The 6 Best Bedtime Snacks for People With Hypertension

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Snacking often gets a bad rap— especially if you snack before bed. But, for 47 percent of U.S. adults with high blood pressure, a bedtime snack may actually be good for your health, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In fact, a snack at night can help manage high blood pressure, as long as you choose the right foods—and these snacks are great at other times of the day, too.

What to look for in a blood pressure-friendly snack

When deciding what to eat, here are the best snacks to eat if you have high blood pressure:

    • Balance: “ The best bedtime snack for people with high blood pressure will include a mix of protein, carbohydrates, and fiber to help you feel satiated,”.
    • Under 200 calories: “ Your body can’t digest large amounts of food and sleep at the same time,” says Harnett. That’s why she recommends limiting snacks to 200 calories.
    • Low, very low, or no sodium: The DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet recommends a maximum of 2,300 mg (about 1 teaspoon) of sodium per day. Reducing to 1,500 mg per day may have a greater effect.
    • Rich in certain minerals: Getting enough of certain minerals, including potassium , magnesium, and calcium, can help lower high blood pressure.
    • Predominantly plant foods: Plant foods are rich in compounds like antioxidants, flavonoids, and phytonutrients, which help protect cells from damage, reduce inflammation, and lower blood pressure.
    • Contains unsaturated fatty acids: Eating more plant-sourced unsaturated fatty acids and less saturated fatty acids can help lower blood pressure.
  • Contains omega-3 fatty acids: According to a study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association in 2022 , consuming 3 to 3 grams of omega- 2 fatty acids per day may help Lower blood pressure.

The 6 Best Bedtime Snacks for High Blood Pressure

Here are delicious and nutritionist-approved snack combinations to satisfy late-night cravings and support a heart-healthy diet for healthy blood pressure levels:

1. Bananas with Nut Butter

This classic combo is great because the bananas are rich in potassium and the nut butters contain magnesium. Nut butter also contain unsaturated fatty acids and protein, which can help you feel satisfied.

2. Oatmeal with fruit and unsalted nuts or seeds

Oatmeal isn’t just for breakfast. It can also be a great bedtime snack! Oatmeal is a fiber-rich whole grain that is DASH-approved. Add fiber- and antioxidant-rich fruit and heart-healthy nuts or seeds on top, and you’ve got a winning combination.

3. Yogurt or cottage cheese and fruit

Low-fat dairy products, such as yogurt or cottage cheese, provide blood pressure-lowering calcium and are DASH-approved. Yogurt and cottage cheese also contain protein and some fat, which can help you feel full and satisfied. Some ideas: Oranges, apples, kiwis, and berries, as they’re all high in potassium, vitamins, and antioxidants that help lower blood pressure and inflammation. To limit added sugar, choose plain dairy when possible and rely on the sweetness of the fruit for flavor.

4. Vegetables with Hummus Dip

Various vegetables, such as bell pepper strips, peas, mini cucumbers and green beans, are recommended as part of a heart-healthy diet because they are rich in potassium, vitamins and fiber. They’re also high in water, which can help you stay hydrated, another important step in managing high blood pressure. The veggie dip with hummus was great. Not only is the combo satisfying, but hummus provides some protein, fiber, and a little fat, making it a well-rounded snack. Store-bought hummus is great, but homemade takes it to another level.

5. Avocado Whole Wheat Toast

Mash a quarter of an avocado on a slice of whole-grain toast for a balanced snack. This combo has lots of fiber and healthy fats to help control blood pressure, even at bedtime.

6. Dark Chocolate Unsalted Nuts

This snack feels more like a treat, and — guess what — it’s also great for anyone who needs to manage blood pressure. Nuts are rich in magnesium, while dark chocolate contains flavonoids that help lower blood pressure. In addition, other benefits of eating dark chocolate regularly include boosting brain power.

Additional Tips for Managing Blood Pressure

What else can you do to keep your blood pressure healthy? The American Heart Association recommends managing blood pressure by:

  • Eat an overall healthy diet that includes a variety of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, fish, lean protein, and low-fat dairy.
  • Stay hydrated by drinking at least six to eight glasses of water a day .
  • Minimize added sodium and sugar.
  • Limit or abstain from alcohol.
  • Aim to move at least 30 minutes a day, or  150 minutes a week .
  • Quit smoking or avoid smoking or vaping, and avoid secondhand smoke.
  • Manage stress .
  • Get enough and restful sleep, recommends the CDC.

Even if you have high blood pressure, you can still enjoy a heart-healthy snack before bed . Limit high-sodium snacks and choose snacks that contain carbohydrates, protein, fat, and fiber, all of which can help manage your blood pressure while helping you feel satisfied and full. You may find that you sleep even better. Overall, you can’t go wrong by choosing a combination of fruit, whole grains, unsalted nuts and seeds, and low-fat dairy.

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