High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, can damage your heart and kidneys and lead to heart attacks and strokes—but it doesn’t have to be that way. Through diet, exercise, medication, and sometimes surgery, you can help control your blood pressure and avoid many of the health complications associated with it. Read on to learn about the best foods for high blood pressure and what you should be avoided to lower your own blood pressure.
1. Citrus fruits
Citrus fruits are an excellent source of Vitamin C, which is essential for a healthy immune system. They can also help lower blood pressure by acting as a diuretic, helping to reduce fluid retention. In addition, citrus fruits are rich in potassium, which helps to regulate blood pressure. Try incorporating oranges, grapefruits, lemons, and limes into your diet to help keep your blood pressure in check.
2. Salmon and other fatty fish
Omega-3 fats, which are found in fatty fish, may help reduce blood pressure by decreasing inflammation and decreasing levels of blood-vessel-constricting compounds called oxylipins.
Increasing intake of omega-3-rich fatty fish has been shown to lower blood pressure.
Omega-3 fats have been associated with significantly lower SBP and DBP in healthy people with the highest levels of blood levels. This lower risk of hypertension has also been associated with higher omega-3 intake.
3. Swiss chard
You may get up to 17% and 30% of your daily potassium and magnesium requirements from one cup of cooked chard. With high blood pressure, every 0.6 grams per day increase in dietary potassium is associated with a 1.0 mm Hg reduction in SBP and a 0.52 mm Hg reduction in DBP. In addition to reducing blood pressure, it also inhibits calcium channels, so calcium does not go into the heart and blood vessels, thereby allowing them to relax.
4. Pumpkin seeds
Although pumpkin seeds are small, they’re chock-full of nutrients.
These vegetables provide the necessary nutrients that maintain blood pressure, including magnesium, potassium, and arginine, an amino acid needed for the production of nitric oxide, which is required for relaxing blood vessels and lower blood pressure. The pumpkin seed oil has also been shown to be a powerful natural remedy for high blood pressure.
Berry’s health benefits include lowering heart disease risk factors such as blood pressure. Anthocyanins, which give the berries their color, are powerful antioxidants in these vibrantly colored fruits.
Anthocyanins have been shown to increase levels of nitric oxide in the blood and reduce the production of blood-vessel-restricting molecules, which might lower blood pressure levels. In order to confirm these mechanisms, further research needs to be conducted on humans.
Blood pressure can be lowered by consuming blueberries, raspberry, chokeberry, cloudberry, and strawberry
In addition to being tasty, healthy, and good for you, carrots contain phenolic compounds, such as chlorogenic, p-coumaric, and caffeic acids, that help lower blood pressure and reduce inflammation.
The result of a study of 2,195 people has shown that, contrary to conventional wisdom, raw carrots may be more effective at lowering blood pressure than cooked carrots.
The cruciferous veggie is known for its beneficial effect on your health, including that of your circulatory system. For example, adding broccoli to your diet may help lower blood pressure.
As an antioxidant, broccoli contains flavonoids that may help lower blood pressure by improving blood vessel function and increasing nitric oxide production in your body
According to a study involving 187,453 subjects, those who consumed 4 or more servings of broccoli per week had a reduced risk of high blood pressure than those who consumed it less than once per month
8. Greek yogurt
According to a study by MedlinePlus, the lower risk of high blood pressure caused by 3 servings of dairy a day is caused by the nutrients, like potassium and calcium, in Greek yogurt. If you want to help your high blood pressure, include Greek yogurt in your diet and increase the amount of dairy in your diet by 7 ounces a day. Some people don’t tolerate dairy very well because it causes allergies or lactose intolerance, so explore other sources of protein instead.
9. Herbs and spices
Adding herbs and spices to your food is a great way to help control high blood pressure. They can add flavor without adding salt, and some even have medicinal properties. Try adding garlic, ginger, cayenne pepper, turmeric, and rosemary to your meals.
Some herbs and spices contain powerful compounds that can help reduce blood pressure by relaxing blood vessels.
This includes celery seed, cilantro, saffron, lemongrass, black cumin, ginseng, cinnamon, cardamom, sweet basil, and ginger which have all been shown to have a hypotensive effect.
10. Chia and flax seeds
Chia and flax seeds are tiny, full of nutrients essential for keeping blood pressure in a healthy range, such as potassium, magnesium, and fiber.
Including a 12-week, small study with only 26 people with high blood pressure found that supplementing with 35 grams of chia seed flour per day led to blood pressure reductions for both those who take medication and those who don’t.
Further, findings from a review of 11 studies suggests that flax seeds might lower blood pressure levels in those who eat them for a significant amount of time and in their whole seed form.