If you're a runner and you have hypertension, you may be confused about what to eat—and what not to eat. Decreasing your sodium intake is important, as is increasing your potassium intake. Both electrolytes can help maintain your body's fluid balance. Recent research indicates that calcium is also important, so try to get 1,000-1,200mg of calcium every day.

Hypertension Tips
  1. Less Sodium...

    Your total sodium intake from all sources should not exceed 1,500mg per day. To stay on track, read food labels, and try to steer clear of packaged and processed foods whenever possible. Your doctor may also recommend eating fewer pickles, salted chips, canned foods, and deli meats.

  2. ...More Potassium!

    Aim to get at least 4,500mg of potassium each day. It's easy to do if you eat a balanced diet rich in fruits and vegetables. An example of a healthy, potassium-rich daily diet might include: 1 banana (460mg), 1 cup cantaloupe (490mg), 3oz chicken (210mg), 8oz low-fat yogurt (530mg), 1 cup broccoli (450mg), 1 cup beans (800mg), 1 cup spinach (840mg), and 1 medium potato (800-1000mg).

  3. Calcium for Bones and More

    Eating (or drinking) 2-3 calcium-rich foods daily can help to put a spring in your step. Some good choices: 1 cup of low-fat milk (300mg), 8oz of low-fat or non-fat yogurt (350-450mg), 1 cup soy milk (360 mg), 1/2 cup tofu (250mg), 1/2 cup cooked collard greens (178mg), 8oz of calcium-fortified orange juice (300mg).

Hypertension RECIPES

Anytime Smoothie

This deceptively delicious green smoothie actually contains 4 servings of fruit, 1 serving of veggies, and 1 serving of dairy. It's a real nutritional powerhouse!


1/2 cup low-fat vanilla soy milk (or low-fat milk)
6 oz low-fat plain Greek yogurt
1 ripe banana, frozen and cut into small pieces
2 cups fresh spinach, washed
1/2 cup blueberries
2 tbsp wheat germ

Nutrition Info

Per Serving: 395 calories, 7.6g total fat, 2.7g saturated fat, 10mg cholesterol, 166mg sodium, 58g total carbohydrate, 8.8g  dietary fiber, 33.7g sugar, 27.6g protein, 426mg calcium, 1098mg potassium


Combine soy milk and yogurt in blender. Add frozen banana pieces, spinach, blueberries, and wheat germ; blend on high until ingredients are thoroughly mixed together. For a thinner smoothie, add a little water.

Banana Berry Cornbread

12 servings; 1 serving = 1 slice


1/2 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 cup corn meal
1/4 cup flaxseed meal
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 cups mashed ripe banana (about 3 medium bananas)
1 cup pomegranate seeds (about 1 pomegranate)
1 cup blueberries
1 cup raspberries
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup plain low-fat yogurt
1/4 cup canola oil
Cooking spray

Nutrition Info

Per Serving: 217 calories, 6g total fat, 0.6g saturated fat, 0mg cholesterol, 194mg sodium, 38g total carbohydrates, 5g dietary fiber, 16g sugar, 4g protein, 38mg calcium, 233mg potassium


Preheat oven to 325°.
In a large bowl, combine flours, flaxseed meal, baking powder, salt, baking soda, and cinnamon.
In another large bowl, combine mashed bananas, pomegranate seeds, blueberries, raspberries, sugar, extract, yogurt, and oil. Stir until moist.
Combine the banana mixture with the flour mixture, taking care not to overmix.
Coat a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan with cooking spray. Spoon batter into pan. Bake for one hour, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Remove from oven and cool in pan for 10 minutes, then remove from pan and continue to cool on wire rack.
Quick tip: To remove pomegranate seeds from fruit, cut both the bottom and top off the fruit and then slice it into sections. Place the sections in a bowl of water and use your fingers to roll the seeds into the water. Strain the water through a strainer and you'll be left with the seeds.

Barley Stuffed Tomatoes

6 servings; 1 serving = 1 stuffed tomato and 2/3 cup kale
Fun Fact: Though they are often classified as vegetables, tomatoes are actually the fruit of the tomato vine. Feel free to count them as whichever you prefer; just don't try to count them twice unless you eat 2 servings in one day!


1lb chopped spinach
3/4 cup pearled barley
8oz firm or extra-firm tofu, drained and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 1/4 cups thinly sliced red onion
1/3 cup apple cider
1 tsp dry white wine
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 tbsp whole wheat panko bread crumbs
6 large tomatoes, hollowed out

Nutrition Info

Per Serving: 190 calories, 4g fat, 0g saturated fat, 0mg cholesterol, 234mg sodium, 27g carbohydrates, 6g dietary fiber, 10g protein


Place barley in a medium-sized pot with enough water to cover by 1-2 inches and simmer for about 30 minutes. Drain, and set aside in a bowl.
Heat oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add tofu and sauté until golden, then set aside.
In the same pan, sauté onion for 5 minutes until tender and translucent.
Increase heat to medium-high. Add spinach, and cook until wilted.
Add cider and wine, then cover and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Stir in tofu, salt, and pepper. Remove from heat, then stir in barley.
Arrange tomatoes on a tray, stuff with barley/tofu mixture.
Top with panko bread crumbs and bake at 350° for 15-20 minutes, until tomatoes are soft.

Kale Chips

1 serving = 1 cup


1 large bunch of kale, torn into pieces with stems removed
1 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper

Nutrition Info

Per Serving (before toppings): 64 calories, 3.5g fat, 0.5g saturated fat, 0mg cholesterol, 50mg sodium, 6.7g carbohydrates, 1.3g fiber, 2.2g protein, 90.5 mg calcium, 299.5 mg potassium


Heat the oven to 375 degrees. Place the kale on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Drizzle the olive oil over the top and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for 12-15 minutes, watching closely after 10 minutes to be sure the kale does not burn. Remove from oven when crispy but still green.
Kick that kale up a notch by adding one of the following topping combinations:
(Remove the kale from the oven after 5-7 minutes, add one of the topping combinations, toss, and continue baking for the remaining 5-7 minutes)
Topping 1: 1-2 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese + 1 tsp garlic powder
Topping 2: 1 tsp nutritional yeast + ¼ tsp red Chili Flakes
Topping 3: 2 tbsp large-flake unsweetened coconut + 1 tbsp maple syrup