More than 50 million adults in the United States suffer from high blood pressure.  If left untreated, stroke, kidney damage, heart attack and heart failure are terrifying possibilities.  Did you know more than 1 million Americans have heart attacks each year?  Consequently, heart disease and stroke are the first and third leading causes of death in the United States.  These are frightening facts; however, you can lower your blood pressure by making a few simple lifestyle changes.

Step one: Choose to clean up your food consumption.  According to Lawrence J. Appel, MD, MPH, professor of medicine, epidemiology and international health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, “reducing your salt intake, drinking alcohol in moderation, increasing your potassium intake, and overall, eating a healthy diet that emphasizes fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy products” will significantly help lower blood pressure.  Replace high-sodium, high-fat and processed foods with fresh, clean, natural options. 

Adding the following heart-healthy comfort foods to your plate can help reduce high blood pressure.

1. Baked white potatoes

Baked white potatoes are high in potassium and magnesium, two vital nutrients for heart health.  Maintaining a healthy balance of both minerals can help reduce high blood pressure.

2. Legumes

Beans (including black, white, navy, lima, pinto and kidney) are excellent for lowering blood pressure and improving overall heart health.  They are loaded with soluble fiber, magnesium and potassium.

3. Spinach

Spinach is high in fiber and low in calories.  This super food is packed with nutrients such as potassium, folate, and magnesium.

4. Edamame 

Soybeans are an excellent source of potassium and magnesium. Easy to find at local markets, soybeans are a delicious addition to soups, salads, side dishes or eaten alone as a quick snack. 

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