10 Foods To Avoid If You Have High Blood Pressure & 10 That Will Help Control It

10 Foods To Avoid If You Have High Blood Pressure & 10 That Will Help Control It

Your health should always be your main priority, and if you're struggling with high blood pressure, we want to help make sure you're eating the right foods. In order to improve your blood pressure levels, there are a couple of foods you definitely need to avoid and a couple that have great health benefits you should incorporate into your daily diet. To find out what they are, keep scrolling!

1. Pickled Foods

We know you love your pickles, but if you've got high blood pressure, you're going to need to cut back. This goes for any pickled foods; the pickling process requires a significant amount of salt which leads to an increase in blood pressure. 

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2. Salt

As you probably know, high sodium intake is directly linked to increased blood pressure levels, meaning you need to find ways to reduce how much sodium you consume in your daily diet. Reducing processed and canned foods is one way to start, as they contain excessive amounts of salt to enhance flavour and preserve the food longer.

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3. Processed Meats

You're not going to like the sound of this, but you're going to have to cut back on processed meats which includes sausages, bacon, and deli meats. These are not only all extremely high in salt, but also in unhealthy fats. These fats contribute to the narrowing of your arteries, further increasing your blood pressure.

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4. Alcohol

Excessive alcohol consumption is already an unhealthy habit that should be fixed, but if you have high blood pressure, it can become even more dangerous. Both regular and excessive alcohol intake can lead to a persistent increase in blood pressure, so it's advised that you drink in moderation or avoid it altogether.

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5. Sugar-Sweetened Beverages

From sodas to fruit punches to juice, these sugary drinks need to be tracked - drinking too much of these can lead to weight gain, obesity, and an increased blood pressure. They can cause spikes in blood sugar levels, and if you've had too much, can pose as a significant risk for hypertension. 

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6. Frozen Pizza

Although frozen pizzas are great for a quick and fast meal at home, they're high in sodium, refined flour, and processed fats, all components which can contribute to arterial stiffness and high blood pressure. It's better to whip up something fresh and healthier if you're worried about your blood pressure.

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7. Deep-Fried Foods

While you should already know deep-fried foods, such as french fries and fried chicken, are very unhealthy for you, consuming these foods regularly can lead to both weight gain and increased blood pressure. If you're trying to control your blood pressure, you'll want to say goodbye to these fried goodies and only eat them occasionally.

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8. Baked Goods

Commercially prepared baked goods like pastries, doughnuts, and muffins are often made with trans fats and a high amount of sugar, both of which can elevate blood pressure by increasing bad cholesterol levels and promoting inflammation.

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9. Canned Soups

Canned soups might be appreciated for their convenience, but they're definitely something your body won't thank you for. Typically loaded with sodium, canned soups can significantly raise blood pressure, especially if they're a part of your regular diet. If you need to use them, opt for a low-sodium version or just make them from scratch instead!

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10. Licorice

Surprised to see licorice on here? Licorice candy can cause an increase in blood pressure due to the presence of glycyrrhizin, which can cause potassium levels to drop while increasing sodium retention. Consuming large amounts of licorice or foods flavored with real licorice should be avoided if you have high blood pressure; it can be seriously dangerous.

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1. Leafy Greens

Rich in nitrates which help to manage your blood pressure, leafy greens should become your new best friend. From spinach to kale and collard greens, these vegetables are rich in potassium, which helps the kidneys eliminate more sodium through your urine. Eating at least one cup daily can seriously help lower your blood pressure!

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2. Berries

Berries, more specifically blueberries, are rich in natural compounds called flavonoids. Studies have found that consuming one type of flavonoid called anthocyanin, can help with lowering your blood pressure and improve your overall health.

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3. Beets

Beets and beet juice are incredibly high in nitric oxide, a substance that is great for helping open your blood vessels and lowering blood pressure. Drinking beetroot juice has even been shown to have amazing immediate effects on lowering blood pressure levels!

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4. Oats

Did you know oatmeal is a great choice for breakfast if you have high blood pressure? That's because oats contain a type of fiber called beta-glucan which has been demonstrated to reduce blood cholesterol levels which also help lowers blood pressure. 

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5. Bananas

Bananas are a great option to consider if you're looking to better control your blood pressure levels; they're an excellent source of potassium, which is vital in helping you maintain your blood pressure. Turns out it's actually eating one banana a day that will help keep the doctors away!

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6. Salmon and Fatty Fish

Fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, and sardines are actually great for helping you lower your blood pressure. They're high in omega-3 fatty acids which can also help reduce inflammation and lower triglycerides, a type of fat found in your blood. Including these kinds of fish in your diet can help improve your heart health!

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7. Garlic

Garlic is an effective and natural remedy for helping control blood pressure; it contains allicin which is a compound believed to have a multitude of health benefits (including lowering blood pressure, of course!). Whether it's consumed raw, as an oil, or a supplement, it's a fantastic way to improve your health.

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8. Dark Chocolate

Dark chocolate (at least 70% cocoa) contains flavonoids that can help reduce blood pressure. Enjoying a small piece of dark chocolate daily can be a delightful way to help your blood pressure management (while also helping to satisfy some sweet cravings!).

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9. Pomegranates

Pomegranates are packed with antioxidants and can lower blood pressure in the short term. It's been studied that drinking a cup of pomegranate juice daily might improve heart health and lower blood pressure.

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10. Watermelon

Watermelon contains an amino acid called citrulline, which may help to manage high blood pressure. That's because citrulline is said to help the body produce nitric oxide, a gas that helps relax the blood vessels and improve flexibility in arteries. In turn, this can help you lower your blood pressure.

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