What To Eat For Breakfast If You Have Blood Pressure

Eating a healthy breakfast is one of the best ways to start your day. Skipping breakfast is linked to many chronic illnesses, including high blood pressure (HBP). Besides providing essential nutrients to your body and replenishing your glucose supply, a nutritious breakfast lowers the risk of HBP¹.

As breakfast helps control blood sugar levels, which can influence blood pressure², it can be a practical tool in managing hypertension.

Eating a healthy breakfast can also keep you full and boost your body's energy level.

Learn more about healthy breakfast ideas that are good for high blood pressure.

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How does what you eat for breakfast impact blood pressure?

High blood pressure is the pressure of blood pushing against arterial walls. Arteries are small vessels transporting blood from the heart to different body parts.

Many unhealthy foods contain fat and sodium, which, if not eliminated, get deposited along the arterial walls as cholesterol. Specifically, too much cholesterol makes it hard for blood to move freely, resulting in increased blood pressure, according to a study published in the Journal of Human Hypertension³.

Normal blood pressure is 120 systolic over 80 diastolic. Your doctor will diagnose you with HBP if your blood pressure is consistently above these values.

Eating a healthy breakfast can positively affect your blood pressure and sugar levels.

A good breakfast should include recommendations of the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet. The DASH diet⁴ involves the consumption of 4700mg of potassium per day and reducing sodium levels to lower blood pressure.

Do eggs help with high blood pressure?

Yes, eggs help in reducing hypertension. As reported by Clemson University researchers⁵, egg whites have a peptide compound that can help lower blood pressure in the same way as medication.

You should include eggs in your diet, particularly for breakfast meals if you have HBP. Besides lowering blood pressure, eggs supply your body with high-quality protein and help keep you full.

What is the best cereal for high blood pressure?

Eating cereals with low concentrations of sodium is one of the best ways to manage hypertension. Some of the healthy grains to contain HBP include:

Oats

One of the best-known whole grains, oats are among the healthiest grains for people who want to maintain normal blood pressure. They have a well-balanced nutrient composition that involves fibers, vitamins, energy, antioxidants, and minerals.

There are two varieties of oats:

  • Oats groats

  • Instant oats

Oats groats are whole-formed oats that take more time to cook.

Instant oats are crushed and highly processed to form a smooth texture that becomes mushy when cooked. Instant oats take less time to cook.

The fiber in oats, called beta-glucan, can help regulate cholesterol and blood pressure levels⁶.

The best way to enjoy oats in the morning is to make a bowl of oatmeal using water or milk and let it simmer for a couple of minutes. You can flavor it with spices such as cardamom, cinnamon, or nutmeg, or add some of your favorite fruits or berries.

Homemade granola

Granola comprises rolled oats, natural honey, and healthy dried fruits. Granola is a popular snack among athletes, professionals, and hikers because it is an excellent energy source.

Homemade granola is much better than store-bought since the latter often contains added sugar, which is not suitable for those with HBP. It also tends to be much tastier and cheaper.

In addition to whole grain oats, some of the ingredients you could use when making granola include:

  • Green pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, or pepitas

  • Honey

  • Unrefined coconut oil

  • A little bit of fine-grain sea salt

  • Spice

  • Dried fruit such as sliced apricots, cherries, or raisins

Serve the granola with either gluten-free milk or yogurt.

Cauliflower oatmeal

Cauliflower oatmeal is a healthier version of oatmeal in which cauliflower is the basis of the dish.

The meal is made by processing cauliflower in a food processor until it resembles rice grains, then boiling it with milk and spices such as cinnamon. You can use any unsweetened milk: low-fat dairy, almond, coconut, macadamia, or soy, for example. You are also free to choose any toppings such as seeds or nuts.

Cauliflower oatmeal is packed with nutrients and is low in carbs and calories, making it a perfect way to start your day. Cauliflower contains sulforaphane, an active ingredient that helps in lowering blood pressure. Studies show⁷ the efficacy of sulforaphane in reducing cardiovascular diseases and hypertension.

Further, eating cauliflower oatmeal is an excellent way to sneak vegetables into your diet.

Muesli

Muesli cereal is made up of a mix of oats and nuts to form a meal rich in iron, proteins, and fiber. Even though muesli is similar to granola, it is more natural and contains less sugar.

