People with high blood pressure may scoot past the snack aisle to bypass overly salty snack pretzels, nuts and chips. According to the American Heart Association (AHA), about half of U.S. adults have high blood pressure, which can cause stroke and heart disease. But you can stimy your risk for these conditions through your medical provider’s recommendations such as regular exercise, taking prescribed medications and preparing heart-healthy meals and snacks.
Popular stores like Aldi offer scads of snacks, though the right choice may not be so clear cut. If you’re among the 119 million Americans, per the CDC, with high blood pressure, know there are tasty, nutritious and filling between-meal eats at Aldi that can support your health goals. Here are some tidbits on selecting heart-healthy snacks and the best blood pressure snack to jot down on your grocery list for your next Aldi trip.
What to Look for in a Blood Pressure-Friendly Snack
According to the AHA, researchers discovered that the Dietary Guidelines to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet single-handedly lowered systolic blood pressure in the early 90s. The DASH diet food list includes vegetables, fruits, fat-free or low-fat dairy products, whole grains, fish, poultry, beans and nuts. Studies have shown the heart-supportive diet successfully aids in managing weight, controlling type 2 diabetes and lowering rates of heart failure, per a 2020 systemic review published in the Nutrition Journal.
Dining the DASH way promotes lower sodium, saturated fats and added sugars while increasing heart-supportive minerals such as potassium, calcium and magnesium. According to StatsPearls, this mineral trio enhances blood vessel function by relaxing smooth muscle tissue, which makes up blood vessel lining. Other critical nutrients like fiber and protein are vital to the DASH diet and whole health. The AHA recommends limiting sodium intake to 1,500 milligrams a day for people with high blood pressure and mentions that a 1,000-milligram daily limit can be even better for heart health and blood pressure. Lowering your sodium intake starts with choosing low-sodium snacks with significant amounts of minerals. And our snack pick fits the bill.
The Best Snack at Aldi for Better Blood Pressure
Now that you have the shopping skills to find a DASH-approved snack at any grocery store, you’re well on your way to snacking in favor of your blood pressure. While Aldi is guaranteed to stock virtually any snack stash, one item offers crunch, natural sweetness and ample nutrition with must-have vitamins and minerals. Side note: It’s one of my favs!
Aldi’s Simply Nature Freeze-Dried Strawberries are the #1 snack for blood pressure at this store thanks to their many benefits, including their low-calorie and fat contents.
A 2019 systematic review and meta-analysis published in Food and Function found that supplementing with strawberries in any form, including fresh or freeze-dried, improved diastolic blood pressure and other heart health measures such as LDL-cholesterol. However, more research would be helpful to confirm these findings.
Here’s what makes these munchable morsels our top choice for your blood pressure.
Low in Sodium
Americans eat far more sodium than they need, increasing their chances of blood pressure woes. Excess sodium in your bloodstream attracts water into your blood vessels, increasing the volume of blood flow, according to the AHA. Your medical provider may advise a low-sodium diet, and to best limit sodium in your life, it helps to choose snacks that naturally contain little to none since many common foods are high in sodium (think deli meat and fast-chain pizza). Aldi’s Simply Nature Freeze-Dried strawberries are entirely sodium-free in every serving for smarter snacking that may protect your heart.
Full of Fiber
Proper snacks should help ward off hunger between meals, and these freeze-dried morsels do just that, thanks to their fiber content. One serving of the berries provides 6 grams of fiber and 21% of your daily value of fiber, helping to leave you feeling full. A 2022 study published in BMC Medicine suggests that high-fiber foods contain other nutrients that break down into nitric oxide, a compound known to help dilate blood vessels for better blood flow.
You may be surprised to know this snack packs significant amounts of potassium—460 milligrams or 10% of your daily value. That’s more potassium than in a medium banana! Getting enough potassium in your diet may lessen the blood pressure effects of sodium, per the AHA. A large 2022 study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found higher urinary potassium was associated with an 18% lower risk of cardiovascular disease.
Grabbing and going? No problem. Freeze-dried strawberries are easy to bring for work, school, picnic or travel. Often touted as “astronaut food,” freeze-dried items are a light, packable snack with a long shelf life, so there’s no need to worry about them going bad anytime soon.
A quick rip of the bag is all that stands between you and this snackable treat.
Packed with Antioxidants
According to a 2022 study published in Antioxidants, there may be a link between high blood pressure and oxidative stress, a condition that happens when there’s an imbalance in the ratio of antioxidants to oxidants. Oxidative stress could ravage your heart health through inflammation and disease. Earlier studies, including a 2010 study in the International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition, say freeze-dried strawberries are abundant in antioxidants, which may help thwart oxidative stress and inflammation. One small 2021 study published in Antioxidants found that freeze-dried strawberry powder given for several weeks led to increases in antioxidant levels and decreases in markers of inflammation, possibly improving heart health risks.
The Bottom Line
If you have high blood pressure, you may be on the hunt for a satisfying snack that’s nutritious, flavorful and won’t swell your ankles or send your blood pressure soaring. You can depend on our #1 choice for a blood pressure-friendly snack, Aldi’s Simply Nature Freeze-Dried Strawberries. The snack berries are low in calories and fat, without even a hint of sodium. Plus, they deliver fiber, potassium, antioxidants and convenience. While no one food will lower your blood pressure, it helps to choose the right snack additions to your eating regimen.