The foods you eat may lower blood pressure as much as medication, reports Harvard Health Publications. Start your day with a breakfast filled with key nutrients known to help with blood pressure. Getting enough potassium is essential, as it lowers blood pressure and counteracts sodium. Whole grains and several phytochemicals fight high blood pressure, or hypertension. Calcium and magnesium are also dietary musts. Calcium lowers blood pressure, while magnesium helps regulate it.
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Scrambled Egg Whites
Egg whites contain a group of amino acids dubbed RVPSL, which may lower blood pressure as well as some medications, according to emerging research presented at a meeting of the American Chemical Society in April 2013. As an added bonus, they deliver protein, which is an important element of a healthy breakfast, and they don't have any of the egg's fat. While adding any vegetables will boost the nutrients, be sure to include tomatoes and spinach. Tomatoes contribute potassium, and spinach supplies magnesium, potassium and calcium. Top your scrambled eggs with a touch of shredded, low-fat cheese to boost calcium.
Whole-Grain, Fruit-Filled Muffins
Eating three servings of whole-grain foods every day lowers blood pressure, according to research published in the October 2010 issue of the “American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.” Get your first serving of the day with muffins made from whole grains, such as whole-wheat, oats or wheat bran, and bananas, raisins or blueberries. Bananas and raisins provide potassium and magnesium. Blueberries are packed with flavonoids called anthocyanins that help reduce hypertension, as reported in August 2012 in the "American Journal of Clinical Nutrition." Pair whole-grain muffins with a glass of low-fat milk for calcium and protein.
Yogurt, Fruits and Nuts
An 8-ounce carton of plain, fat-free yogurt supplies nearly half of your daily calcium and about 10 percent of your recommended magnesium and potassium. While yogurt alone makes a quick breakfast, you'll boost its impact on your blood pressure by adding extra ingredients. Stir wheat germ into low-fat vanilla yogurt, spoon it over sliced apples, blueberries, strawberries or bananas and toss some walnuts or almonds on top. The nuts provide magnesium, apples and bananas contribute potassium and magnesium, and strawberries are as rich in anthocyanins as blueberries. Carry breakfast with you by rolling yogurt and any combination of fruits, nuts and oat granola inside a whole-grain tortilla.
On the Side
Have a glass of soy milk on the side, or pour it over your favorite whole-grain cereal. Soy milk is a rich source of plant-based nutrients called isoflavones, which lower blood pressure by dilating blood vessels. For ready-to-eat cereals, enjoy raisin bran for potassium and shredded wheat for magnesium. Your morning glass of orange juice or tomato juice is a good choice for extra potassium. Don't forget simple everyday choices: A small whole-grain English muffin or a slice of whole-wheat toast topped with nut butter and sliced bananas contains the key nutrients for lowering blood pressure.
- Harvard Health Publications: Diet Can Lower Blood Pressure as Much as Taking a Medication
- American Chemical Society: New Evidence That Egg White Protein May Help High Blood Pressure
- American Journal of Clinical Nutrition: Effect of Increased Consumption of Whole-Grain Foods on Blood Pressure and Other Cardiovascular Risk Markers in Healthy Middle-Aged Persons: A Randomized Controlled Trial
- American Journal of Clinical Nutrition: Higher Anthocyanin Intake Is Associated With Lower Arterial Stiffness and Central Blood Pressure in Women
- USDA National Nutrient Database: Yogurt, Plain, Skim Milk, 13 Grams Protein Per 8 Ounce
- Nutrition, Metabolism and Cardiovascular Disease: Effect of Soy Isoflavones on Blood Pressure: A Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials
- Office of Dietary Supplements: Magnesium
- Linus Pauling Institute: Potassium
- Linus Pauling Institute: Calcium