Happy High Blood Pressure and Stroke Awareness Month everyone!
(Cue marching band, acrobats, and confetti.)
This month, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (and maybe even your doctor) want everyone to take a few moments to learn how to keep their tickers ticking for many Mays to come. It involves two simple steps: First, know your numbers — an estimated one in three Americans has hypertension, meaning their blood pressure runs above the optimal reading of 120/80. Then, know what you can do to take control of those numbers and keep blood pressure at a healthy level for your age and needs, which includes exercise, maintaining a healthy weight, staying away from cigarettes and alcohol, and best of all, eating — healthfully, of course.
That’s why this is seriously a month to celebrate. Because, even beyond an apple a day, many foods can help keep the doctor away and put health care back into your own two hands (and your kitchen). And staying well by eating well? That’s one prescription I’m happy to follow.
For heart-healthy meals, choose ingredients that are high in calcium, vitamin D, magnesium, and potassium, and low in saturated fats, cholesterol, and sodium. But how does that translate to the grocery store and the plate? Check out what we grabbed in the produce aisle and the Healthy Potato, Spinach, & Pumpkin Seed Hash recipe we created from our pickings. This recipe is best enjoyed at breakfast, as a side for dinner, and most definitely with friends.
Check out this slideshow of ingredients that have hypertension fighting superpowers.
*For more information on hypertension and stroke prevention, visit the CDC’s High Blood Pressure home page. And as always, consult with a doctor and nutritionists to make dietary choices that fit your body and your health needs.