I’ve tried to make finding a breakfast for high blood pressure simple with the following resource. Even if you don’t have high blood pressure, you can find some great breakfast recipes to try out! Keep reading to find a recipe that you and your family will love.
- Recognize that uncontrolled high blood pressure increases risks for heart disease, kidney damage, and other complications.
- Eating a balanced breakfast restores blood sugar levels and can prevent the onset of high blood pressure. Choose options rich in fiber, protein, and healthy fats to support overall health.
- Focus on breakfast meals for high blood pressure that align with the DASH diet. Incorporate whole grains, fruits, lean proteins, and low-fat dairy. Limit sodium and increase potassium intake to counteract its effects.
- Beyond diet, exercise regularly, manage stress, maintain a healthy weight, and limit unhealthy habits like excessive alcohol consumption and smoking to manage blood pressure.
High blood pressure is a health concern because it can increase the risk for multiple chronic diseases including heart disease and kidney disease.
Having high blood pressure means that the force that the blood puts on the artery walls is consistently too high. High blood pressure causes damage to the arteries, and increases strain on the heart, which can increase the risk of heart disease.
You may have seen blood pressure measured as two numbers before, and this is what they represent:
The first number is the measurement that represents your systolic blood pressure, which occurs when your heart beats. This will be the higher number.
The second number is the measurement that represents your diastolic blood pressure, which occurs when your heart is at rest. This will be the lower number.
If your blood pressure measurement is consistently above 130/80, then you are considered to have high blood pressure (1).
I’m sure you’ve been told at some point that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and there are many reasons why this may hold true.
When you wake up in the morning, you will have low blood sugar because you have not eaten for many hours. During the night, your body was probably using glycogen for energy once it used up all available glucose. Glycogen is the way that excess glucose is stored in our bodies to be used when blood sugar levels are low (like while you are sleeping).
By eating breakfast, you will provide your body with glucose that it can then use for energy so it will no longer need to use glycogen. However, if you skip breakfast, you will not be providing this energy for your body, and you will probably not feel as energized to start your day, since your blood sugar will remain low.
Eating a balanced breakfast that contains fiber, protein and healthy fat is important as it can help you to feel full for longer, preventing snacking later in the day. This can help eliminate snack foods that may have been high in added sugar or sodium and in this way, eating breakfast can contribute to weight management.
Studies have also suggested that skipping breakfast may increase the risk of high blood pressure and heart disease (2).
As you will see throughout this article, breakfast foods can offer many essential nutrients, and eating breakfast is a great way to add more of these nutrients into your diet to help meet your needs.
One of the best ways to manage your blood pressure is by following a balanced eating pattern like the Mediterranean Diet or DASH diet. The DASH diet in particular is designed for lowering blood pressure – DASH stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension.
Nutrients That Impact Blood Pressure
Some common nutrients that play a role in managing blood pressure are sodium, potassium, magnesium, and calcium.
You may already be aware that sodium contributes to high blood pressure. This is because when we consume too much sodium, the body will retain more water. By doing so, this increases blood volume which will increase blood pressure, as more force will be put on the arteries.
Potassium can help to counter the effects of sodium. Increasing the amount of potassium you eat will cause more sodium to be excreted in the urine (3). Potassium also helps the walls of the blood vessels to relax, which may also help to lower blood pressure (4).
Both calcium and magnesium are also involved in muscle contraction/relaxation and are therefore important for regulating blood vessels (which are muscles) to help maintain blood pressure.
When following the DASH diet, you should use their recommended food groups as a guide of what to incorporate into your hypertension breakfast. These groups include whole grains, fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy, lean protein, nuts/seeds and finally, fats and oils.
If you are a coffee drinker, you can still enjoy your morning cup of coffee as part of the Mediterranean diet, just be mindful of what you are adding to it and how much caffeine you are consuming as it may have an impact on your blood pressure. Here’s a great article about coffee creamers to use for high cholesterol.
See the following list of recommended breakfast meals for high blood pressure that fit well into the DASH diet and include the top foods to lower blood pressure.
Beet Smoothie to Lower Blood Pressure – The Heart Dietitian
This smoothie includes many delicious heart healthy ingredients, including beets, apples, grapes, spinach and almonds. It offers antioxidants, nitric oxide, magnesium, potassium, and calcium, all of which play a role in heart health and blood pressure, which makes it a fantastic hypertension breakfast.
If you used beets that had the greens, you can also use the leftover greens in this beet green smoothie!
Beetroot Powder Smoothie – Sip Sip Smoothie
This smoothie is one of my favorite healthy breakfast ideas for high blood pressure. Beetroot powder is a sweet, pink powder made from dried, ground beets and offers the same benefits in regard to antioxidants and lowering blood pressure as regular beets.
