Nutrition

5 recipes to keep blood pressure down

Chances are, you know that high blood pressure is bad, but do you know how we could avoid it?

One of the easiest things you could try is making simple food swaps. After all, high blood pressure increases risk of things like heart attacks, kidney disease and strokes.

Here are some healthy and, just as importantly, tasty, suggestions.

Raw cacao and cinnamon porridge

Overindulging in sugar can lead to weight gain and, in turn, high blood pressure, so why not explore alternative ways to get your sweet fix at breakfast?

An easy swap is raw cacao and cinnamon porridge: simply pop your oats into a Tupperware with one tablespoon of cacao powder, and one teaspoon of ground cinnamon. Add your choice of milk, microwave and tuck in.

Homemade roast chicken soup

Due to salt’s properties as a preservative, it unfortunately crops up in some of our lunchtime favourites, such as tinned soup. What more of an excuse could you need to prepare a big batch of healthy, homemade soup for the week ahead?

Chicken soup is well-loved and hearty, so why not try your hand at this roast chicken soup recipe from BBC Good Food? 

Caprese wraps with chicken

Just like with soup, cured meats can be laden with salt in order to preserve them. If you’re a fan of a classic ham sandwich, this could be disheartening news.

Caprese wraps are a great example, with the addition of a lean meat like chicken. Simply add slices of mozzarella, tomato and grilled chicken to a tortilla with rocket, basil and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar. Make sure that the wraps are wholegrain, as white carbohydrates can be processed with a lot of salt and sugar.

Savoury popcorn

Crisps, crackers and biscuits are the main offenders when it comes to high sodium office snacks, and are notoriously easy to graze on. The solution? Popcorn, but not as you know it.

Homemade popcorn can be a great savoury snack, especially when made with flavourful spices. All you need to do is grab some popcorn kernels and add them to a frying pan with your choice of toppings, and pop away! 

Cook with care and remember to cover the pan, and don’t forget to take it off the heat when the popping starts to slow.

Banana

While you can make some delicious food swaps with a bit of concerted food prep, there’s something to be said for the simpler alternatives, too.

Take bananas – naturally sweet and high in potassium, they’re a healthy snack that could actually help to harmonise your sodium levels. And if you fancy something more substantial? Avocado's are rich in potassium, too, so you could always mash some up with lemon juice, and spread the mixture onto wholegrain crispbread.

By simply eating well and exercising, you can go a long way to helping keep your blood pressure under control. Will you be trying out any of these food swaps?