It's not uncommon to come across a fluctuation in your blood pressure levels throughout your life. In most cases, it's likely to be higher rather than lower, and according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), affects more males rather than females. The ABS also states that there are currently around 2.6 million people in our country with high blood pressure, otherwise known as hypertension.

There's a whole range of factors which affect our blood pressure levels, and many times it is difficult to pinpoint the exact cause. However, it's important when living in a retirement community to get some daily exercise in, and also adhere to a healthy diet.

If you've already been diagnosed with hypertension by your doctor, there are a few specific foods you can implement into your meals to help lower your blood pressure naturally. It's important to keep your levels in check to prevent the risks of heart condition as well as promote regular circulation of blood flow in your body.

Look after your body by eating a diet to help lower your blood pressure levels.Look after your body by eating a diet to help lower your blood pressure levels.

The DASH diet

As explained by Mayo Clinic, the DASH diet stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension and consists of food groups to consume rather than specific items. Knowing your food groups will help to give your diet some variation, so you're not stuck cooking the same old boring meal in your Independent Living Unit.

Here is a breakdown of what is in the DASH diet:

  • Whole grains – bread (not white), certain cereals, rice and pasta. Just be aware that many of these products, such as cereal, can contain high amounts of sugar.
  • Fruit – it's important to have a healthy dose of fruit. Bananas, for example, are a good source of potassium – a mineral which Harvard Health (HH) explains reduces muscle cramping and helps to lower your blood pressure.
  • Dairy products – milk, cheese and yoghurt are some common food items for a healthy retirement lifestyle. It's high in calcium and vitamin D, extremely beneficial for your bones and also blood pressure, because according to HH, it helps your blood vessels tighten and relax when needed.
  • Vegetables – specifically the leafy green kind, because you get a nice dose of magnesium from them. This is a mineral that helps your body to regulate healthy functioning, including your blood pressure.

Incorporating it into your retirement living

In your senior housing, it shouldn't be too much trouble to focus your diet on these specific food groups. It's likely that you eat a wide range of them anyway, but keeping an eye out will help to sustain your blood pressure at a healthy level. 

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