Foods That Help Lower Blood Pressure
Many researchers have found that certain foods can lower high blood pressure. We look at some foods that may help and how to incorporate them into the diet.
In general, the United States Department of Agriculture considers a serving to be:
- 1 cup of cooked or raw vegetables or fruit
- 1 cup of 100% fruit juice
- 2 cups of raw leafy salad greens
- half a cup of dried fruit
For most ages, the USDA recommends consuming around 2 cups of fruit per day and 3 cups of vegetables per day, although this varies slightly according to age and sex.
An Easy Way To Reduce Fat While Cooking
When it comes to your overall health, taking care of your heart is paramount.
Heart disease is the leading cause of death among both men and women in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , approximately 659,000 people die of heart disease each year, about one in every four deaths.
Avoiding these health problems and maintaining good heart health starts with a healthy diet. Here, experts offer advice on the types of food to include in your diet to protect your heart.
Next up video playing in 10 seconds
Diet For Congestive Heart Failure Patients
To improve the patients health, the doctor recommends certain dietary changes that need to be followed lifelong.
Drink enough water is what everyone says to stay healthy and fit. Many people recommend drinking 8 glasses of water daily. However, this tip for health is not applicable to Congestive Heart Failure patients in the elderly. The reason is simple Water retention is common among Congestive Heart Failure sufferers, which many times causes swelling of arms and legs. So, it is obvious that the patient must keep a check on water intake to prevent the body from retaining fluids and swelling.
Foods which has high fats such as processed meat, fried foods, chicken with skin, egg yolk, pastries, ice creams and cakes can damage your arteries and can cause you Congestive Heart Failure.
It can be asserted that moderate alcohol consumption resembles a healthy heart. Once again, this statement doesnt hold accurate for people detected to have Congestive Heart Failure. In fact, drinking alcohol is likely to cause much more damage to the heart muscles. Thus, be it the wine, whisky or beer, an individual must refrain from consuming these alcoholic beverages.
You May Like: Prognosis For Congestive Heart Failure
Dietary Restrictions And Modifications
The Mediterranean diet and DASH diet are considered healthy for most populations. However, some modifications may need to be made for people with certain health conditions, such as celiac disease, or who choose to follow a vegetarian or vegan diet.
One study looked at the DASH diet in relation to special populations. The study authors recognized that the DASH diet is a healthy eating pattern for most people.
However, they recommended that people with chronic liver or kidney disease and those who are prescribed renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system antagonist medication talk with their healthcare professional before starting the diet. RAAS antagonists include Vasotec , Prinivil , Altace , captopril, and Lotensin .
In addition, the researchers also noted that people with uncontrolled type 2 diabetes, lactose intolerance, and celiac disease may need to make modifications when following the DASH diet.
Its important to work with your healthcare professional before making any big changes to your diet. They will help you look at individual potential health benefits of the diet, as well as possible side effects.
They may also be able to refer you to a registered dietitian or another professional who can provide education, guidance, and support if you require additional dietary restrictions or modifications.
Try Blood Pressure Support Supplements
A small study in the International Journal of Hypertension found magnesium supplementation can reduce blood pressure in small amountsAladin A, Chevli P, Ahmad MI, Rasool S, Herrington D. Alcohol Consumption and Risk of Hypertension. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2019 73:12. . Talk to your doctor before taking magnesium supplements, especially if you have kidney disease. You can also safely incorporate high-magnesium foods into your diet. Dr. Desai recommends foods like leafy green vegetables and unsalted almonds.
Beyond magnesium, research in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology suggests potassium, L-arginine, vitamin C, cocoa flavonoids, beetroot juice, coenzyme Q10, controlled-release melatonin and aged garlic extract may also help reduce blood pressureBorghi C, Cicero AFG.. Nutraceuticals with a clinically detectable blood pressure-lowering effect: a review of available randomized clinical trials and their meta-analyses. British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology. 2017 83:163171. .
Also Check: Why Do Nsaids Increase Risk Of Heart Attack
Foods To Avoid For Heart Health
The AHA currently recommends limiting saturated fat, trans fat, sodium, red meat, sweets and sugar-sweetened beverages.
But that doesnt mean you should swap all those fats for carbohydrates. While dietary cholesterol and saturated fat have been the focus of diets for decades due to their association with atherosclerosis, we now have an epidemic of obesity that resulted from substituting carbohydrates for fat, says Dr. Eimer, calling it the Snackwell Effect.
The other issue that we see in the office and in the hospital every day is the harm that sodium causes in patients who are vulnerable, especially those with heart failure or kidney failure, he addsso watch the salt.
