In the same way that changing diet can help lower cholesterol, changing diet can lead to lower blood pressure. Hypertension or high blood pressure (BP) is the most common preventable risk factor for heart disease. Here are some foods that can help you manage your BP and even reduce the medications you may need to take for it.
Fatty fish are an excellent source of omega-3 fats which may help reduce blood pressure levels. They do this by reducing inflammation and decreasing levels of blood-vessel-constricting compounds.
Citrus fruits including grapefruit, oranges, and lemons have powerful blood-pressure-lowering effects. Studies have found that consuming lemon, grapefruit, and orange juice may help reduce blood pressure.
Bananas are rich in potassium which is one of the key fighters of high blood pressure. Bananas have the added benefit of being highly affordable and accessible to a majority of people. Bananas Are Good For Your Health & Here Is Why You Need To Eat More Of This Delicious Fruit
Berries are a rich source of antioxidants including flavonoids and anthocyanins. Research shows that flavonoids can prevent high BP and lower it as well. Some berries linked to these benefits include blueberries, raspberries, cloudberries, and strawberries. Lifestyle: The Benefits Of Berries And Some Of The Important Berries To Eat
Leafy vegetables are packed with blood pressure regulating ingredients, most notably potassium and magnesium. Magnesium also plays a part in BP regulation. Leafy vegetables recommended for people with high BP include Swiss chard, kale, collard greens, bok choy, and spinach. Lettuce and celery are equally rich in potassium.
Beets are a great source of naturally occurring nitrates which can help ease blood pressure. One study in which participants were given beet juice found that within 6 hours of taking the juice, both men and women had lower BP readings. Health: 10 Reasons Why You Should Be Taking Beetroot
Broccoli is rich in potassium, vitamin C, calcium, fibre, and magnesium which help regulate BP and fight heart disease by releasing constricted blood vessels. Research has linked the amino acid, glutamic acid found in abundance in broccoli to lower BP. Superfoods: 7 Health Benefits Of Broccoli
Onions provide essential oils that help lower BP. Red onions also help remove bad cholesterol and maintain good cholesterol levels in the body. The Health Benefits Of Onions
Tomatoes which are classified as both a fruit and vegetable are rich in powerful antioxidants including lycopene and beta-carotene. They fight free radicals, help remove harmful toxins from the body, and aid in blood pressure control. Lifestyle: 7 Benefits Of Tomatoes For Your Health
Turnips are rich in potassium which is highly beneficial for regulating BP. Turnip juice in particular significantly improved the BP of test subjects. Lifestyle: The Health And Nutritional Benefits Of Turnips
Potatoes contain potassium and magnesium which help to regulate blood flow. High potassium levels help to cleanse BP-raising agents such as sodium. The Health And Nutritional Benefits Of Potatoes
Asparagus has a good effect on blood circulation which keeps the heart and body healthy. Asparagus is recommended for people dealing with high BP.
Carrots are rich in antioxidants and beta-carotene which reduce the risk of heart disease and help control blood pressure. It also protects blood vessels, keeping the walls from becoming softer and the walls from becoming too tight which increases the risk of a stroke. Benefits Of Carrots For Your Health
Celery contains phthalides, compounds that help relax blood vessels ad help lower BP levels. 12 Health And Nutritional Benefits Of Celery
Beans and lentils
They are rich in nutrients that help regulate blood pressure such as fibre, magnesium, and potassium. Numerous studies report that eating beans and lentils may help lower BP levels. The Health And Nutritional Benefits Of Beans
Plant-based protein-filled diets have been linked to lower BP especially for those that are also high in fibre. Some recommendations include legumes, kidney beans, lentils, split peas, and seeds most notably pumpkin seeds, chia and flax seeds. Health And Nutritional Benefits Of Flax Seeds
Pumpkin seeds are packed full of nutrients that are useful for BP control. Pumpkin seed oil has been found to be a powerful natural remedy for high blood pressure. 8 Amazing Health Benefits Of Pumpkin Seeds
Chia and flax seeds are rich in potassium, magnesium, and fibre. One study found that participants who took chia seed flour supplements daily had blood pressure reductions in both medicated and unmedicated people. 10 Health Benefits Of Chia Seeds
Nuts are highly nutritious, and their consumption has been linked to healthy blood pressure levels. One study found that pistachios had the strongest effect on reducing blood pressure.
They include barley, brown rice, millet, oatmeal, buckwheat, cracked wheat, popcorn, amaranth, and whole wheat bread, pasta, or crackers. Whole grains are high in fibre, iron, selenium, folate, potassium, and magnesium which may help treat and possibly prevent high blood pressure. They, directly and indirectly, affect the BP by:
- Protecting the walls of the arteries
- Reducing high blood pressure
- Reducing the risk of insulin resistance
- Helping maintain a healthy weight by controlling appetite
Herbs and spices contain powerful compounds that may help lower blood pressure by helping blood vessels relax.
Even a small reduction of sodium in your diet can improve heart health and reduce BP levels if you have high blood pressure. Eat fewer processed foods, gradually reduce the amount of salt you consume in your food and try not to add salt to food. Read food labels and try to go for low-sodium options.
Alcohol can be both good and bad for your health. Drinking more than moderate amounts of alcohol can raise your BP by several points. It can also reduce the effectiveness of medications for regulating blood pressure. Please consult your doctor about drinking alcohol.
Each cigarette increases your blood pressure many minutes after you finish smoking. Quitting smoking can return your BP to normal, reduce your risk of heart disease and improve your overall health.
The effect of caffeine on blood pressure is still debated so talk to your doctor about your specific case.