Are you looking for breakfast foods for high blood pressure? As the saying goes, “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day”. Therefore, it is very important to start your day right by eating the right foods that are beneficial for your health, and your blood pressure.
We’re going to learn about breakfast foods to lower blood pressure and explore recipes my clients love to improve your heart health.
- Eating DASH and Mediterranean diets, which emphasize whole foods, can help lower blood pressure, and improve heart health.
- Essential nutrients that aid in lowering blood pressure include potassium, magnesium, calcium, while excessive sodium intake can contribute to high blood pressure.
- Consuming breakfast foods rich in cardioprotective nutrients, such as vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and legumes, can help manage and lower high blood pressure.
- It’s crucial to avoid processed meats and refined carbohydrates at breakfast as they can exacerbate high blood pressure due to their high salt, sugar, and unhealthy fat content.
What Is High Blood Pressure?
Blood pressure refers to the high force of blood pressing against the artery walls. Thus, high blood pressure increases one’s risk factors for developing chronic diseases such as heart disease as it can damage the blood vessels leading to kidney disease, stroke, or heart attack.
Changing or modifying your diets is one of the helpful ways you can improve your blood pressure levels. The DASH and Mediterranean diets are two of the most beneficial dietary routines that could help lower blood pressure because they focus on eating whole foods.
DASH diet, or Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, includes eating vegetables, fruits, whole grains, fish, poultry, legumes, and low-fat dairy products. These foods are rich in cardioprotective nutrients like potassium, magnesium,and calcium which makes this diet beneficial in lowering or treating hypertension.
The Mediterranean diet involves eating plant-based foods, whole grains, healthy fats (such as olive oil vs butter and avocado), and seafood. Processed foods, red meat, and poultry are eaten moderately.
Sometimes, it can be difficult for someone to stick with their diet because of certain circumstances such as holidays, weekends, or even going out. Check out some tips on how to stay on your Mediterranean diet when eating out! Also, here are some low sodium burger king options, and low sodium McDonalds options.
One of the important nutrients that lowers blood pressure is potassium. It is found in dried fruits (such as apricots and raisins), beans, lentils, potatoes, fruits (including kiwi and mango), and vegetables (like spinach and broccoli).
Potassium acts opposite of sodium in the body. It is a vasodilator which helps relax the blood vessels and reduces the resistance to blood flow, lowering blood pressure. It also aids in maintaining fluid balance in the body, preventing water retention that could lead to high blood pressure.
Legumes (such as chickpeas, soybeans, and black beans), nuts (including almonds and cashews), fruits (bananas), vegetables (including spinach and broccoli), and whole grains (such as brown rice and quinoa) are rich sources of magnesium.
Magnesium assists in producing nitric oxide, a vasodilator, which relaxes the blood vessels and helps regulate blood pressure. It also has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. These mechanisms help lessen chronic inflammation and oxidative stress which are factors that contribute to hypertension.
Calcium can be found in tofu, dairy products, seafood (like sardines), beans, lentils, nuts (such as almonds), and vegetables (such as kale).
Calcium helps regulate the tightening and widening of blood vessels, maintaining blood pressure to healthier levels. It also assists in managing electrolyte balance (electrolytes are substances which help cells and organs to work properly). This further regulates our blood pressure.
The most well-known nutrient that contributes significantly to high blood pressure is sodium. High amounts of sodium are mostly found in processed foods like canned goods and frozen products.
Sodium promotes water retention, especially if it is consumed in excess. This retention increases the blood volume (amount of blood circulating in the body at a certain time). In addition, sodium constricts the blood vessels, restricting blood flow. Overall, these factors lead to increased blood pressure.
Now let’s get into breakfast foods to eat with high blood pressure. You can check out this comprehensive list of 39 foods to lower blood pressure. More are described in detail below.
All vegetables are breakfast foods for high blood pressure. They are rich sources of several cardioprotective nutrients such as fiber, potassium, and many more. They are also low in sodium and saturated fat.
According to research, cooked and raw vegetables are linked to lower blood pressure with specific vegetables having greater effects. Raw tomatoes, carrots, beets, beet greens and scallions and cooked celery, peas, scallions, and tomatoes are the most beneficial for hypertension (1).
Check out these DASH diet soup recipes that contain lots of veggies!
