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An Alternative to Medication: 10 Foods That Lower Blood Pressure Organically

An Alternative to Medication: 10 Foods That Lower Blood Pressure Organically

What are you doing to lower your blood pressure?

  • Are you handing over your paycheck to doctors and pharmacists?
  • Are you sacrificing the tastes of your favorite foods?
  • Are you missing out on some of your favorite activities?

If you are suffering from high blood pressure, or have been recently diagnosed with high blood pressure, your life will never be the same.

High blood pressure is a serious health issue that requires many lifestyle changes and treatments to control. It’s not something you can – or should – ignore, and it’s certainly not to taken lightly.

But while doctors and medications can help you lower your blood pressure, it’s ultimately up to you to make changes to your health that will keep your blood pressure in check.

Your doctor may have told you to avoid certain foods that contribute to high blood pressure, but you might not realize that there are foods that lower blood pressure, too. And if lowering your blood pressure is important to you, then, by all means, you should be eating these foods.

Diet is Better Than Reliance on Medication

While many folks marvel at the wonders of modern medicine, you should know that no medication is completely risk-proof. Many medicines used to lower blood pressure often tack on some unpleasant side effects, like diarrhea, constipation, erectile dysfunction, lack of energy, dizziness, cough, vomiting, headache, weight loss, or weight gain. Each of these side effects may need additional treatment measures, which means more doctor visits, possibly more medications, and certainly more money.

If you face high blood pressure, you may not realize that you have other management options outside of expensive medical treatment.

You may already know to avoid certain foods that can elevate your blood pressure, like salty foods, alcohol, processed meat, and coffee. But adding the right foods, such as those rich in potassium, calcium, and magnesium, can help you lower your blood pressure naturally without the drastic side effects of blood pressure medication.

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How Diets Lower Our Blood Pressure as Studies Show

  • Eating potassium helps your kidneys purge your body of excess sodium, one of the major culprits of high blood pressure.
  • Calcium helps blood vessels contract and expand, and not having enough calcium can tighten artery walls. It also helps balance your body’s sodium supply.
  • Magnesium helps calcium and potassium to pass through cell walls. Studies show that low magnesium levels can up the chance of a heart attack by 60%. [1]

10 All-Star Foods That Lower Blood Pressure

Now, that’s not to say that you should not take medication the doctor prescribed. But eating foods that lower blood pressure give you an additional means of taking control of your health that could give you the results you need quicker than medication alone.

Below you shall see 10 foods that help lower blood pressure.

1. Flaxseed

    Studies have proven that flaxseed can successfully lower blood pressure. Flaxseed doesn’t taste like much, which makes it great to sprinkle some on just about anything from salads to soups to sandwiches and more [2].

    Try flax seed in these delicious chocolate-cherry snack bars.

    2. Fresh Leafy Greens

      Foods like fresh kale, arugula, turnip greens, romaine lettuce, and spinach are naturally high in potassium. Avoid eating canned greens, like spinach and turnip greens, because these usually have added salt.

      This smoothie recipe combines fresh greens with calcium-rich yogurt for a tasty breakfast treat.

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      3. Red Beets

        High in nitric oxide, red beets can help open blood vessels to lower blood pressure. In addition, research shows that the nitrates in beet juice successfully lowered blood pressure in participants in just 24 hours [3].

        Try this easy recipe for a roasted beets salad.

        4. White Beans

          Just one cup of white beans, like cannellini beans or navy beans, can give you 13% of your calcium, 30% of your magnesium, and 24% of your potassium each day. Make sure you choose a no-salt canned variety if you don’t want to cook dry beans.

          Try this heart-healthy white bean chicken chili.

          5. Yogurt

            Yogurt is packed with calcium – you can get almost half of your daily servings in just one cup! It also contains 12% of the magnesium and 18% of the potassium your body needs.

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            Make your own fat-free Greek yogurt at home.

            6. Bananas

              Bananas have long been known as a source for potassium, but they also contain a fair amount of magnesium and calcium.

              Try this heart-healthy banana bread recipe.

              7. Quinoa

                This whole grain packs 15% of your daily magnesium, along with 1.5% the calcium and 4.5% of the potassium you need. It’s also gluten-free.

                Try this basic quinoa recipe.

                8. Broccoli

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                  Broccoli packs the potassium-calcium-magnesium trifecta in every stalk.

                  Try one of these 3 recipes that are chock full of broccoli goodness.

                  9. Skim Milk

                    Smothered in calcium, you can do your body good with a glass or two of skim milk each day. The Vitamin D and calcium work together to help lower blood pressure by 3 to 10 percent [4].

                    Try this morning smoothie recipe that uses skim milk and other heart-healthy ingredients.

                    10. Sunflower Seeds

                      These tiny seeds provide a great source of magnesium. Just make sure you buy the unsalted kind, since you want to minimize your salt intake.

                      Add to any salad, or try this extraordinary recipe for Sunflower Chive Cheese Cucumber Bites.

                      Let’s Embrace Health with a Good Diet! 

                      Adding these 10 foods that lower blood pressure to your diet may be the extra health boost your body needs to fight back against blood pressure issues.

                      Reference

                      More by this author

                      Alli Hill

                      Lifestyle Writer and Marketing Consultant

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                      Last Updated on January 21, 2020

                      The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

                      The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

                      Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

                      your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

                        Why You Need a Vision

                        Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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                        How to Create Your Life Vision

                        Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

                        What Do You Want?

                        The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

                        It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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                        Some tips to guide you:

                        • Remember to ask why you want certain things
                        • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
                        • Give yourself permission to dream.
                        • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
                        • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

                        Some questions to start your exploration:

                        • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
                        • What would you like to have more of in your life?
                        • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
                        • What are your secret passions and dreams?
                        • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
                        • What do you want your relationships to be like?
                        • What qualities would you like to develop?
                        • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
                        • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
                        • What would you most like to accomplish?
                        • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

                        It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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                        What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

                        Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

                        A few prompts to get you started:

                        • What will you have accomplished already?
                        • How will you feel about yourself?
                        • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
                        • What does your ideal day look like?
                        • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
                        • What would you be doing?
                        • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
                        • How are you dressed?
                        • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
                        • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
                        • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

                        It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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                        Plan Backwards

                        It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

                        • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
                        • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
                        • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
                        • What important actions would you have had to take?
                        • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
                        • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
                        • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
                        • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
                        • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

                        Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

                        It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

                        Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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