Eating Tips to Help Lower Your Blood Pressure
Being a healthy weight and eating a balanced diet can improve your blood pressure readings, however if your blood pressure is high, small changes to your diet can help improve your levels. Talk to a GP for more advice and information and always consult with your GP or healthcare practitioner before engaging in any supplement regime.
Here are some tips to follow:
Reduce your salt intake
Salt has a direct negative impact on blood pressure levels, so adults should eat no more than 6g of salt or 2.4 grams of sodium a day, approximately 1 teaspoon.
- Try not to eat ready meals and cook your food from fresh ingredients so that you know the salt content. With today’s busy lifestyle cooking from scratch is not always possible so check the salt levels on all pre-packed foods. The salt content will be contained in the nutritional information on the back and often on the front with the traffic light system – where possible eat products highlighted as green.
- Try and cut down on foods that have high salt levels, eat smaller amounts less frequently and opt for low-sodium versions where possible. Some foods that are often high in salt are as follows:
- fish stored in brine e.g. anchovies, tuna – opt for those in water instead
- vegetables in brine e.g. pickles, olives
- processed pork e.g. bacon, sausages, ham, salami
- sauces e.g. gravy granules, soy, stock cubes, yeast extract, pasta sauces
- prawns – these are also high in cholesterol
- salted snacks e.g. peanuts, crisps
- breads, pizzas, pre-packed sandwiches
Eat more foods containing potassium
Potassium has been shown to have a direct positive effect on lowering blood pressure levels over time. Eat more of the following foods: dark leafy greens like spinach and kale, large white beans like lentils, mushrooms, and fruits like bananas, tomatoes and avocados. Studies have shown that drinking 250ml of concentrated beetroot juice per day over four weeks can reduce blood pressure levels in people with high blood pressure.
Control your portion size
Excess weight can add to your blood pressure issues, so if you are carrying a few extra pounds try and cut down and make sure you are eating the right portion size.
Eat a balanced diet and eat at regular times
Try to avoid eating large amounts in single sittings and instead eat smaller portions at more frequent points during the day. Eat the right combinations of carbohydrates, proteins and good fats.
Moderate alcohol intake
There is a direct link between alcohol consumption and blood pressure, therefore limit your alcohol intake to help reduce your readings.