Summer in the Pacific Northwest means fresh produce and other amazing foods. The great news is that many of these foods can also improve your health.
Today, we will discuss foods that can help with lowering blood pressure and preventing hypertension.
Berries! There are so many varieties to enjoy. In addition to their utter deliciousness, they are extremely nutritious. Berries contain antioxidants which help our bodies repair the everyday wear and tear that our bodies experience. Berries contain a variety of vitamins and minerals plus they are a great source of dietary fiber. The anthocyanins in berries are also great for preventing hypertension or high blood pressure as the flavonoids can have vasodilatory properties.
Spinach and other dark leafy greens are naturally high in nitrates in addition to other benefits. The nitrates improve blood vessel integrity which can improve blood pressure. Spinach has been shown as one of the more powerful antioxidants for cardiovascular function compared to other foods.
Salmon, especially wild caught salmon, has a lot of antiinflammatory omega-3 fatty acids which have been shown to lower blood pressure. The amount needed is approximately 3 grams of omega-3 fatty acids. About 4 ounces of salmon filet will provide this amount of fatty acids.
Eating between 55-70 grams of legumes a day has been shown to reduce the risk of developing hypertension in one study. There are many ways to increase legumes in your diet, it is a plant based source of protein and fiber as well as other micronutrients to help with gastrointestinal function in addition to the cardiovascular benefits.
Many of these foods can be found at local farmers markets or u-pick farms. You may even be surprised to find out that farmers markets can even be more affordable than expected. If you have SNAP benefits you may be eligible for additional money to purchase produce from farmers markets.
For more information, please schedule an appointment with Dr. Sara Love