For many seniors, reducing blood pressure is a serious concern. High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, can increase the risk for life-threatening complications and conditions including heart attacks, stroke and kidney failure. In addition to medication and routine exercise, a healthy diet can go a long way in lowering blood pressure. In fact, there are a handful of foods that when added into a senior’s daily meals, can help decrease blood pressure levels.
- Milk – Milk is great for seniors and older adults, providing the nutrients necessary for strong and healthy bones. What many may not know is that milk is also key to reducing blood pressure. Having a serving of skim milk with meals can effectively help reduce numbers by up to 10%. It may not seem like much, but when combined with other measures, it can quickly add up.
- Legumes – Beans, lentils, peas and peanuts are just a handful of legumes that are packed with magnesium, potassium and fiber, all which contribute to heart health and ultimately, a decrease in the blood pressure. These are a great option for seniors because not only are there many types of beans to choose from to help avoid having the same meal over and over, they are also affordable.
- Bananas – Low in fat and calories, bananas are great for any time of the day, but can serve as part of a light and healthy breakfast. In addition to a reduction in blood pressure, bananas help regulate insulin levels, boost the immune system and are packed with magnesium, Vitamin C, fiber and calcium.
As a leading provider of 24 hour care in Sonoma, we also recommend that seniors decrease the sodium in their overall diet. The easiest way to achieve this is by eating fewer processed and canned foods which are often packed with sodium. When cooking, seniors should also avoid using salt, adding flavor to their dishes with spices instead.
Changing one’s diet is difficult at any age, but can be especially difficult for seniors who are accustomed to certain foods and tastes. The best way to embark on a heart healthy diet is to ease into it and cut back gradually. Families who are concerned about the health and wellness of their aging loved ones should offer support and encouragement whenever possible, helping with meal preparation or bringing over healthy meals that can be frozen and stored conveniently for later use.
Unfortunately, time restraints and physical distance may make it difficult to ensure that your aging loved one is able to prepare healthy meals. If this is the case, contact Home Care Assistance Sonoma County today at 707-843-4368. With the support of professional, reliable and compassionate caregivers, your aging loved one can receive the help they need with cooking, light housekeeping, medication reminders, transportation and more!