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Hypertension or high blood pressure is a serious health problem for Americans. According to the National Center for Health Statistics 29 percent - approximately 70 million adults -- in the United States are suffer from hypertension. The numbers remain high but positive changes have taken place! Fifty-four percent of patients now have their high blood pressure under control compared to 31 percent from the period between 1999 and 2000. There's still a lot of work to be done to control this serious health issue. Simply put, blood pressure is the force of your blood pushing against the walls of your arteries. When your heart beats, it pumps blood into your arteries, this is systolic pressure. Between beats, your blood pressure falls, this is your diastolic pressure. The ideal blood pressure is below 120 over 80 (120/80).  There are certain foods that have specific benefits for maintaining a healthy blood pressure; they are particularly rich in magnesium, potassium, and calcium.
  • White Beans. A single cup of white beans --  cannelini,northern, white kidney and navy beans -- contains 13% of the calcium, 30% of the magnesium, and 24% of the potassium you need every day. White beans are also a concentrated source of molybdenum, which is necessary to make and activate a number of detoxifying enzymes
  • Fat-free Plain Yogurt. One cup of fat-free plain yogurt provides 49% of your calcium, 12% of your magnesium, and 18% of your potassium daily requirements. Add a medium banana to that yogurt for a real boost to your hypertension protection!
  • Bananas. One medium banana provides 1% of you calcium, 8% of you magnesium, and 12% of you potassium daily requirements.
  • Kale. One cup of kale contains 9% of your calcium daily requirements, 6% of magnesium, and 9% of potassium daily requirements. Kale is also an excellent source of antioxidants and the anti-inflammatory alpha-linolenic acid.
  • Red Bell Pepper. You'll find 1% of the calcium, 4% of the magnesium, and 9% of the potassium daily requirements you need in a single cup of red bell peppers.
  • Broccoli. Broccoli is a year-round favorite. A single cup will give you 6% of the calcium, 8% of the magnesium, and 14% of the potassium you should be eating every day. It also contains powerful cancer-fighting phytonutrients called glucosinolates.
  • Sweet potato. A medium sweet potato contains 4% of the calcium, 7% of the magnesium, and 10% of the potassium of your requirements for these nutrients.
  • Quinoa. A half-cup of cooked quinoa provides 1.5% of the calcium, 15% of the magnesium, and 4.5% of the potassium you need every day. Quinoa is a high-protein whole grain that also contains health-protecting phytonutrients and is gluten-free.
  • Pork Tenderloin. Do you enjoy some meat in your diet? A mere three ounces of pork tenderloin will give you 6% of the magnesium and 15% of the potassium you need per day without the saturated fat found in many other cuts of beef and pork.
Remember, people who are physically active tend to live longer, healthier lives. Thirty minutes a day of physical activity significantly contributes to longevity. People with risk factors like high blood pressure gain real benefits from incorporating daily physical activity regimen into their lives. Diet and exercise ... the answer to so many of our problems!

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