Heart-Friendly Recipes for People with High Blood Pressure
People can get high blood pressure from a variety of reasons like genetics, smoking or eating the wrong diet for too long – among other factors. Not managing this condition poses long-term health risks such as experiencing a stroke, getting blood clots and even developing dementia. However, eating right and staying physically active can help people manage their high blood pressure and prevent tangential health problems.
To eat right for a high blood pressure diet, one should avoid foods that are too fatty or salty. The food should also be rich in nutrients to promote your body’s ability to process sodium. What should you eat and how can you make delicious meals that are good for your blood pressure?
Good Ingredients for a High Blood Pressure Diet
Eating the right kind of food can alleviate high blood pressure. Here are some good ingredients to include in your recipes to keep your blood pressure at normal levels:
- Leafy greens: many of these contain potassium which helps your body eliminate more sodium. Fresh or frozen vegetables are far preferable to canned ones, which contain added sodium. Some examples of easily accessible greens are romaine lettuce, spinach and kale.
- Berries: these sweet treats are rich in flavonoids, which have been associated with lowering blood pressure. Raspberries, strawberries and blueberries are delicious and easy to incorporate into oatmeal or as a quick snack to keep hunger at bay.
- Skim milk: milk is an excellent source of calcium, which is key to lowering blood pressure. However, regular milk is quite fatty. To get the benefits of milk without the added fat, skim milk is an excellent choice.
- Quinoa: this ancient grain is gaining traction in the health world for many reasons, one of which is that it’s great for managing blood pressure! This protein-rich grain also contains potassium and magnesium, which helps normalize blood pressure.
- Lean meats: protein is great for nourishing the body, but fatty meats can contribute to high blood pressure. Opting for lean meats like skinless turkey, chicken breast or fish solves this problem.
- Herbs: cooking for high blood pressure means eliminating fatty ingredients like butter and oil. Herbs like garlic, rosemary and thyme add flavor to your food without resorting to fat and salt. Experiment with fresh herbs for the most potent and memorable flavors!
Staying Healthy with the Right Lifestyle
Keeping your blood pressure at normal levels can be challenging without the right diet and exercise routine. By watching what you eat, you can greatly improve your health and reduce your risk of serious conditions. Avoiding sodium and fat is essential to control one’s blood pressure. For this reason, it’s important to avoid processed or “instant” foods. These are usually packed with preservatives and sodium to keep them fresh on the shelf. It’s better to eat freshly prepared food or to cook at home where you can control everything going into your food. To ensure your best health in this season of your life, avoid foods like fatty meats, butter, canned foods, fried foods, deli meat and any other processed food that has high sodium levels.
Here are some recipe examples that you can use to make delicious meals that are low in fat and salt but are still rich in taste.
1. Paprika Garlic Quinoa Crusted Chicken
Combine lean meat and delicious crusty quinoa, and you have a tasty weeknight treat that is both filling and full of flavor!
- 1 cup water
- ½ cup quinoa
- ¼ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp black pepper
- ¼ tsp garlic powder
- ⅛ tsp paprika
- 2 egg whites, beaten
- 1 tbsp lime juice
- 4 (4-ounce) boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 4 tbsp shredded Parmesan cheese
- Preheat the oven to 300°F. Get a non-stick baking sheet and set aside for future use.
- Bring one cup of water and the quinoa to a boil in a small saucepan over high heat. After the contents are at a boil, reduce the heat to low. Cover and simmer for 8-10 minutes or until the quinoa is fully cooked. Remove from heat and let stand for 5 minutes, then fluff with a fork. Stir in salt, pepper, garlic powder and paprika.
- Spread the quinoa in an even layer on the baking sheet and toast it for about 30 minutes, or until it’s completely dried and crispy. When finished, transfer the toasted quinoa into a bowl.
- Line the same baking sheet with foil and spray it with nonstick cooking spray. Raise the oven’s temperature to 400°F.
- Pat the chicken breasts dry and set them aside. In a small bowl, combine the egg white and lime juice and whisk together.
- Dip the chicken breast into the egg mixture. Coat them with the quinoa. Place the chicken breasts on the baking sheet and place 1 tablespoon of parmesan cheese on each chicken breast. Bake for 16-18 minutes or until fully cooked, when juices no longer run pink.
