By now, everyone should know that losing weight, quitting smoking and reducing stress are sure ways to lower blood pressure. But there are other not-so-obvious, natural ways that also can help. And virtually all of them can be found in your favorite grocery store.
Eating dark chocolate, in small amounts, is a tasty way to lower blood pressure. It’s filled with flavonoids, which are small plant compounds that cause blood vessels to expand, helping increase heart health in multiple areas of the body.
Adding berries to your diet also can help with blood pressure because they are packed with polyphenols. These are natural plant compounds that have been shown to lower the risk of stroke, heart disease and diabetes.
Put bananas and other potassium-rich foods on your shopping list. These remove sodium from your body and soften pressure on blood vessels. You can increase your potassium levels by eating more vegetables, fruits, milk, yogurt, nuts, beans and fish.
How’s your magnesium consumption? Magnesium is a mineral that relaxes blood vessels, and most of us don’t get nearly enough. What can you eat that’s rich in magnesium? Whole foods, like legumes and whole grains, as well as chicken, lean meat, vegetables and dairy products.
You can also visit the supplements aisle. You may not be aware that aged garlic extract, whey protein, fish oils and hibiscus all have specific properties that can help reduce blood pressure.
So, if you’re looking for some nontraditional ways to lower your blood pressure and improve your overall heart health, add these natural items to your diet. And treat yourself to a piece of guilt-free dark chocolate.