No matter one’s age, a good diet is the key to living a healthy lifestyle. An ideal diet should consist of balanced portions of vegetables, fruits, dairy, protein, and grain. Good nutrition allows our bodies to operate at their maximum capacity and control our weight. In addition, it can prevent us from falling sick easily and slow down the onset of illnesses such as heart disease, diabetes, osteoporosis, and high blood pressure. As we age, our blood pressure increases. While this is inevitable, we can consume foods that contain blood-pressure-lowering effects.
We’ve all been told from young to consume vegetables, and this is for a good reason. Vegetables are mostly seen as superfoods, packed with nutrients, fiber, vitamins, and more. Specific vegetables such as lettuce, cabbage, collard greens, and kale are especially remarkable as they contain nitrates and potassium, which work towards lowering blood pressure. Eat these vegetables raw in salads, blend them into a juice or cook them as a dish.
Fish is an amazing meat alternative for low-sodium and does not increase blood pressure. Some fishes such as salmon and mackerel are packed with Omega-3 fatty acids, while trout is one of the few foods that contain high levels of vitamin D. All these nutrients can reduce inflammation and lower blood pressure at the same time. The next time you’re looking for a source of protein in your diet, we recommend switching out steaks with fish.
Beets are not a food enjoyed by everyone, but if you do like it, that’s good news for your health as beets contain high concentrations of inorganic nitrate, which means that they are relatively as effective as some medications. Consuming beets daily can lower blood pressure both as a short-term and long-term solution. You can add beats into juices, which give the juice a nice bright purple color, as side dishes, into salads and even stir-fry dishes.
Who doesn’t love berries? Whether it’s blueberries, blackberries, or strawberries, dark berries are a classic healthy after-dinner treat that goes with everything. Berries contain vital flavonoids and a type of antioxidants called anthocyanins that can lower blood pressure. You can incorporate berries into desserts like pies and cakes, or prepare them as sauces for your stuffing recipe. Truly, berries can be eaten any time of the day.
Sometimes, we can’t help but crave for something sweet, particularly chocolate. In this case, go for dark chocolate instead, which is significantly healthier than milk or white chocolate. Look for dark chocolate that contains at least 50% to 70% cocoa amount and has no artificial sugar added. How dark chocolate lowers blood pressure is due to the compound, flavonoids, which are antioxidants capable of reducing the risk of hypertension. Dark chocolate can be paired with yogurts, fruit, and desserts to add a bitter flavor.
Switch out butter with olive oil the next time you’re cooking. Olive oil is a healthy fat substitute for salads, bread, and cooking in general, as it contains polyphenols that work towards lowering blood pressure and reducing inflammation.