High blood pressure puts you at an increased risk for heart attack and stroke. The Harvard Medical School reports that high blood pressure can also cause damage to your ears, arteries and kidneys. If your doctor has diagnosed you with high blood pressure, making dietary changes is essential to lower your blood pressure and improve your overall health and well-being. Packing certain foods in your lunch is one way to change your diet and start down the path toward lower blood pressure.
According to the Linus Pauling Institute, individuals with low potassium intake are at a greater risk for high blood pressure. Healthy adults need to consume 4,700 milligrams of potassium each day, and adding certain foods to your lunch can help you accomplish this goal and potentially lower your blood pressure. Pack fruits and vegetables, such as avocado, bananas, berries, mangoes, apricots, prunes, tomatoes and raisins, for a quick boost of potassium. A baked potato is another potassium-rich option for your lunchbox. A glass of orange juice, a handful of almonds or a spinach salad are additional ideas that will help you consume more potassium.
Eating plenty of fiber can help lower your bad cholesterol level, and lowering your cholesterol levels will help you lower your blood pressure levels. You should aim to eat at least 30 grams of fiber per day to accomplish these goals, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends. Making your sandwich on whole-wheat bread rather than white is one way to increase your fiber intake. Eating fresh fruits and vegetables, such as apples or bell peppers, is another way to boost your fiber intake. A pasta salad made with whole-wheat noodles or a spinach and bean salad are additional high-fiber meals that travel well. A bowl of oatmeal with blackberries and raspberries is yet another high-fiber lunch idea.
Choose the Right Fats
The average fast-food meal is high in saturated fat, which raises your cholesterol levels and blood pressure. Replacing saturated fats with heart-healthy unsaturated fats helps lower your blood pressure. Have a spinach and vegetable salad with a drizzle of olive oil, or eat a serving of pasta salad made with mashed avocados instead of mayonnaise. Fatty fish, such as salmon or trout, are rich in unsaturated fats as well. Add the cooked fish to a pasta or vegetable salad to make it easy to incorporate them into a healthy lunch. Nuts and seeds are additional foods that contain unsaturated fats, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Ditch the Sodium
Lowering your intake of sodium is a key component of reducing your blood pressure. A diet high in sodium requires your heart to work harder to transport blood through your veins and arteries. Reducing how much sodium you consume eases this burden and helps lower your blood pressure. Skip canned soups, most frozen dinners, microwaveable pizzas, mac and cheese and deli meats because these are among the highest-sodium foods. Make a batch of homemade soup, which allows you to control how much sodium you use, and separate it into portable containers to stick into your lunchbox. Roast chicken or turkey at home to replace high-sodium deli meats as another way to cut the sodium from your lunch.