The iron in muesli helps in regulating blood pressure. It also contains beta-glucan, which reduces cholesterol and keeps your heart healthy.

The whole grains in muesli help keep you full for longer. The oats also contain resistant starch, which is broken down in your gut to release digestive acids that suppress hunger.

Like other healthy cereals, there are several ways to prepare muesli. You can mix it with apple, berries, seeds, or toast it with coconut.

What are suitable breakfast options for someone with high blood pressure?

You should always follow the DASH diet to avoid or deal with hypertension. Some breakfast options include:

Spinach pancake

Spinach pancakes are a great way to begin your morning. Besides tasting amazing, they are also packed with vitamins and minerals such as potassium.

Potassium-rich foods help in regulating blood pressure, as shown in recent studies⁸. Potassium also helps in eliminating a high concentration of sodium in the body.

Amaranth

Amaranth is often mistakenly considered a type of grain, but they are actually seeds packed with proteins. It can be added to smoothies, drinks, and soups.

Amaranth can be ground to form flour which you can use to make pancakes or cakes. It is a healthier option compared to regular flour.

Amaranth contains magnesium which helps in relaxing arteries, thereby reducing blood pressure. Fiber is also an essential substance in amaranth, positively influencing blood pressure⁹.

The possibilities of enjoying amaranth are endless. You can make porridge and combine it with fruit for breakfast or with a salad for lunch.

Yogurt with fruits

You are 30% less likely to get hypertension¹⁰ if you add about 2% of yogurt calories to your diet. Most dairy products, yogurt included, contain a high concentration of magnesium, calcium, and potassium, which helps regulate high blood pressure.

Yogurt also contains good bacteria, which lowers blood pressure. You can incorporate probiotics into your diet in other ways, such as with fermented milk.

Mix a cup of low-sugar yogurt with fresh fruits such as berries and have it for breakfast. You can also use it as a base for dips and enjoy it with crudité.

Low salt snacks

Many snacks available in grocery stores are packed with sodium. With them being tempting and easy to eat, these are the go-to snacks for many people, even though they pose a significant health risk.

Choose snacks like dark chocolate, which contains flavonoids that help nitric oxide production in the arterial walls. Nitric oxide improves blood flow, thereby reducing blood pressure.

Breakfast foods to avoid if you have high blood pressure

A healthy breakfast for hypertension should include a high concentration of calcium, potassium, and magnesium concentration. Other than that, it might not be suitable for you. Here are all the unhealthy breakfast meals to avoid:

Sweetened breakfast cereals

Most cereal packages are deceiving. They claim to be healthy because they contain nutrients and whole grains, but this is not the entire truth.

Most breakfast cereals are highly processed and contain added sugar. Studies show that a cup of cereal is equivalent to three chocolate chip cookies in terms of sugar concentration.

Research¹¹ shows that high sugar levels inhibit nitric oxide production, which helps in the dilation of arteries, potentially contributing to increased blood pressure. Sugar contributes to weight gain, which increases the chances of getting high blood pressure.

Muffins

Muffins contain unhealthy ingredients such as refined flour, sugar, and oils. Factory-made muffins have a high concentration of harmful components, making them a significant contributor to obesity.

The refined ingredients in muffins do not have any nutritional value. Due to high sugar concentration, the muffins are quickly digested by the body, which triggers an exacerbated increase in insulin levels.

Waffles

Waffles contain simple carbs, which makes them easy to digest. The refined ingredients in the flour contribute to obesity and high insulin levels.

Obesity causes atherosclerosis, which narrows arterial walls, leading to hypertension. The Framingham Heart Study¹² showed that excess body weight causes an increase in fatty tissue, which accounts for 54% of cardiovascular diseases.

When fatty tissue is deposited on the walls of arteries, the heart has to work harder to pump blood to different parts of the body.

Bacon

Processed meats, like bacon and ham, are bad for your health if you have HBP.  Bacon contains a high concentration of sodium which raises blood pressure if eaten regularly.

As only two strips of bacon contain 330mg of sodium, it will be all too easy to exceed the daily recommended limit of 1,500mg if too much bacon is consumed.

The lowdown

Breakfast helps you start the day the right way. For people with hypertension, breakfast is more than just a meal; it is one of the best ways to manage high blood pressure. By choosing a healthy option, you can use the most important meal of the day to help keep your HBP in check.

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