However, beetroot powder is considered to be a supplement and should not be consumed in excess.
Barley Pancakes – The Heart Dietitian
Pancakes are always a favorite breakfast! This recipe features barley flour, which is a whole grain and a great source of soluble fiber, which contributes to overall heart health. It also contains magnesium and potassium to help with blood pressure.
Pumpkin Baked Oats – The Feathered Nester
This breakfast to lower blood pressure is perfect for the fall season, especially if you are looking for a warm, comforting meal. The pumpkin contains antioxidants and potassium. The recipe also contains oats, which are high in fiber, and it uses maple syrup instead of white sugar as its sweetener, which aligns well with the DASH diet.
Protein Baked Oats – The Heart Dietitian
These protein baked oats are a healthy breakfast idea for high blood pressure. They contain heart-healthy, protein rich ingredients like yogurt, egg and soy milk, all of which fit into the DASH diet. These ingredients are also sources of calcium and magnesium, which is why they can contribute to lowering blood pressure.
Sweet Potato Breakfast Bowl – All Nutritious
Sweet potatoes are the star of this recipe to lower blood pressure. They are rich in vitamins, fiber and potassium. The recipe also includes some healthy fats from almond butter and hemp seeds, as well as some protein from the yogurt, incorporating different food groups from the DASH diet for a well-balanced meal.
Chia Banana Bread – The Heart Dietitian
Bananas are a great source of potassium, and what better way to eat them than by making banana bread! This breakfast meal for high blood pressure is great because it also features other heart healthy ingredients like chia seeds and walnuts.
Breakfast Cookies – Rainbow Plant Life
Who doesn’t love the sound of eating cookies for breakfast? These hypertension breakfast cookies are high in fiber as they contain oats and flaxseed, both of which are also good sources of magnesium to help with blood pressure.
High Potassium Smoothie – The Heart Dietitian
This breakfast for high blood pressure includes multiple ingredients that are high in potassium like bananas, avocado, and spinach. It also contains soy milk that is high in protein, calcium and potassium! These heart healthy ingredients can all contribute to lowering blood pressure.
Healthy Banana Zucchini Muffins – Fox and Briar
As mentioned above, bananas are rich in potassium. The addition of zucchini to this breakfast to lower blood pressure is also a great way to incorporate some extra vegetables into your diet without even realizing they’re in there!
Blueberry Cheesecake Overnight Oats – The Heart Dietitian
These blueberry cheesecake overnight oats make it seem like you are eating dessert for breakfast! They are high in protein, fiber, potassium, and calcium, making them a great breakfast option for the DASH diet.
Date Muffins – A Sweet Alternative
Dates are rich in fiber, antioxidants, potassium, and magnesium. The recipe also includes healthy fat from almond butter and whole wheat flour which aligns with the DASH diet.
Overnight Oat Bran – The Heart Dietitian
Oat bran is a great food to incorporate into the DASH diet as it offers many health benefits, including helping to lower blood pressure. Be sure to try this breakfast to lower blood pressure during the cold months for optimal comfort!
Some tips for reducing sodium in breakfast meals to help manage blood pressure are:
• Read food labels to see how much sodium the food contains.
• Try flavoring with herbs instead of salt.
• Cook at home rather than ordering takeout. Check out these low sodium cookbooks for inspiration.
Along with eating in a way that promotes lowering blood pressure, it is also important to take other lifestyle factors into account. Some examples include:
• Exercising regularly.
• Managing stress.
• Maintaining a healthy weight.
• Limiting alcohol intake.
• Not smoking.
The best breakfast for high blood pressure would be one that follows the DASH diet, like any of the ones mentioned in this list. It is important to try to choose a breakfast that includes fiber, protein, healthy fats, fruits, and vegetables.
Adopting a heart healthy eating pattern, like the DASH diet, and incorporating many foods that lower blood pressurecan help to lower blood pressure quickly.
Eggs are good for lowering blood pressure because they fit into the DASH diet as they offer protein, healthy fats, vitamins and they even include potassium, calcium and magnesium.
When choosing a cereal for high blood pressure, it is important to read the labels to make sure you are choosing one low in sodium. Although cereal may not taste salty, sometimes there is added sodium to help extend its shelf life, and it gets masked by the cereal’s sweetness. Check out this article for more information about low sodium cereals.
Eating one of these heart healthy breakfast ideas for high blood pressure can be a great way to incorporate essential nutrients into your diet to help lower blood pressure as well as your risk for other diseases.
Use this list of breakfast recipes the next time you are wondering what breakfast you should eat to lower blood pressure! Tell me below, which breakfast meal for high blood pressure will you try first?
This article was written by Siobhan Tyler, Nutrition Student, and Veronica Rouse, MAN, RD, CDE.