8 Foods to Lower Blood Pressure This Heart Month

Gloria Tsang newWritten by Canadian Lentils Dietitian Gloria Tsang, RD

8 Foods to Lower Blood Pressure This Heart Month

February is Heart Month and is a great time to lower your blood pressure. The Public Health Agency of Canada reports that 22% of Canadian adults are living with high blood pressure. Given that 17% of these individuals are not even aware of their condition, the prevalence of hypertension is likely even higher in Canada.

So how do you choose foods that will help manage high blood pressure? There are 2 simple rules. Choose foods that are:

  1. Low in sodium – Avoid highly processed foods (HPFs). Be sure to read the nutrition label of packaged foods to find out how much sodium you are eating in each suggested serving.
  2. High in calcium, magnesium and potassium – These 3 minerals have been shown to help manage high blood pressure. Choosing foods high in these are key.

Here are 8 Foods that can Help to Lower Blood Pressure

  • Beans – Tasty and versatile, beans are high in fiber, magnesium and potassium. Simply add beans to your soups, salads or chilli’s to get the benefits.
  • Lentils – Just 100 grams of split red lentils has more potassium than a banana. The Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) study reported that a diet rich in pulses (including lentils) and whole grains was associated with lowering blood pressure. Try making this easy Lentil Lemon soup.
  • Potatoes – Potassium has been shown to help lower high blood pressure and the most common food associated with potassium is a banana. But did you know that a medium-sized potato actually contain much more potassium than banana? Keep the skin please, that’s where most potassium is found.
  • Kiwi – The same goes for kiwi! Kiwi actually has more potassium than a banana! And these little cuties are almost available at supermarkets all year-round.
  • Kale – There is a reason this dark green leafy vegetable is touted as a superfood in recent years! Just one cup of kale provides a high dose of magnesium and potassium. Try this Mashed Potatoes with Red Lentils and Kale recipe on a cold winter day!
  • Avocado – This nutty and versatile fruit contains a high amount of potassium. In fact, just ½ of an avocado contain more potassium than a banana.
  • Edamame – You can find edamame (soybeans indeed) in the frozen aisles at many grocery stores these days. Just ½ a cup will provide a high dose of potassium.
  • Quinoa – Eating whole grains like quinoa not only have been associated with lowering diabetes, but quinoa is also heart healthy as it contain high amounts of magnesium and potassium. Try this Salad Wrap recipe that has both quinoa and lentils.

This Heart Month, give your heart a break and treat it right by choosing foods that can help you manage your blood pressure.