Breakfast foods to lower blood pressure include all fruits. Fruits are linked to lower risk of hypertension and helps lower blood pressure. They are rich in potassium, magnesium, vitamin C, folic acid, flavonoid, and carotenoids. These nutrients improve the lining of the blood vessels for better controlling of blood pressure (2).
Also, eating more fruits allows for more intake of dietary fiber and low-fat foods. Knowing that high-fat diets are linked to developing high blood pressure, consuming less fat and more fiber from fruits can help lower this risk (2).
Sweet potatoes also contain essential nutrients which help lower blood pressure. It is high in potassium which regulates sodium levels in the body and manages blood pressure. As a result, it is low in sodium, making it one of the nutritious breakfast foods to eat with high blood pressure.
This starchy vegetable is also rich in antioxidants such as beta-carotene (vitamin A) which contribute to blood pressure control. It is also a great source of fiber which helps lower bad cholesterol levels, regulating blood pressure.
One of the most popular and healthy breakfast foods for high blood pressure is whole grains. These are foods like oats, oat bran, barley. It is rich in nutrients such as magnesium, potassium, and B vitamins.
One study proved that consuming 3 servings of whole grain foods every day can decrease heart disease risk by helping lower blood pressure. Whole grains have cholesterol-lowering nutrients such as soluble fiber (beta-glucan) which help improve blood vessels and decrease cholesterol levels. These effects allow for having better control of high blood pressure (3).
Tofu is a well-known nutritious food made from soybeans. It is vegan, gluten-free, and dairy-free. It has iron, zinc, calcium, and B vitamins. It also contains polyunsaturated fats and protein which makes it a healthier alternative to animal-based protein.
Soy foods, like tofu, also contains isoflavones which have anti-inflammatory effects and help improve arterial stiffness (this refers to how the arteries respond during heart’s pumping cycle) (4).
Beans and legumes are breakfast foods to eat with high blood pressure. They include chickpeas, kidney beans, lentils, and black beans. These foods are high in folate, iron, magnesium, potassium, and zinc. They are also low in fat and calories and high in protein and fiber. This, overall, leads to better weight management by promoting fullness and reduced hunger levels which could help improve blood pressure.
Another excellent source of plant-based protein is legumes. One study proved that eating legumes daily (specifically, 55 g to 70 g) is linked to 43% lower risk of developing hypertension (5).
Legumes are also high in fiber, B vitamins, potassium, magnesium, and polyphenols. Eating legumes can help lower blood pressure by relaxing the blood vessels and increasing nitric oxide (a vasodilator) (5).
I love adding beans in my smoothies!
Nuts and seeds are also nutrient-rich breakfast foods to lower blood pressure which contain healthy fats (mono- and polyunsaturated fats), protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. They also contain antioxidant compounds (phenolic acids, phytosterols, carotenoids, and polyphenols) which have antimicrobial and growth inhibiting effects (6).
These nutrients help with lowering blood pressure by having positive effects on vascular function, oxidative stress, and inflammation. As a result, they are also important in improving heart health (6).
Dairy products such milk and yogurt are good sources of calcium, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, and protein. These nutrients contribute to decreasing blood pressure (7). Particularly, low-fat dairy can greatly help with lowering risk of hypertension and heart disease.
Research found that low-fat dairy products were associated with reduced risk of high blood pressure (7).
Processed meats including sausage and bacon are one of the foods to limit if you have high blood pressure. They are high in salt, saturated fats, and preservatives like nitrates which can contribute to various health problems.
They are high in saturated fats which can increase cholesterol levels in the blood. This could result in hypertension and/or heart attack or stroke. Processed foods, high in saturated fats and salt, can worsen your blood pressure and cause heart disease.
Another food to avoid is refined carbohydrates. These are usually in foods like muffins, donuts, and sweetened cereals. They are high in sugar which can contribute to high blood pressure and a greater chance of having heart disease.
Not only can refined carbohydrates be high in sodium, but also low in potassium. This disrupts the balance of sodium and potassium in our body, promoting fluid retention and causing high blood pressure. Therefore, it is important to limit or avoid consumption of these unhealthy foods.
We have learned about the different foods to eat and avoid for breakfast. Now, we can take a look at different breakfast meals for high blood pressure.