Get Your Blood Pressure And Cholesterol Checked
Instead of waiting for heart disease symptoms to present themselves, or for a heart attack to occur, do yourself and your loved ones a favor and get your blood pressure and cholesterol checked regularly. “Regular monitoring of blood pressure and cholesterol can help to identify significant risk factors for development of heart disease and, if necessary, treatment of either of these conditions can help to reduce your risk for developing a heart attack,” states Alter.
The Mayo Clinic reports that healthy adults between the ages of 18 and 40 with optimal blood pressure and no risk factors for heart disease should have their blood pressure checked every two to five years. People age 40 and older, or those who are at an elevated risk of high blood pressure, should get tested annually and individuals with chronic health conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, or high blood pressure should be tested more often.
Read Also: How To Get Your Heart Rate Up
Reduce The Salt In Your Diet
Enjoying what you eat is important. Even if you crave salt you can learn to like foods that are lower in salt. Your taste buds will change soon, and you will not miss the salt. Removing salt can bring out flavors that may have been hidden by the salt.
Reduce the salt content in your diet by trying the following suggestions:
- Choose plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables. They contain only small amounts of salt.
- Choose foods that are low in salt, such as fresh meats, poultry, fish, dry and fresh legumes, eggs, milk and yogurt. Plain rice, pasta and oatmeal are good low-sodium choices. However, the sodium content can increase if salt or other high-sodium ingredients are added during their preparation.
- Season with herbs, spices, herbed vinegar and fruit juices. Avoid herb or spice mixtures that contain salt or sodium. Use lemon juice or fresh ground pepper to accent natural flavors. Try orange or pineapple juice as a base for meat marinades. See “Salt-Free Herb Blends,” below, for other ideas.
- Read food labels before you buy packaged foods. Check the nutrition facts on the label for sodium content per serving. Find out the number of servings in the package. How does the sodium in each serving compare to the total sodium you can eat each day? Try to pick packaged foods with a sodium content less than 350 milligrams for each serving. It is also useful to check the list of ingredients. If salt or sodium is listed in the first five ingredients, it is too high in sodium.
Specificity And Efficacy Depending On Type Of Heart Failure Diagnosis
HF is a set of complex and heterogeneous diagnoses with underlying variability in etiology, pathophysiology, metabolic, and other individual factors. HFrEF is responsive to a standardized treatment approach despite heterogeneity of etiologies . Conversely, HFpEF is not as efficiently treated and may be treated more effectively with targeted approaches based on advanced phenotyping . Phenotyping has the potential to identify subgroups with differential responses to therapy and cohorts for personalized interventions in HFpEF .
You May Like: What Causes Fast Heart Rate
How Sodium Affects Heart Health
Sodium is a mineral and its naturally found in foods. But its added to processed foods, too. While sodium helps keep a normal balance of fluid in your body, those living with heart failure need to follow a low-sodium diet because it helps control symptoms and can prevent other heart problems.
A low-sodium diet can help control blood volume and blood pressure. Excess sodium intake can lead to fluid retention, explains Taylor. Since people with heart failure often suffer from volume overload , a diet low in sodium can help lessen fluid retention, meaning the heart doesnt have to work so hard.
High blood pressure can increase your risk for stroke, kidney disease and heart disease, like heart failure. Following a low-sodium diet can help improve blood pressure control, which can reduce your risk of these diseases from developing or worsening.
Diet And Congestive Heart Failure
Congestive heart failure occurs when the heart does not pump efficiently and does not deliver enough oxygen to your body. Many diseases lead to CHF, such as high blood pressure and diseases of the heart and kidney.
Treatment for CHF helps to prevent its complications and relieve its symptoms.
The heart does not have to work as hard when you make some changes in your diet. If you eat too much salt or drink too much fluid, your body’s water content may increase and make your heart work harder. This can worsen your CHF. The following diet will help decrease some of your symptoms.
Also Check: Can Menopause Cause Heart Palpitations
Emotions Relationships And Sex
Being diagnosed with heart failure can be a shock. Some people feel scared, anxious, depressed or angry. These feelings are completely normal.
Some people also become depressed. Speak to your GP or care team if you feel unable to enjoy the things you used to or cope with everyday life.
You may find your physical relationship with your partner changes after your diagnosis because of worries about having a heart attack, or because you lose interest in sex or are unable to get an erection, which can sometimes be caused by heart failure medicines.
You can discuss any worries or problems you have with your GP or care team if you feel unable to talk to your family or friends. They’ll be able to advise you and arrange support.
You may also find it helpful to join a heart support group, where you can talk to other people with heart conditions whose circumstances are similar to yours.
You can call the British Heart Foundation’s heart helpline on 0300 330 3311 to find out about support groups in your area.
