Keep Healthy for High Blood Pressure Awareness Month

Posted on February 15, 2023

About one third of Americans have high blood pressure, but there are many ways to keep your blood pressure low and your heart at its healthiest.

First, read the nutritional facts panel on foods and beverages. Try to consume foods those that have less than 200 mg of sodium per serving, as well as those that are naturally low in salt. This includes eating a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, especially those that are fresh, frozen or canned in water without any added sugar, trans-fats or salt. Deeply colored produce, such as spinach, carrots and broccoli, contain antioxidants that are beneficial for keeping blood pressure at safe levels. 

Whole grains are also essential in a heart healthy diet. Try to eat more foods with 2-3 grams of fiber per serving. This includes whole-wheat bread, brown rice, quinoa and whole-wheat pasta. You should be getting between 25 to 30 grams of fiber each day, so make sure to keep at least half of your grains whole.

Eat more lean protein sources, such as skinless poultry and fish. When preparing meals and snacks, try to stay away from adding extra salt and use fresh herbs and spices to flavor your foods instead. Healthier ways to enjoy these items are through grilling, baking or roasting. Eating unsalted nuts, seeds and legumes that are high in healthy fats as well can help to keep blood pressure at a normal level. When you consume a diet with a variety of these foods, this can help you to keep you and your family at their healthiest!

There are also ways to manage your blood pressure, other than your diet. First, try to decrease your stress levels. Find an activity that helps lower your stress (yoga, playing a sport, painting, etc.). Doing a physical activity for at least 30 minutes at least 3 days a week can help keep that heart and blood pressure healthy.