Food swaps to keep your blood pressure down

Share this

twitter iconfacebook icongoogleplus iconlinkedin icon

Chances are, you know that high blood pressure is bad, but do you actually know why, and how we could avoid it? To combat this uncertainty and bring the issue of high blood pressure (or hypertension) to the fore of public consciousness, the World Hypertension League launched World Hypertension Day.

One of the easiest things you could try is making simple food swaps; replacing things known to exacerbate high blood pressure with alternatives to avoid it. 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. Once you get to the office, add your choice of milk, microwave and tuck in.

Swap for: porridge with a sugar topping.

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? If you have some left over, you could even freeze it for those days when you don’t have time to whip up something fresh.

Swap for: tinned chicken soup.

Caprese wraps with chicken

Just like with soup, cured meats can be laden with salt in order to preserve them. In fact, lean meats can contain between 30 and 90mg of sodium, while roasted ham can contain around 1,020mg! If you’re a fan of a classic ham sandwich, this could be disheartening news. However, there are plenty of other options that are quick to prepare for work. 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.

Swap for: ham sandwich.

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! Why not try mild chilli powder and a squeeze of lemon juice? 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.

Swap for: crisps.

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? Avocadoes are rich in potassium, too, so you could always mash some up with lemon juice, and spread the mixture onto wholegrain crispbread.

Swap for: chocolate bars.

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?

Sources:

http://www.treehugger.com/slideshows/green-food/high-blood-pressure-10-food-swaps-to-bring-it-down/#slide-top

http://www.nextavenue.org/fiftysomething-diet-5-foods-will-bring-your-blood-pressure-down/

http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/howto/guide/spotlight-high-blood-pressure

http://www.bloodpressureuk.org/BloodPressureandyou/Thebasics/Yourlifestyle

http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/Goodfood/Pages/salt.aspx

Ends

This article was first published on 13th May 2016. 

twitter icon facebook icon youtube icon linkedin icon googleplus icon

Contact us - We would love to hear from you

New members

Send us a message

Benenden Personal Healthcare
Holgate Park Drive
York
YO26 4GG
0800 414 8001 * (Lines open 8am-5pm, Mon-Fri excluding Bank Holidays)

Existing members

Send us a message

Benenden Personal Healthcare
Holgate Park Drive
York
YO26 4GG
0800 414 8100 * (Lines open 8am - 8pm, Mon-Fri excluding Bank Holidays)

Please note that your call may be recorded for our mutual security and also for training and quality purposes.

Health cash plans

Policies beginning with BEN1
Benenden Health Cash Plan (Bupa)
Anchorage 3, Anchorage Quays
Salford Quays
Manchester
M50 3XL
0800 970 6517*

Lines are open 8am to 6pm Monday to Friday, 8am - 1pm Saturday.

Policies beginning with BEN2
Benenden Health Cash Plan (BHSF)
2 Darnley Road,
Birmingham,
B16 8TE
0800 414 8071

Lines are open 8.45am to 5.30pm Monday to Friday.

Self-pay orthopaedic surgery

Send us a message

Benenden Hospital Trust
Goddard's Green Road
Benenden
Cranbrook
Kent
TN17 4AX
01580 242 521 (Lines open 9am-5pm Mon-Fri)

Health assessments

Send us a message

Health assessments
Unit 1, Cameron Court
Cameron Street
Hillington Park
Glasgow
G52 4JH
0800 414 8486*

Travel insurance

Send us a message

Travel insurance
2nd Floor Maitland House
Warrior Square
Southend-on-Sea
Essex
SS1 2JY
0800 414 8301*

Lines open for Sales
9am-8pm Monday to Friday 
9am-5pm Saturday
10am-5pm Sunday

Lines open for Customer Services
9am-8pm Monday to Friday
9am-5pm Saturday
10am-5pm Sunday

Benenden business healthcare

Send us a message

Benenden Business Healthcare
Holgate Park Drive
York
YO26 4GG
0800 414 8179* (Lines open 9am-5pm Mon-Fri)

Home insurance

Send us a message

Benenden Home Insurance
1st Floor Maitland House
Warrior Square
Southend on Sea
Essex
SS1 2JY
0800 414 8556* (Lines open Monday to Friday 9am – 7pm, Saturday 9am – 5pm, excludes Bank Holidays)

Home Emergency
0800 294 2851* (Lines open 24 hours a day)

Legal Expenses
0330 100 9618* (Lines open 24 hours a day)

Charitable trust

Send us a message

Find out more

Charitable Trust
Holgate Park Drive
York
YO26 4GG
0800 414 8450* (Lines open 8am - 4pm Mon-Fri)