Food #1 Oatmeal – Try Protein Baked Oats (Without Protein Powder) – The Heart Dietitian
Eating this vegan and gluten-free baked oats is one of the great ways to start your morning right. It is high in fiber from the oats and blueberries and a significant amount of protein from the soy milk, Greek yogurt, and egg. This will make you feel full until your next meal!
Food #2 Broccoli – Tofu and Broccoli Frittata – Vegan recipe – This Wife Cooks
This vegan frittata recipe is one of the best breakfast meals for high blood pressure. It is also versatile since it can also be made for lunch and dinner. It has a considerable amount of protein from the tofu. It is also low in saturated fat from the various vegetables and healthy fats used (olive oil and vegan parmesan cheese).
Food #3 Avocado – Chocolate Avocado Weight Loss Smoothie – The Heart Dietitian
This easy and quick-to-make weight loss smoothie can be made if you don’t quite feel hungry in the morning. It provides a great amount of nutrients similar to eating a balanced meal. It has healthy fats and is rich in fiber, making it healthy for those with hypertension.
Food #4 Blueberries – Breakfast Stuffed Blueberry Sweet Potatoes – Street Smart Nutrition
This sweet potato dish is another nutritious meal that you could make to fuel your body in the morning. This dish contains fiber from the sweet potato and chia seeds, omega-3 fatty acids from the walnuts, antioxidants from the blueberries, and calcium from the yogurt.
Food #5 Beets – A Beet Smoothie To Lower Blood Pressure – The Heart Dietitian
Another nutritious smoothie to make for breakfast is a beet smoothie! Its main ingredient, beets, has vasodilating effects which help lower blood pressure. It is also a good way to get the most out of the cardioprotective nutrients from vegetables and fruits in a drink.
Food #6 Tofu – Vegan Tofu Scramble – Debra Klein
Tofu scrambles are excellent breakfast meals for high blood pressure. If you want to try something high protein for breakfast, this meal would be perfect for you! This scramble dish is rich in protein because of the tofu. Tofu is packed with all the essential proteins needed by the body with additional nutrients that are also helpful in lowering blood pressure.
Food #7 Lentils – Vegan Protein Oatmeal – The Heart Dietitian
This vegan, gluten-free, heart-healthy oatmeal comes with plant-based protein and fiber. Soy milk, lentils, and oats provide protein while lentils, oats, and pumpkin give fiber. These 2 main nutrients keep you full and improve blood vessel function to help improve blood pressure.
Food #8 Sweet Potato – Sweet Potato Pancakes – Joyful Balance
This recipe creates a healthy twist to your regular pancakes. Its main ingredient, sweet potato, provides fiber, antioxidants, and potassium. The plant-based milk used is low in fat. Heart-healthy toppings (like fruits) can be also added to help further lower blood pressure.
Food #9 Oat Bran – Delicious Overnight Oat Bran – The Heart Dietitian
This meal-prep friendly recipe equally provides heart-healthy benefits to busy people. It has a lot of fiber and protein from the oat bran. Soy milk, almond butter, and hemp seeds also provides nutrients that lower cholesterol which could help improve blood pressure and heart health.
Food #10 Black Beans – Southwest Sweet Potato, Kale and Black Bean Skillet – The Recipe Well
This colorful dish utilizes various ingredients that aid in regulating your blood pressure. Black beans and sweet potato provide fiber and potassium. In addition, kale has flavonoids which are antioxidants linked to lower risk of high blood pressure.
Food #11 Milk – Low Sodium Pancakes (3 Ingredients!) – The Heart Dietitian
These vegan and gluten-free pancakes only contain 3 ingredients. Soy milk provides protein and antioxidants, oats give fiber, and bananas contribute potassium. Overall, these components provide nutrients that help manage your blood pressure.
Food #12 Yogurt – Sheet Pan Huevos Rancheros – The Oregon Dietitian
You could make your breakfast more interesting by incorporating this Mexican dish. It has a significant amount of protein from the black beans, eggs, and Greek yogurt. Also, it contains calcium from the cotija cheese and Greek yogurt, keeping your blood pressure in check.
Food #13 Banana – Homemade Banana Muffins With Lentils – The Heart Dietitian
Another breakfast dish that you won’t feel guilty eating is this banana muffin recipe. It has lentils which has fiber, protein, and B vitamins. This recipe also packs with fruits, whole grains, and other nutritious ingredients with heart-healthy nutrients, making it a good meal to enjoy for breakfast.
