Just because you have high blood pressure doesn't mean you need to give up everything you like to eat. You can fine-tune your diet to limit salt, which raises blood pressure and puts strain on your heart in kidneys, and increase potassium, which is great for balancing any extra salt in the body.
Try these three potassium-rich foods in your diet. We've also included recipe ideas from Measure Up/Pressure Down®, a three-year national campaign created by the American Medical Group Foundation to improve blood pressure control, to help you incorporate these foods into your diet:
White beans. Just one cup of cooked white beans contains nearly one-third of your recommended daily amount of potassium. Check your grocery store aisles for either bagged or canned white beans. If you opt for canned, be sure to purchase the low- or no-salt option. Your blood pressure will thank you! Million Hearts® offers 10 recipes using white beans, including a garlic and white bean dip appetizer and grilled shrimp skewers over white bean salad entrée.
Baked potatoes. French fries aren't the only way to eat your potatoes! If you're looking to get more potassium and lower your blood pressure, try baked potatoes (with skin on). One medium-sized baked potato has about 926 mg of potassium—that's 26 percent of your daily value! Adding baked potatoes to your diet won't take too much effort either. Many recipes recommend putting the potato(es) in the oven for up to an hour with little prep time required. When the timer dings, add these healthy toppings: arugula, broccoli, steamed or grilled vegetables, mushrooms, onions, Greek yogurt or reduced-fat cheese.
Bananas. Bananas are often the first foods that come to mind when you think of a high-potassium diet. And for good reason: the average banana has approximately 12 percent of your daily potassium. They are also good on the go—tuck one in your purse for a snack at work or if you're out shopping. Or, try this oatmeal banana breakfast bread recipe from the American Heart Association to get a jump start on your day.
Measure Up/Pressure Down® is a three-year national campaign created by the American Medical Group Foundation to improve blood pressure control. Learn how to lower your risk and manage the disease—including healthy eating—with our Circulation Nation: Your Roadmap to Managing High Blood Pressure booklet.