Foods that can help control, lower blood pressure

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If you're hoping to get a handle on your high blood pressure you can start in the kitchen. A recent study put together a list of foods that may lower or better control hypertension.

"Basically to lower your blood pressure you eat more natural, so foods that aren't processed in a box, a bag, or a can," said Julia Zumpano, who did not take part in the study but is a registered dietitian at Cleveland Clinic.

Northwestern university researchers found the foods they believe work best to improve blood pressure.  Topping the list are fresh fruits, vegetables and legumes.

Researchers say fresh veggies are better because canned vegetables, while convenient, may be high in sodium.  Other blood pressure lowering foods include lean meats like unprocessed beef, veal and pork. 

Whole grain products to eat are bread, cereals, pasta, and rice. Egg whites, fish and shellfish, and lean poultry also make the list. 

Vegetable oils like corn, olive, and sunflower oils are there, too, but all without added salt and in modest portion sizes.

"What you eat can positively effect your blood pressure reduction, so that's really where we want to stick to a whole foods diet, minimally processed foods," said Zumpano.

Zumpano says if you are on the go and need the convenience of processed foods be sure to read the labels.  She says you want the least amount of added ingredients and lowest amount of sodium you can find.

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