Also known as hypertension, high blood pressure occurs when the heart forcefully pumps blood into the arteries. The force thus increases the pressure against the blood vessels. This can lead to a multitude of other illnesses, but thankfully, there are many things you can do to help control your high blood pressure, like eating a more balanced diet and exercising.
Snacking can be a problem, even if you don’t have a health issue to contend with, but it becomes a little more complicated if you have something like high blood pressure. When choosing snacks for high blood pressure, be aware of foods high in salt. Also, make sure to consume foods high in potassium, since potassium can help lower high blood pressure by eliminating sodium from your urine.
While we often crave foods high in sugar, there are plenty of healthy snack options out there that we might actually enjoy. In this list of seven, we’ll highlight some snacks for high blood pressure to help get you on the right track.
Blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries are all optimal snacks if you have high blood pressure. Berries are high in natural compounds called flavonoids. These natural compounds provide health benefits like antioxidant effects. By eating berries, you have the potential to lower your high blood pressure, which may also decrease the speed of organ damage that comes second to high blood pressure.
Berries are also really easy to pack for work, school, or any on-the-go activity. You just need to wash them, pop them into a container, throw it in your bag, and you’re good to go.
2. Dark Chocolate
Dark chocolate isn’t bad for us. On the contrary, it has less sugar than milk chocolate and contains more cocoa solids. A study found that consuming dark chocolate is found to be associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease. Look for snacks like dark chocolate covered blueberries for even more of a health benefit. You can also buy some dark chocolate and add it to yogurt or have a bar cut up to eat with some fruit. The best part is that you can still eat chocolate even if you have high blood pressure!
3. Carrots & Celery with Hummus
If you love dipping, this snack idea is for you. Hummus is so yummy and so many vegetables pair well with it for dipping. By combining crunchy vegetables like carrots and celery with hummus, you’re satisfying your desire to eat something crunchy (as opposed to chips which are high in sodium). If you’re not the biggest fan of vegetables, the delicious hummus will help mask the vegetables. As a bonus, carrots are loaded with vitamin A and antioxidants which are both great for high blood pressure.
4. Apple Slices & Peanut Butter
Another great pair, apples and peanut butter are a power duo. Both items are great snacking choices for people with high blood pressure. Apples are known to help reduce inflammation in the artery walls and are great at helping to reduce cholesterol too. Peanut butter contains heart-healthy fats (but make sure to consume peanut butter in moderation). You can always experiment by adding peanut butter to other fruits if apples aren’t your thing.
Smoothies are a fabulous snacking choice for a high blood pressure diet. You can literally put anything in smoothies, not just fruit. Again, if you’re not a huge fan of vegetables, you can hide their taste well by blending th1em up in a smoothie drink. Some smoothie ideas are an apple, banana, spinach with pomegranate juice smoothie, or a banana, grapefruit, orange, and kale smoothie. You can really have fun with this and play around with different ingredients to find some that you really enjoy.
6. Whole-Grain Crackers & Tuna
The key to this snack idea is ensuring that the crackers you purchase are low in sodium. Then, pair your low-sodium, whole-grain crackers with some canned tuna. Not only will this snack keep you full for longer, but the complex carbohydrates will break down slower in your body. This is good because it prevents an unhealthy spike in blood sugar.
These snacks for high blood pressure are easy to pack, since all you need to do is throw a can of tuna (or salmon if you prefer) and some crackers in your bag. Make sure you have a bread knife on hand for easy spreading.
7. Baked Apple
As mentioned above, apples are packed with vitamin A and antioxidants so they’re a great snacking option if you have high blood pressure. But apples also make great desserts, helping us with our cravings for sweet things. For a simple yet healthy version of the baked apple, slice it and sprinkle it with lemon juice, then bake and enjoy!
As this list makes clear, snacking options for people with high blood pressure can still be yummy! We hope you enjoy these seven ideas and that they inspire even more healthy snacking ideas.