Many older adults have high blood pressure (hypertension), putting them at risk for heart disease and stroke. Try incorporating more of these five foods into your diet to help lower and control your blood pressure, and improve your general health and well-being in 2022.
People with a higher intake of folate had a significantly lower incidence of high blood pressure compared to those who had the lowest intake of folate, according to a study documented in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Broccoli is a good source of folate along with lentils and leafy greens like kale and spinach.
Almonds are a source of heart-healthy monounsaturated fats and a 2016 study showed that adding almonds to a calorie-restricted diet helped lower blood pressure more than dieting without nuts. Another study indicated that including one to two servings of pistachios per day to their diet could also help reduce blood pressure in people with high blood fat (triglyceride) levels.
Numerous studies have indicated that people who eat a diet rich in omega-3 fats have the lowest blood pressure. Omega-3 is also believed to help enhance brain and memory function. Salmon is an excellent natural source of omega-3 fats, and so are tuna, mackerel, sardines, and herring. Oysters and anchovies are also good options for boosting your omega-3 intake.
The DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) eating plan recommends high fiber foods such as beans when you have high blood pressure. Just make sure any canned beans you buy have no added salt or are low in sodium.
Who said chocolate can’t be part of a healthy diet? Cocoa beans are packed with antioxidants, including theobromine, which has been shown to reduce blood pressure. To reap these health benefits, though, you’ll need to get dark chocolate with at least 60% cacao and eat it in moderation (no more than 1 ounce per day) since it typically also includes quite a lot of fat and sugar.
Have fun incorporating these foods into your meals and snacks, and be sure to check with your health care provider before making any significant dietary changes. For more tips on health and wellness for seniors, check out more posts at the Brightwater Senior Living blog.