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Improving Systolic Blood Pressure with Food

Nina Ghamrawi, MS, RD, CDE
5

Increasing certain minerals in the diet can help with lowering your systolic blood pressure, typically within just a few days of eating them. Also, the more of these minerals you have circulating in the digestive tract and bloodstream, the less sodium you'll typically retain from food. That means less bloating, lower blood pressure, and a more true weight! Try out some of these examples:

Magnesium:

  • Avocado
  • Nuts/seeds
  • Legumes (beans and lentils and tofu)
  • Whole grains
  • Leafy greens

Potassium:

  • Bananas
  • Oranges
  • Cactus
  • Avocado
  • Potatoes/sweet potato
  • Melon
  • Beets
  • Pomegranate

Calcium:

  • Mostly milk and dairy foods
  • Fortified foods/juices
  • Almonds
  • If you can't get enough of these a few times per day, you may need a calcium supplement with Vitamin D

Other Tips for Improving Your Systolic Pressure

  • Reduce sodium intake
  • Reduce caffeine intake - such as coffee, black tea, green tea, energy drink, some electrolyte drinks, caffeinated sodas, etc.
  • Limit alcohol intake - no more than 1 drink a day for women of all ages and men older than age 65, and up to two drinks a day for men age 65 and under
  • Have regular exercise - aim for 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise each week or more
  • Lose weight is overweight or obese

Want a couple recipes that are loaded with all three power minerals?

Spinach Salad with Roasted Beets and Goat Cheese

Kale salad with goat cheese and roasted purple, red, and yellow beets
  • 1.5 cups spinach, arugula, or kale leaves
  • 2 small beets, roasted, peeled, and sliced
  • 1/4 cup goat cheese, crumbled
  • 1/4 orange, diced
  • 1/4 cup orange juice for dressing
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp herb of your choice, crushed (I like thyme, mint, or savory for this salad)

Toss everything together. Enjoy as a side or a healthy snack!

Roasted Sweet Potato Rounds with Cinnamon and Slivered Almonds

There are plenty of variations on this recipe, some adding cayenne pepper, others adding maple extract, and some topping these little discs with cheese, vegetables, hummus, peanut butter, or other toasted nuts.

Roasted cinnamon sweet potatoes with slivered almonds
  • 1 sweet potato, washed and sliced in 1/4 inch rounds
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 drops stevia extract (optional for extra sweetness)
  • 1/4 cup slivered almonds

Preheat oven to 400F. Toss sweet potatoes with other ingredients, coating them thoroughly with flavor.  Place on a baking sheet so the rounds are laying flat. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes and enjoy as a snack (sharing optional).

Watermelon, Mint and Feta Cheese Salad

Watermelon, mint and feta salad

A great salad for spring, summer, fall, or winter, the watermelon can easily be swapped out for other melons, papaya, or strawberries or mixed berries depending on what's available.

  • 4 cups watermelon cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 3 tbsp mint leaves, finely diced
  • 1/2 cup fat free feta cheese, finely crumbled

Lightly toss all ingredients together, being careful not to squish the cheese. Serve to friends and family topped with a sprig or two of mint for garnish.

However you choose to embellish the recipes is your choice, however.  My only request is that you keep it healthy. Message me for more ideas!

Enjoy! And happy snacking!