Foods that lower blood pressure: Let's discuss winter seasonal foods found in Europe.
Eating seasonal foods will give your body an enormous health boost. When food is fresh and at its peak it is full of healthful vitamins and minerals. The longer the period of time fruit and vegetables are kept stored, the more of their nutrition is lost.
Likewise, the less processed the food the more nutritious it will be – all forms of processing, even just the simple act of chopping something up destroys nutritional content. So it's not hard to imagine all the goodness that over processed ready meals have lost during their manufacture!
Try not to over cook, or over process your fresh vegetables and fruits, but if you do then make sure you consume them straight away and do not store them for any longer than you have to. Chopped or juiced products have a much greater surface area and so they will oxidize at a far greater rate and therefore will lose a lot of their valuable trace elements and nutrients, when you see cut edges start to go brown this is the oxidization process occurring.
Make good use of any store cupboard ingredients this season – lentils, chickpeas, beans and grains can be used to bulk out your food and provide protein and fiber in your recipes. Now let us have a look at the foods that lower blood pressure and are found from December to February.
Beetroot season is in full swing! When juiced and drunk on a daily basis, this delicious root crop has been scientifically proven to lower high blood pressure. Just 500 mls can make a significant difference to people suffering from hypertension. Also in season is watercress – another blood pressure lowering super food.
Fruits to eat this month include pomegranates, which are also well known for combating hypertension, and also apples, oranges and pears which are packed full of natural fiber.
As well as the December foods which remain in season, brussel sprouts, kale, leeks, swede, turnips and chestnuts are all freshly harvested. Roast some chestnuts or puree them to make a hearty winter soup. Chestnuts are high in folates, potassium and fiber – they are a great low fat nut for those on a high blood pressure diet.
February will often see the end of the coldest weather. All the seasonal foods from December and January are still good to eat thanks to the long growing season across Europe. Leeks, Jerusalem artichokes (high in potassium and vitamin C), rhubarb and purple sprouting broccoli make an appearance now. Potassium counteracts high sodium levels and is good for those who suffer from hypertension.
Some heart healthy vegetarian recipes that can be made this season include:
Jerusalem artichoke and celeriac soup
chestnut and dark chocolate cheesecake
cottage pie made with orange lentils and root vegetable mash.
So enjoy your winter months with great super foods that lower blood pressure and are in fact super foods like beetroots that provide lots of energy.