2. Baked Green Tomatoes
If you’re looking for a tasty, vegetarian appetizer that packs in the grains, look no further.
- 1½ lb. green tomatoes
- ⅓ cup low-fat buttermilk
- 1 tsp hot sauce
- ½ cup panko bread crumbs
- ¼ cup flax meal
- ¼ cup Parmesan cheese
- ½ tsp cayenne pepper
- ¼ tsp onion powder
- ¼ tsp garlic powder
- ¼ tsp paprika
- salt and black pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 400°F and coat a non-stick baking sheet with cooking spray.
- Slice the green tomatoes into 12 even slices.
- Fill one shallow bowl with buttermilk and hot sauce and stir them together. In another bowl, combine the panko breadcrumbs, flax meal, parmesan cheese, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, salt and pepper.
- Dip every tomato slice into the buttermilk mixture, then into the panko mixture. Make sure the excess buttermilk mixture drips off before pressing into the panko mixture to ensure the breadcrumbs stick well.
- Place the tomato slices on a baking sheet in a single layer and bake for 25-30 minutes. Flipping them halfway through to evenly cook.
3. Mashed Cauliflower
Traditional mashed potatoes can be fatty with added butter and cream, but “mashed cauliflower” is a great alternative that is good for you. Plus, it’s incredibly easy to make and ready in minutes! This is a great side to have alongside lean turkey or chicken to satisfy a craving for creamy, fatty foods.
- 1 medium cauliflower head
- ⅓ cup low sodium chicken broth
- 2 tbsps light sour cream
- ¼ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp black pepper
- Cut the cauliflower heads into small florets, then put them in a microwave-safe bowl with ½cup water. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and microwave the florets in the water for 5 minutes. The florets should be tender when ready.
- Transfer the cooked cauliflower into a food processor or blender. Add sour cream, chicken broth, pepper and salt. Blend ingredients together until the contents are transformed into a delicious substitute for mashed potatoes.
4. Turkey Meatloaf Cups
Regular meatloaf can be fatty and salty but substituting the meat for lean turkey can make it a lot better for people with high blood pressure. Check out this healthy twist on a family favorite.
- 1½ lbs lean ground turkey
- 2 egg whites
- ½ cup breadcrumbs
- ½ cup grated carrot
- ½ cup diced red onion
- ½ cup diced green pepper
- ½ cup low sugar ketchup
- 1 tsp honey Dijon mustard
- 2 tsps minced fresh garlic
- 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tsp onion powder
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp black pepper
- ¼ cup low-sugar barbecue sauce
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Meanwhile, coat a 12-cup non-stick mini muffin pan with cooking spray.
- In a large bowl, mix the ground turkey, egg whites, red onion, breadcrumbs, diced green pepper, shredded carrots, ketchup, mustard, garlic, Worcestershire sauce, onion powder, salt and pepper. Fill each muffin cup with equal portions of the turkey mixture.
- Brush 2 tablespoons of the barbecue sauce on top of each muffin.
- Cover the muffins with a sheet of aluminum foil that has been coated with cooking spray to prevent the tops from sticking. Bake the meatloaf cups for 15 minutes.
- Remove the foil cover and put the turkey cups back into the oven. Bake uncovered for 20 more minutes. Make sure that their internal temperature reaches 165°F.
- Remove the cups from the oven. Brush the remaining 2 tablespoons of barbecue sauce onto the top of each muffin and enjoy.
Eat Healthfully at Homestead at Hamilton
At Homestead at Hamilton, you can find heart-healthy foods like this with our range of dining services. From grab-and-go meals to fine dining with friends, every meal is prepared with care and your health in mind. At Homestead, we incorporate our Salus™ wellness philosophy, that concentrates on the Four Components of Wellness, into every aspect of the community and focus on the physical, social, intellectual and spiritual well-being of all residents.
A large part of one’s physical health is proper nutrition. Whether a resident has needs for a diet to manage blood pressure or other conditions like diabetes, our chefs can make a meal that tastes great, nourishes you and helps to meet your health goals. Talk to us today to find out how our community can help you stay active and healthy today!