If you have high blood pressure, your doctor has probably instructed you to hone in on your diet. Besides family history and lifestyle factors like how often you exercise, many common factors that cause high blood pressure are rooted in diet, such as consuming too much sodium and fatty foods.
“Also called ‘hypertension,’ high blood pressure is when the force of your blood pushing against the walls of blood vessels is higher than it should be (normal is 120/80 which is a ‘systolic’ and ‘diastolic’ reading, elevated is 120-129/<80 and high is 130+/80+ and there are several stages of ‘high’),” says Seattle-based registered dietitian nutritionist, Ginger Hultin, MS, RDN, owner of ChampagneNutrition® and author of Anti-Inflammatory Diet Meal Prep and How to Eat to Beat Disease Cookbook.
If you switch to a heart-healthy diet, it’s a surefire way to help you reduce blood pressure as well as reduce your risk for heart attack, according to the American Heart Association.
So what exactly is a heart-healthy diet to lower blood pressure?
“To control blood pressure, you want to aim for a high fiber, low saturated fat, low sodium diet,” says Hultin. “Many people eat too much sodium and not enough potassium. Spices like cinnamon and ginger may help lower inflammation in the body, an important factor in heart health.”
And starting off your day with a heart-healthy breakfast is an easy way to start lowering your blood pressure. A 2016 study published in the Journal of Lifestyle Medicine found that eating breakfast was associated with a lower risk of hypertension.
But not just any breakfast will help lower blood pressure. For a blood pressure-friendly morning meal, “choose foods like oats or whole-wheat toast with heart-healthy avocado rather than high sodium/high fat meat-based options,” says Hultin.
Here are 12 delicious breakfasts that will help you lower your blood pressure. Read on, and for more on how to eat healthily, don’t miss The #1 Best Juice to Drive Every Day, Says Science.
Pear Cardamom Oats Smoothie
This smoothie is perfect if your mornings require an on-the-go option to fill you up. It’s packed with heart-healthy oats (which have been found to help lower blood pressure) and pears for lots of fiber. To cut the sweetness, skip the honey.
Get our recipe for Pear Cardamom Oats Smoothie.
Breakfast Loaded Sweet Potato
Maybe you never considered sweet potatoes as a breakfast food–but we’re here to convince you. This simple 4-ingredient recipe includes sweet potatoes (linked to lowering blood pressure thanks to their high potassium content), oats, and blueberries for added fiber. (And you can opt for a low or non-fat yogurt to make it extra heart-healthy.)
Get our recipe for Breakfast Loaded Sweet Potato.
Egg and Herb Frittata
This vegetarian frittata is based on the Persian dish Kuku Sabzi, which literally means whipped eggs and herbs. The protein from the eggs will help keep you satiated, while the turmeric also included has been linked to lower blood pressure.
Get our recipe for Egg and Herb Frittata.
Even if it’s not fall, this parfait will be a hit for any pumpkin pie lover. And it will also help lower your blood pressure thanks to the canned pumpkin, which has been found to help lower blood pressure.
Get our recipe for Pumpkin Parfaits.
Broccoli-Cheese Eggs in a Mug
This recipe only requires a mug and a microwave to make. It delivers tons of heart-healthy veggies, including broccoli (which has been found to help lower blood pressure thanks to the amino acid glutamic acid) red bell peppers, and onions.
Get our recipe for Broccoli-Cheese Eggs in a Mug.
Golden Mango Smoothie Bowl
This plant-based smoothie bowl has tons of fiber thanks to fresh fruit like mango, kiwi, and pomegranate seeds, which are linked to lower blood pressure.
Get our recipe for Golden Mango Smoothie Bowl.
Spring Vegetable Frittata
This veggie-filled frittata is a great savory option to whip up for breakfast. It’s packed with lots of veggies, including asparagus, spinach, leeks and red pepper. Specifically, asparagus is high in potassium, an electrolyte that balances sodium levels, helping to lower blood pressure.
Get our recipe for Spring Vegetable Frittata.
Cinnamon Roll Overnight Oats
You read that right–cinnamon rolls. You can make this recipe ahead of time so you can munch on it first thing. Not only does it have heart-healthy oats, but the addition of cinnamon and flax seeds have both been found to help lower blood pressure.
Get our recipe for Cinnamon Roll Overnight Oats.
10-Minute Mediterranean Tofu Scramble
Tofu is a staple in vegetarian fare, and it’s also amazing for your heart. A study found that tofu is rich in isoflavones, which have been found to lower blood pressure. Plus, the veggies like red pepper, kale, and tomatoes are also great additions.
Get our recipe for 10-Minute Mediterranean Tofu Scramble.
Apple Spiced Overnight Oats
“High fiber oats combine with high fiber apples to help lower cholesterol levels and support proper blood flow. Both are considered ‘anti-inflammatory’ foods,” says Hultin. “There’s no salt at all in this recipe but there is protein-rich yogurt. For heart health, choose a non-fat version.”
Get the recipe for Apple Spiced Overnight Oats.
“This simple smoothie is balanced with protein and high fiber carbohydrates plus plenty of potassium and magnesium-rich fruits and veggies to help support the heart,” says Hultin. “Choose non-fat yogurt for heart health and consider boosting anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids by adding in a tablespoon of chia or hemp seeds.”
Get the recipe for Calming Smoothie.
Banana Ginger Oats
“Oats and bananas both contain potassium—a mineral that is important for heart health and gives a proper balance to sodium in the body,” says Hultin. “Many people eat too much sodium and not enough potassium. Spices like cinnamon and ginger may help lower inflammation in the body, an important factor in heart health.”
Get the recipe for Banana Ginger Oats.