Food #14 Cinnamon – Sweet Potato Pancakes – Healthy Taste of Life
This recipe is another great way to spice up your sweet potato pancakes. It includes cinnamon and cardamom which also assist in regulating blood pressure. They provide flavor which helps eat less-salty foods, improve blood vessel function, and have antioxidants that help alleviate hypertension.
Food #15 Walnuts – Low Sodium Oatmeal In Minutes – The Heart Dietitian
This oatmeal recipe is another healthy way to prepare an oatmeal dish. Oats, applesauce, raisins, and walnuts provide fiber. Soy milk, Greek yogurt, and egg whites give protein. This meal makes you feel fuller while also assisting with lowering blood pressure.
Food #16 Turmeric – Vegan Frittata- A Sweet Alternative
This vegan recipe is a nutritious twist to your egg-based Italian dish. It involves using tofu as its protein component, which is packed with nutrients that help decrease blood pressure. It is also low in saturated fat because of the low-fat ingredients used to make this vegan breakfast meal.
The best breakfast for someone with high blood pressure is a meal that is high in fiber and/or protein, like a protein rich oatmeal. These nutrients help promote fullness, improve blood vessel function, and help lower bad cholesterol.
Breakfast foods that lower blood pressure are fruits, vegetables, whole grains, plant-based protein (beans, legumes, nuts, and seeds), milk and yogurt.
Vegetable, fruit, nuts and seeds are a good snack for high blood pressure. If you are looking for some snack ideas to incorporate in your diet, check out the DASH diet snacks and low sodium snack articles for more information.
One of the best cereals for high blood pressure is post-shredded wheat. It has a significant amount of potassium, magnesium, fiber, and protein. Also, it does not contain sodium. Other cereals such as Kashi whole grain puffs and Multigrain Cheerios are also great alternatives.
Eggs are often avoided by people with hypertension since they are high in cholesterol. However, they are good for high blood pressure since they are a source of potassium and calcium which help lower blood pressure.
Breakfast foods for high blood pressure can also be drinks! Consuming nutrient-rich drinks is another way to get more beneficial nutrients to lower blood pressure.
Coffee is a popular drink for breakfast. It contains caffeine which makes you fully awake in the morning. It also has antioxidants which help improve the function of blood vessels from oxidative stress and inflammation. This mechanism allows for blood pressure regulation.
However, consuming too much coffee can increase blood pressure. The recommended daily serving for coffee is 4 cups of coffee (400 milligrams daily). This amount should be lower, especially for people with high blood pressure.
Herbal tea is another popular drink to have in the morning. According to research, long-term consumption of herbal tea helps decrease blood pressure (8).
It has compounds with antioxidant properties which help protect cells in the blood vessels. This can lead to better blood vessel function and lower blood pressure. Tea consumption is also associated with lower heart disease risk and improved blood sugar levels (8).
Drinking water is very important for health and it should be consumed throughout the day.
Most importantly, drinking more water led to a decrease in blood pressure. Excess water helped remove excess sodium and water from the body, improve kidney function, and reduce resistance in the blood vessels (9). Therefore, drinking more water is very important for our health.
Milk is another great choice of drink to have for breakfast. As mentioned above, low-fat dairy products are linked to lower risk of high blood pressure compared to high-fat dairy. They are rich in calcium and potassium known to lower blood pressure (7).
Lastly, smoothies are quick and easy to make, and you can also make it fun and creative by adding various healthy ingredients.
Smoothies can be an alternative option if you do not have a big appetite in the morning. Depending on the ingredients used, drinking them is like eating a well-balanced meal. Therefore, it is a great way to add in your diet if you’re trying to lower your blood pressure.
For more ideas and information about heart-healthy smoothies, check out the website!
Is Mustard Good For High Blood Pressure? From A Dietitian (The Heart Dietitian)
Besides incorporating foods to lower blood pressure, building healthy lifestyle habits are also helpful in further lowering risk of or decreasing high blood pressure. Before immersing yourself into lifestyle changes, it is very important to seek help from your healthcare professional.
Let us know in the comments which breakfast food to lower blood pressure you like best or if you are trying any breakfast recipes that have been recommended!
This article was written by Larissa Bantegui, Nutrition Student, and Veronica Rouse, MAN, RD, CDE.