Foods to avoid:
- Packaged foods in general
- Be careful about restaurant foods
- Red meat
- Sugary foods
For people who don’t have a high blood pressure issue, the normal amount of sodium that is okay to have per day is 2400 mg. That lowers to 1500 when you need to watch your blood pressure numbers more carefully.
When you go grocery shopping, or if you happen to have some packaged convenience foods in your cupboard, take a quick look at the sodium content. You might be shocked to see how fast the amount of sodium adds up! Sodium constricts your blood vessels,which makes it harder for the blood to pass. It is a major contributor to high blood pressure.
Now would be a great time to watch a few cooking shows on The Food Network to get some ideas on how easy it is to put together some healthy meals for you and your family. This is not just for the women; you guys out there can learn some easy ways to eat healthy too!
Restaurant foods have a tendency to be laden with sodium. Most chefs do not see the need to use salt sparingly. With that in mind and also knowing that most meals are pretty generous when eating out, one idea is to actually ask for a doggy bag before you even start eating. That way, you won’t be tempted to eat the whole thing, and down more than a day’s worth of sodium in one sitting.
The reason you need to be careful with the amount of red meat is because of the fats in the meat. They have a tendency to put fats into your arteries and veins which can then get clogged, thus making your pressure rise as the blood pushes its way through to the heart.
Basically with the red meat and the sugary foods, it is best to eat these in moderation. If you go into this with an all or nothing mindset, you may have a tendency to, shall we say, fall off the wagon. Eating in moderation, unless your doctor tells you otherwise, should be good unless you aren’t choosing enough foods from the “good blood pressure food” list.
Foods to lower blood pressure:
- Fruits and vegetables
- Fish (high in omega 3′s)
- Black beans (Try a black bean burger as a substitute when you go out for a hamburger – they are yummy!
- Low fat dairy
Here are a few foods that are excellent for your relaxing your arteries and bringing those important numbers down:
- Apple cider vinegar: Try a teaspoon or two in eight ounces of water; it can actually lower blood pressure very quickly. Ick! I know, but the result is sooo worth it! It does lots of other great things for you also.
A word of caution here for people with diabetes and for people who take Digoxin:: because apple cider vinegar actually helps with blood sugar, so if you are on diabetes medicine, make sure you ask your doctor before taking large amounts of apple cider vinegar. The drug Digoxin (Lanoxin) also interacts with large amounts of apple cider vinegar. Once again, check with your doctor if you are taking that drug.
- Oatmeal: Even in summer, a delicious bowl of oatmeal in the morning not only keeps you from getting hungry for a while, but the oats slow the plaque buildup in your arteries.
- Celery: When you get the urge to eat something crunchy, try celery! It may not be what you dream of when you open the refrigerator, but it sure beats a panic attack when your blood pressure numbers are too high from that bag of potato chips! Why eat celery? There is a phytochemical in celery that relaxes the artery walls, which in turn lowers blood pressure. Three to four stalks is recommended per day to lower blood pressure.
When you have a tendency towards high blood pressure, many doctors recommend having a blood pressure monitor at home. This not only gives you a means of telling the doctor how your blood pressure is behaving when you are away from his office, but gives you peace of mind. It also eliminates the “white coat syndrome” of higher numbers from nerves when you are actually at the doctor’s office or rushing to get there. Just being able to keep track of my blood pressure at home alone lowers my blood pressure!
About LuAnne Jamieson.Click here for information about the Omron monitor I’ve used for three years, and swear by. More information will be included soon. My Kindle e-book, “How to Lower Blood Pressure Fast” will make it easier with food decisions and lots of other choices to get you healthier! If you don’t have Kindle, the same page has a box where you can click to download onto a PC.