped. However, doctors don’t recommend using garlic supplements since there is limited research on their effectiveness for hypertension.
Try it: Make your own garlic spread by sprinkling olive oil on a full head of garlic, and then baking it in the oven until it’s brown and soft. Cut off the top layer of the garlic head and it yields a creamy and buttery texture.
Potassium- and magnesium-rich sweet potatoes are an essential part of following a blood pressure-reducing diet. Sweet potatoes are also high in fiber which is good for your heart, too.
Try it: Bake sweet potatoes in a sheet pan with your choice of lean protein for a quick and easy weeknight dinner. You can also make sweet potatoes the star with this Sweet Potato with Shredded Salad.
Try it: These overnight oats recipes will come in handy for super busy mornings.
Fatty fish like salmon and mackerel are high in omega-3 fatty acids, which reduce inflammation and can help lower blood pressure, says Bland. They are also a great source of vitamin D, which helps the body absorb calcium, protect against depression, and regulate blood pressure.
Try it: Cooking fatty fish is super easy. Simply season it with salt, pepper, and herbs, add a little olive oil, and pop it in the oven to broil. For a specific recipe, we love this honey-spiced salmon with quinoa or try one of our best salmon recipes.
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