These 9 Healthy Snacks Are Delicious and Can Lower Blood Pressure
Everybody loves to snack, but not everybody can do it at their leisure. Snacking for many can cause overeating and weight gain, as well as lead to a variety of health issues like high blood pressure. For people who want lower blood pressure, most snacks can be a problem. But not all snacks are created equally unhealthy.
Lower Blood Pressure is a Snack Away!
United Healthcare has shared their list of nine amazing snacks that are not only great tasting, but are rich in nutrients and can lower blood pressure. These snacks were inspired by the eating plan known as DASH, based on research sponsored by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. A diet that follows DASH, or Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, has been proven to lower blood pressure and decrease “your risk of heart attack and stroke – and other health conditions too,” according to United Healthcare.
1) Nonfat Yogurt and Veggies.
United Healthcare recommends mixing nonfat yogurt with your favorite herb or spice as a dip for your favorite veggie sticks, i.e. carrots, celery, green peppers, etc. The DASH plan recommends eating calcium-rich dairy like yogurt, and veggies have plenty of potassium and magnesium to help your blood pressure.
2) Peanut Butter or Other Nut Spreads.
Slapping a little peanut butter on apple slices or celery is a tried and true snack for the whole family. The nuts provide a healthy source of fat and magnesium, states United Healthcare. Why does the DASH eating plan focus so much on magnesium? Research shows magnesium intake has a direct correlation with blood pressure. From Live Science, via Natural Society:
“The researchers found that taking 368 mg of magnesium supplements daily for three months reduced people’s systolic blood pressure by an average of 2 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg), and reduced their diastolic blood pressure by an average of 1.8 mm Hg. (Systolic blood pressure is the top number in a blood pressure reading; diastolic blood pressure is the bottom number.)”
3) Homemade Trail Mix.
Whole grains are a good source of fiber, energy, and nutrients that can help lower blood pressure. For a homemade trail mix, United Healthcare recommends combining unsweetened whole-grain cereal with unsalted sunflower seeds and nuts. You can also use raisins or dried apricots for a little more flavor.
4) Fruit Parfait.
Fruit parfaits are so simple to make and are great options to prepare for breakfast at work or the office. An example includes some nonfat yogurt, your favorite fresh berries, and whole-grain granola sprinkled on top. The fruit will provide potassium and magnesium, and along with the granola will pack in fiber, which research shows a diet high in fiber can substantially lower blood pressure.
5) String Cheese and Whole Wheat Crackers.
Yes adults, it’s OK to play with string cheese, again. For this simple snack, just take your string cheese – rich in calcium, remember – and peel into narrow strips. Swirl those on top of whole-wheat crackers for added fiber.
No, we’re not talking about that overly salty, buttery popcorn you find in the packages. Plain, air-popped popcorn is a much healthier option and adding a dusting of parmesan cheese gives you a tasty whole grain that allows you skip the salt.
There are a variety of blenders out there these days, even ones that allow you to make your smoothie right in a to-go cup. And many think smoothies are these big productions, but all you really need is ice, low-fat yogurt or milk and your favorite fresh or frozen berries. Bananas, mixed berries, mangoes, or peaches are recommended by United Healthcare.
8) Bananas or Frozen Grapes.
Need a potassium boost? If you’re looking to lower blood pressure, you’ll need it. Bananas sprinkled with cinnamon are one option, and for the summer months, frozen grapes are refreshing, fun, and healthy!
9) Mediterranean Kebabs.
Want to get a taste of Italy while in the comfort of your own kitchen? Mediterranean kebabs – tomatoes, basil, and skim mozzarella balls – will whisk your taste buds to a far-off land, and whisk your blood pressure to lower levels.