Nutrition Guide For Heart Failure
Following a low-sodium diet and drinking less fluid can help you feel better and allow your heart failure medicines to work better. A low-sodium diet may even keep you out of the hospital. It is not an easy diet to follow. You may find eating with heart failure is a bit of a balancing act. While you dont want to eat too much of high sodium foods, you have to be sure to eat enough to maintain good nutrition.
Nutrition and Heart Failure
The recommended salt intake is 2,000 mg of sodium per day.
Salt is a mineral that is made of sodium and chloride. It is found in food, table salt and sea salt. Sodium acts like a sponge and makes the body hold water.
Eating too much sodium when you have heart failure can cause fluid buildup in your legs, stomach and lungs and force you heart to work harder.
Most of the sodium we eat is hidden in foods. Even food that does not taste salty can contain a lot of sodium.
You should restrict the amount of sodium you eat to 2,000 mg or less each day. Try to keep the sodium content of each meal to less than 600 mg. This helps spread out your sodium intake over the day to prevent excessive fluid retention.
You can take a few basic steps to reduce the amount of sodium in your diet:
- Dont add salt when you cook or at the table
- Learn to read food labels
- Choose more foods that are lower in sodium
- Limit high sodium foods
Reading a Food Label for Sodium
Follow these easy steps to read the label:
Recommended Reading: Chronic Congestive Heart Failure
Talk To Your Doctor About Calorie Restriction
In some cases, your doctor might encourage you to lose weight to help reduce the stress on your heart. To lose weight, most people need to eat fewer calories.
Ask your doctor if its a good idea for you to restrict your calorie intake to lose weight. If you need help cutting calories, they may refer you a dietitian. Your dietitian can help you learn how to make nutrient-rich food choices, while trimming calories. They can also help you learn how to choose lower-calorie foods that leave you feeling full and satisfied.
Putting It All Together
You can help prevent heart disease by doing five key things and making them into habits:
Strong studies make it possible to link reductions in risk to these habits. Following a healthy lifestyle may prevent over 80% of cases of coronary artery disease, 50% of ischemic strokes, 80% of sudden cardiac deaths, and 72% of premature deaths related to heart disease. In other words, a healthy lifestyle is a good investment in a longer, healthier life.
Recommended Reading: Congestive Heart Failure And Pulmonary Edema
Every Kitchen Cupboard Needs:
Wholegrain varieties of pasta, breakfast cereals and rice. Eating more wholegrains will help to lower your risk of heart disease, and they contain fibre which keeps you feeling full and aids digestion. Brown rice, wholewheat pasta and wholegrain cereals are good choices.
Nuts and seeds. These are a great source of minerals, nutrients and fibre. As they can also be high in fat, a good rule of thumb is to eat no more than handful a day. Avoid the roasted and salted types, the added will raise your blood pressure.
Canned fish, fruit, vegetables and beans. Canned products can be just as good as fresh or frozen. Choose options in water or their own juice and avoid foods tinned in oil, brine or syrup, or with added salt or sugar.
Also Check: What Affects Your Blood Pressure
The Best Foods To Eat If You Have Heart Disease Say Dietitians
Heart disease affects millions of Americans each year and is the leading cause of death both within the U.S. and globally. In fact, a 2019 study published in Circulation found that approximately 48% of U.S. residents suffer from some kind of cardiovascular disease, with the risk of developing heart disease increasing with age.
However, just because you’ve been diagnosed with heart disease doesn’t mean you can’t live a long, healthy life. With adequate exercise, the right diet, and routine medical care, you can manage your heart disease and potentially reduce your risk of adverse health events down the line. If you want to protect your health, read on to discover which foods registered dietitians recommend for people with heart disease. And for more simple ways to improve your wellbeing, check out The 7 Healthiest Foods to Eat Right Now.
Don’t Miss: What Should My Heart Rate Be
Can I Continue Working
If you’re well enough, you can keep working for as long as you feel able. With the right support, staying in work can make you feel better and give you financial security.
Talk to your employer as soon as you feel your heart failure is affecting your ability to do your job so you can find a solution that suits both of you. For example, it may be possible for you to work part-time.
The Disability Discrimination Act 1995 requires employers to make reasonable adjustments to working practices or premises to help a person with a disability.
Where possible, this might include changing or modifying tasks, altering work patterns, installing special equipment, allowing time off to attend appointments, or helping with travel to work.
Can You Drink Coffee If You Have Congestive Heart Failure
According to recent studies, as noted by the American Heart Association, drinking one or more cups of caffeinated coffee may reduce the risk of heart failure. But other studies noted that drinking several cups throughout the day may not be safe. When in doubt, talk to your cardiologist and nutritionist about the amount of coffee you can drink.
Also Check: What Causes Rapid Heart Rate