I read the other day that around a third of adults in the UK have high blood pressure. Wow, that really shocked me, and according to the NHS, many people won’t realise they have it.
What is it hypertension?
Hypertension or high blood pressure, rarely has noticeable symptoms. But if untreated, it increases your risk of serious problems such as heart attacks and strokes.
The only way to find out if your blood pressure is high is to have your blood pressure checked.
Check out the NHS overview to find out more here
How can you lower your blood pressure? Well, your doctor will tell you to make some lifestyle changes, exercise more, eat healthily and loose weight, if you are overweight.
If your problems persist you could be put on medication, in some cases this can be for life!
Blood pressure-friendly nutrients and foods
So those lifestyle changes are important.
Thinking about healthy eating, I wondered if there were any foods that would be good for healthy blood pressure. My first stop was to see if any nutrients are sanctioned by the EU Food Safety Authority (EFSA) for an EU Regulated Health Claim for healthy blood pressure, (this is what you see on food labels).
There are two, these are potassium and omega 3 EPA DHA, so let’s take a closer look at the highest foods for them.
How can you get more potassium in your diet?
Well potassium has the highest RDA (recommended dietary amount) of any vitamin or mineral.
Don’t be discouraged, as one of the nations favourite foods is right up there and that’s potatoes. But because the RDA is so high an average portion of oven chips will only give you 22% of your RDA.
Soya mince, coconut water, beef, chicken, sweet potato and sardines are all good for potassium, but struggle to reach 20% of your RDA. You really will have to eat a mixed diet to get your fill. What about bananas I hear you screaming, well they are way down the list, with an average banana only giving you 8% of your RDA.
So, what about meals?
Another favourite, a roast dinner, will give you loads of potassium, and this close to Christmas it’s great to know our Christmas lunch
will give you over 80% of your RDA. While most normal Sunday roasts will give you over 50%.
To find more ingredients and meals high in potassium simply search for potassium and choose either ingredients or recipe results in the boxes above the thumbnail for potassium.
Getting your fill of Omega 3 EPA/DHA is much easier.
is your number one choice , with 120g of smoked mackerel giving you a massive 876% of your RDA for Omgea 3 EPA/DHA.
Not a fish lover then how about
Some lambs liver
, a 150g portion sauteed, will give you 90% of your RDA.
If you’re not a fan of liver, then try sneaking it into a Super chilli,
it will add oddles of goodness
The next best meat for you is a leg of lamb
but at only 36% of your RDA for a 225g portion roasted, it’s quite a step down.
If you are a vegetarian, you’re really going to struggle here, as there are not many ingredients that will give you Omega 3 EPA/DHA, egg yolks
are probably the best, but with only 5% of your RDA are not exactly great.
To find more ingredients and meals high in omega 3 EPA/DHA simply search for omega 3 EPA/DHA and choose either ingredients or recipe results in the boxes above the thumbnail for omega 3 EPA/DHA.
But there is some good news for vegetarians….
Although not sanctioned by the EFSA there's a lot of research into flavonoids.
Flavonoids are phytochemicals (also known as polyphenols), these are the chemicals that plants use to defend themselves against disease. Research has shown that these same chemicals may be equally beneficial to the us.
Research done on humans has consistently shown that diets high in fruits and vegetables which contain flavonoids lead to a considerable reduction in the risk of heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, cancer, osteoporosis and cataracts.
So, what foods should you be eating? I checked out the research
for you and this is what I found in relation to blood pressure..
Go for one that has 60 – 69% cacao made using the un-roasted cocoa beans and you’ll get 400% of your RDA for 20g raw.
Now I don’t know about you, but I find this kind of dark chocolate pretty unpalatable, but how about making a dessert with it.
You could try this great mousse
but add super dark chocolate. I’ve made this recipe lots of times it’s dead easy and delish! As you’d be using raw chocolate you might need to sweeten it a bit more so check before dividing it up.
(large leaf - quingmao) is another goodie
Just one cup will give you 260% of your RDA.
We now know that both potassium and omega 3 EPA/DHA will help keep your blood pressure regulated and are sanctioned by the EFSA, but flavonoids especially dark chocolate and green tea, are also worth looking at.
I’ve just told you a little about potassium and omega 3 in relation to blood pressure, but to find out more about what they do just click on the names above.
To find out more about the foods listed click on the names above as well.
The easiest way to ensure you’re getting enough potassium or omega 3 EPD/DHA and all of the essential nutrients, in your diet, is to keep a food diary. It’s really easy with our Free for Life account. Want to give it a try? Just click below.I’d love to try the Free for Life account
Co-founder, production manager
I'm our communications and marketing person, dealing with social media and copywriting. I also work with Matt and Ric overseeing the design and strategic management of the site.
I'm also the author of the Eva the Hungry Amoeba children's book series (only one so far). You can find it on Amazon.
My favourite foods, shepherds pie and smoked haddock!
Love this? Get blogs and more in your inbox
Subscribe to receive our blogs plus each weeks featured ingredient, recipe and nutrient in your inbox
Thank you for registering