It is important to monitor your blood pressure regularly to ensure good health. Because what you consume can be directly tied to your blood pressure, it is recommended to make some dietary changes in order to keep yourself healthy in your later years. In addition to exercising, this may include cutting out some of your favorite treats, though your body will thank you later. Listed below are foods that you should eat and those you should avoid in order to lower your blood pressure.
60. Avoid: Alcohol
Fun fact, alcohol tightens your blood vessels, which leads to high blood pressure. The sugar in alcohol can also lead to weight gain. It’s a lose-lose.
59. Eat: Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes have many health benefits. One of which is its large supply of potassium, known to help reduce high blood pressure.’
58. Avoid: Sugar
Sugar can lead to weight gain, diabetes, and high blood pressure. It’s okay to eat sugar from time to time, but it’s best to find an alternative way to feed your sweet tooth, like eating more of the healthy fruits on our list!
57. Eat: Pomegranates
You can eat pomegranates plain or blend them into a juice. A cup of pomegranate juice every day can reduce your blood pressure in just four weeks!
56. Avoid: Sauce
Sauces are delicious but have you checked their sodium contents recently? Hot sauce has 2,645 mg of salt for just 100 grams and mustard contains 300 mg of salt per gram.
55. Eat: Lentils
Lentils also help to lower blood pressure by opening the blood vessels in the body and serve as great sources of both protein and fiber.
54. Avoid: Bacon
For the bacon lovers out there, this one is for you. Bacon has high amounts of both sodium and fats. You may want to try a healthier breakfast alternative, like oatmeal, mentioned later on this list.
53. Eat: Dark Chocolate
Dark chocolate is healthy in small servings and can lower your risk of heart disease. Pass it over!
52. Avoid: Butter
Butter contains large quantities of fat that can block your arteries. Blocking the arteries causes your heart to work harder to pump your blood, which could increase the chance of heart attacks or heart disease.
51. Eat: Olive Oil
Olive oil is considered a “healthy fat” that combats inflammation, a major contributor to high blood pressure. You can use it in a salad as your salad dressing and boom you’re on your way to a healthier lifestyle.
50. Avoid: Ramen Noodles
So maybe an instant meal like ramen noodles isn’t the healthiest option. This dish has 1,580 mg of sodium, which is more sodium than you should have in a day. Steer clear folks.
49. Eat: Oatmeal
A breakfast staple, oatmeal is low in both sodium and fat and high in fiber, all of which are great for lowering your blood pressure.
48. Avoid: Cheese
Though you may be an avid cheese fan, cheese does tend to have quite a bit of salt. For example, cheddar cheese contains 621 mg of salt for every 100 grams of cheese. Gouda contains 819 mg of salt for every 100 grams while American cheese comes in hot at 1,671 mg for every 100 grams. Think of all that salt!
47. Eat: Cinnamon
Cinnamon is great for blood pressure as well as a healthy substitute for sugar.
46. Avoid: Pizza
Not surprisingly, pizza is full of sodium and fat. That doesn’t make it terrible to eat once and a while but definitely not on a regular basis.
45. Eat: Watermelon
Watermelon contains amino acids that promote the production of nitric oxide in the body. This nitric oxide keeps your blood vessels from constricting, which lowers blood pressure.
44. Avoid: Peanut Butter
This is for the peanut butter lovers. Did you know that your favorite spread has a lot of sugar and saturated fat, which can block your arteries? You should try a healthier fat-free or sugar-free alternative.
43. Eat: Garlic
Weird right? Garlic actually increases the levels of nitric oxide in your body. This helps widen the arteries, which in turn, reduces your blood pressure.
42. Avoid: Whole Milk
Whole milk tastes great, but that’s because it is full of saturated fats. For a healthier milk option, switch to skimmed milk or semi-skimmed milk.
41. Eat: Kiwis
Kiwis have many nutrients that are great for lowering blood pressure. It is also high in vitamin C, making it a healthy addition to your diet.
40. Avoid: Red Meat
Red meat is not harmful in small doses but it does have large amounts of saturated fats that could block your arteries. Limiting your consumption of red meat to once a week is recommended.
39. Eat: Hummus
Since chickpeas can lower blood pressure and hummus is made from chickpeas, hummus also lowers blood pressure. You can eat hummus with carrot sticks to create a heart-healthy snack.
38. Avoid: Chicken Skin
The reason chicken skin tastes so good is because it absorbs all of the fats and salts when cooked. Try to just eat the meat without the skin to keep your blood pressure down.
37. Eat: Beetroots
Multiple studies have found that consuming beetroot juice can lower your blood pressure in a matter of hours! Beets contain large amounts of potassium, which reduces blood pressure. If you aren’t a fan of the taste of beetroots, add some apple juice for a better taste.
36. Avoid: Canned Beans
Canned beans are filled with salt and preservatives, both of which are known to raise your blood pressure. They can also lead to heart attacks later in life.
35. Eat: Apricots
Another fruit rich in vitamin C and beta-carotene, these are great for lowering your blood pressure and they’re tasty too!
34. Avoid: Canned Soup
The problem with canned soup is all of the sodium it contains. Just one can of soup has 800 mg of salt, which is more sodium than you should consume in a day.
