It is said that “variety is the spice of life”. High blood pressure or even an official diagnosis of hypertension may mean the need to make some adjustments to your existing lifestyle, which may include being careful about what you put into your body in every raw ingredient you use in your snacks and meals . However, there are still plenty of ways to enjoy delicious tastes and flavors as you try to manage your blood pressure levels—without leave this spice.
To manage elevated blood pressure by considering your diet, food choices such as salmon, avocados and dark leafy greens can help lower blood pressure levels. Historically, scientific research has also shown a direct correlation between blood pressure levels and sodium intake. That said, avoiding foods high in sodium is another way to effectively keep your blood pressure readings in a healthy range.
According to the American Heart Association, the general rule of thumb is to not exceed 2,300 milligrams of sodium per day. For adults—especially those with high blood pressure or a predisposition to this condition—they should be limited to about 1,500 milligrams of sodium per day. To put this into perspective, a single teaspoon of table salt reportedly contains 2,325 milligrams of sodium, making it only 25 milligrams more than the recommended daily limit for the average person.
Although table salt may lose its place on your spice rack as a staple seasoning, reducing your sodium intake while making other lifestyle changes more conducive to healthy blood pressure levels doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice delicious foods to choose all of them. bland and boring. . We talked to Sydney Greene, MS, RD, a registered dietitian and member of our board of medical experts, to find out which seasoning options you can use to liven up your dish without spiking your blood pressure or completely skyrocketing. Here are the spices he suggests using if you have high blood pressure.
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“Dulse is a type of seaweed that can be purchased in a shaker container similar to salt,” Greene explains. “It provides a salty, umami flavor without all the sodium. It also provides important nutrients like iodine and calcium.”
Studies, like the one found in Marine Drugs, have also linked consumption of the nutrients in seaweed and its extracts to improved cardiovascular health. Because high blood pressure is one of the most critical risk factors for cardiovascular disease, lowering your blood pressure also means reducing your risk of developing other cardiovascular complications.
Although dulse is generally low in sodium, some spice brands may include more of this mineral in their products than others. So when looking for granulated dulse, always be sure to double-check the nutritional information before making your purchase. Some delicious dulse seasonings that are low in sodium include Maine Seasonings Dulse Granules from Maine Coast Sea Vegetables or Eden Organic Dulse Flakes. Each of these shakers contains only 1% sodium per teaspoon.
“Turmeric is an incredibly flavorful spice known for its anti-inflammatory effects,” says Greene.
This spice is also known for its ability to potentially enhance the nutrients of other foods, making it a great addition to nutrient-dense foods like sweet potatoes – which can also naturally lower blood pressure through high amounts of potassium.
Greene also suggests combining turmeric with black pepper, as this allows your body to better absorb and use this delicious spice.
Although perhaps not as potent as when fresh or minced, garlic powder remains a popular spice that can add flavor to any dish through subtle notes full of flavor.
“Garlic adds depth of flavor to most dishes and is great for the immune system,” says Greene. “In high doses, eating garlic can even help lower blood pressure.”
A teaspoon of garlic powder contains a paltry 1.86 milligrams of sodium. To put this into perspective, there are 2,360 milligrams in a teaspoon of table salt.
It’s always a good idea to err on the side of caution by using this spice in healthy moderation while cooking and reading the nutritional information on potential garlic powder you may want to purchase. At the very least, you want to make sure what you’re adding is actually garlic powder—not the spice’s sodium-heavy cousin, garlic salt, which contains 1,960 milligrams of sodium per teaspoon! Being aware of your sodium intake can empower you to make the best food choices for your blood pressure.
“Smoked paprika is a great addition to many savory dishes and can provide a smoky flavor without added sodium and preservatives,” advises Greene.
Additionally, Greene reveals that to truly see the health benefits of paprika, including its ability to help regulate blood sugar and fight inflammation, you must consume this spice in large quantities and often. So, for those with high blood pressure and an insatiable craving for additional smoky, spicy and intense flavor, paprika can be the perfect choice.