High blood pressure is one of the most common ailments to affect man today, yet it is also one of the most easily remedied conditions.
While most people just accept high blood pressure as a common sign of aging, changing your lifestyle is the key to destroying that ridiculous “old age” myth…
Cutting all processed foods, meats, dairy and restaurant food you consume, along with eating nothing but whole and natural foods, combined with moderate exercise and adequate rest, is the corner-stones to reducing high blood pressure and maintaining a healthy, energetic life.
Fortunately, Fall provides a bounty of foods that are not only tasty but have just the right ingredients to get your blood pressure on track.
Squash, such as pumpkin, butternut squash, kabocha, and banana squash, is a delicious addition to any meal (or as a meal!) for those looking to lower and maintain healthy blood pressure. Squash boasts an impressive amount of the minerals magnesium and potassium, as well as some calcium. Adequate amounts of these minerals are important for maintaining healthy blood pressure, as they directly help to regulate proper blood vessel function (and thus blood pressure). In addition, squash contains numerous other beneficial nutrients, such as Beta-carotene and Vitamin C. Both these nutrients are important for helping to reduce inflammation in your body — reducing levels of inflammation is also important for reducing high blood pressure, but also important for reducing your risk for all other diseases, especially heart disease.
Brussels Sprouts are one of the most health-promoting foods you can consume! When it comes to blood pressure, they’re almost ideal! Brussels sprouts contain an impressive amount of potassium, one of those all-important electrolytes important for regulating blood pressure. Being a member of the cabbage family, they also contain large amounts of Vitamin C, Beta-carotene, calcium, fiber, and beneficial phytonutrients that decrease inflammation and help reduce your risk for all forms of cancer.
Apples are said to keep the doctor away for good reason! This fruit seems commonplace in the face of other ‘superfruits’ (like pomegranate and açaí) that we tend to forget it’s substantial health benefits. Apples contain a unique kind of soluble fiber called pectin. Pectin has been linked to lowering high cholesterol levels, reducing body inflammation, improving elimination, and reducing high blood pressure. Apples also boast a respectable amount of Vitamin C and an antioxidant called quercetin, which has been shown to increase oxygen availability in your lungs, thereby increasing overall endurance and relieving stress on your body.
Pumpkin Seeds, also known as pepitas, are usually available year-round at most grocery stores, but can be made fresh during the Fall! Pumpkin seeds contain large amounts of magnesium, an important mineral for maintaining healthy blood pressure and blood flower. A single serving of pumpkin seeds (1/4 cup) can contain as much as 50% of your recommended daily intake of magnesium! Pumpkin seeds also boast significant quantities of Vitamin E and zinc, two important nutrients required to promote optimal health, including supporting a healthy libido. Pumpkin seeds are especially beneficial for men, with numerous studies suggesting that consuming pumpkin seeds regularly will help reduce the risk of prostate cancer.
Yams are extremely beneficial to helping to reduce high blood pressure. Yams contain ample amounts of those important electrolytes magnesium and potassium, and also a hefty quantity of Vitamin C. Yams take the nutrition level up from potatoes in that they also contain large amounts of Beta-carotene, helping to reduce your body’s inflammation. In addition, yams having a lower Glycemic index than potatoes, making them an ideal choice for those looking to regulate blood sugar.
Kale is a nutrient powerhouse of a vegetable. Like the Brussels sprout, it is also a member of the cabbage family. I posted recently about the full health benefits of kale, but it’s so nutritious it was worth mentioning again! Kale contains a very large quantity of potassium, but also contains large amounts of Vitamin C, Vitamin K, calcium, magnesium, and Omega 3 fats — all of which are important for regulating a healthy blood pressure, and largely work in conjunction with each other!
No Fall or Winter is complete with the blood pressure reducing herb that is Cinnamon! While cinnamon is largely known for being delicious, it is most frequently touted for helping to regulate blood sugar levels. However, more recent studies have also shown cinnamon to be an important addition to helping regulate healthy blood pressure levels. The blood pressure regulating the effect of cinnamon has been shown to be even more powerful for those looking to regulate blood sugar levels. While it is unknown exactly why cinnamon is beneficial for regulating blood pressure, it likely has to do with lowering overall inflammation in the body. Sprinkle cinnamon on your oatmeal in the morning, or especially on your baked apples, oatmeal and squash!