33. Eat: Spinach
Spinach falls into the leafy green section that we mentioned was great for blood pressure. Spinach has a ton of great benefits for your body and is pretty much a superfood.
32. Avoid: Coffee
Coffee has quite a lot of caffeine, which isn’t surprising. But, did you know that caffeine is harmful to people who suffer from high blood pressure? Maybe it’s time to try decaf.
31. Eat: Berries
Berries in general, but especially blueberries, have many natural antioxidants that have been shown to lower blood pressure.
30. Avoid: Sauerkraut
Did you know that a portion of sauerkraut has 460 mg of salt? That’s already a third of the sodium in your recommended daily intake. Some healthier alternatives to this sodium-rich vegetable are cabbage or lettuce.
29. Eat: Flaxseed
Flaxseed is the bomb.com for lowering your blood pressure. It is full of fiber and omega-3 and it helps to increase the blood flow in your body.
28. Avoid: Popcorn
Regular popcorn isn’t that bad for high blood pressure. Though once you add all the butter, salt, and yummy toppings, then it becomes a problem.
27. Eat: Bell Pepper
Bell peppers contain high levels of vitamin C and help to keep your veins open and relaxed. We consider that a win!
26. Avoid: Baked Goods
Not surprisingly, baked goods are not very healthy. With all the sugars, carbs, and fats, they aren’t the best choice for reducing your blood pressure.
25. Eat: Leafy Greens
The potassium in leafy greens helps your kidneys eliminate sodium, a key contributor to high blood pressure.
24. Avoid: Candy
Candy is full of sugar which could cause weight gain, kidney problems, and ultimately, high blood pressure.
23. Eat: Mango
Mangos are not only delicious but also rich in fiber and beta-carotene, which are both known to reduce blood pressure.
22. Avoid: Rice
Rice has a good amount of salt and sugar in it which makes it not so healthy for the heart.
21. Eat: Eggs
If you cook your eggs without all of the unhealthy toppings, they can help you lose weight and keep your blood pressure under control.
20. Avoid: Pretzels
If you thought pretzels were a healthy snack, think again. Pretzels are deep-fried and then covered in salt. That’s a combination of salts, oils, carbs, and fats. Time to switch it up.
19. Eat: Tomatoes
Tomatoes are high in vitamin C and contain lycopene, which reduces blood pressure. Tomatoes and ketchup are not interchangeable, so make sure you consume tomatoes.
18. Avoid: Doughnuts
What could be unhealthy about fried carbs covered in icing filled with sugar? Ummm…
17. Eat: Pistachios
Pistachios reduce the narrowing of blood vessels, making it a great snack for lowering your blood pressure. Another benefit is that it can boost your heart rate!
16. Avoid: Frozen Dinners
As you may have heard, easier is not always better, especially when it comes to food. Frozen meals have a ton of sodium that is a risk to your blood pressure. If you can, try to avoid eating frozen dinners completely.
15. Eat: Carrots
Carrots, high in vitamin C, are also beneficial for your sight, teeth, and blood pressure!
14. Avoid: Salt
This should be a given. Salt is not good for people who struggle with high blood pressure. Most of the foods we eat have salt, so you don’t need to put extra table salt on your food.
13. Eat: Onions
Onions are great for reducing blood pressure but maybe not so great for your breath. Health comes first, right!
12. Avoid: Cigarettes
Cigarettes are all-around bad for your body so this shouldn’t be too much of a surprise. Cigarettes constrict the blood vessels, making the heart work harder to pump blood to your body.
11. Eat: Lima Beans
Fresh lima beans are a healthy option to lower your blood pressure, canned lima beans, not so much.
10. Avoid: Canned Veggies
As we mentioned before, canned items are filled with salts and preservatives, even when it comes to vegetables. Fresh vegetables are definitely a healthier option.
9. Eat: Natural Yogurt
If you aren’t an oatmeal person, you can always count on yogurt to lower your blood pressure. If natural yogurt doesn’t sound so tasty, you can add berries or cinnamon to the mix, which are also great for reducing blood pressure.
8. Avoid: Pickles
Just think about it. Pickles are kept in jars filled with pickle juice. The pickle juice contains a lot of salt, which the pickles absorb by sitting in the jar. If you’re looking for a healthier alternative, cucumbers should do the trick.
7. Eat: Strawberries
Strawberries have a certain pigment in them that helps lower blood pressure. Cool, right!
6. Avoid: Processed Meat
Processed meat has tons of sodium as well as saturated fats to keep the meat from spoiling. We know it’s tough to change your diet, but your arteries will thank you later.
5. Eat: Eggplant
Eggplants have many vitamins and antioxidants that help lower cholesterol and improve circulation.
4. Avoid: Fried Food
This one isn’t too surprising. We all know that fried foods aren’t the healthiest due to the high levels of sodium and saturated fats. Try to cut out fried foods if possible. It may be hard, but you’ll benefit in the future.
3. Eat: Avocado
Avocados have high levels of potassium and antioxidants, making them great for your diet. They’re also delicious!
2. Avoid: French Fries
Another fried food. French fries are fried in fats and oils, which they absorb throughout the process. Delicious, but deadly for your blood pressure.
1. Eat: Almonds
Almonds are another type of nut that reduces blood pressure. It also helps improve your memory!