We talk a great deal about how salt, and the sodium it contains, is bad for your blood pressure…but not a lot about which minerals and foods might be GOOD for your blood pressure. Sounds like a more fun approach, yes?

This week, I want to share some super choices that can lower blood pressure, all thanks to their content of calcium, magnesium and potassium. Most of us eating a standard crappy hyper-processed diet don’t get enough of these minerals to help balance their sodium intake. And the best part? Eating more whole foods rich in these minerals helps your blood pressure more than using supplementation. So if your doc has told you that your blood pressure is on the high side or you have diabetes or other risk factors for heart disease…you might just want to read on!

Actually, even if you don’t have high blood pressure…these foods are top notch choices for just about everyone.

Both calcium and magnesium help to maintain the flexibility of the smooth muscles lining your artery walls so that when your heart pumps out some blood, the vessels are flexible enough to take it. Foods high in potassium can improve your body’s ability to get rid of sodium through the kidneys, which in turn can lower blood pressure.

Here are 5 super tasty whole foods to help lower blood pressure…bon appetit!

Hemp seeds

Just 3 tablespoons of hemp seeds provide about a third of the magnesium you need for the day…try sprinkling them on top of salads, yogurt or oatmeal or put them in smoothies or baked goods. They are especially awesome for boosting protein when you use them to replace up to one-quarter of the flour in your baked goods.

Fortified Chocolate Almond Milk

One glass of fortified almond milk provides one third of your daily needs for calcium and the chocolate version is my favourite for making homemade mochas. Enjoy in a smoothie, baked goods or drink straight from the glass.

Sweet potatoes

One cup of diced sweet potatoes provides nearly 30% of your daily potassium requirements. Roast them to make potato wedges or chips or puree them for use in muffins, soups or dips. And the newest way to nosh on sweet potatoes? Grate them raw!

Beans of any kind  (black, navy, white, kidney, pinto, lima or soy)

One of my favourite foods in the whole world….one cup of beans provides roughly 30% of your magnesium requirements, up to 15 grams of fiber and 20% of your iron needs! Oh, and they are super filling, comforting and energizing foods.

Try a cold bean salad mixed with quinoa and lemon dressing, toss beans into quesadillas or enchiladas or mash beans into burgers for the summer months

Coconut water

Just in time for summer, one cup of coconut water provides about 14% of your potassium requirements and tastes great when you want a change from plain water.

Drink it chilled on a hot summer day, blend into smoothies or use as a base for healthy popsicles!

A special thanks to my intern Laura Ledas, for helping me put this post together!