Ten Foods That Can Lower Your Blood Pressure

Certain foods are especially valuable for fighting high blood pressure. Here are ten that have been shown to be particularly effective.

Jul. 14, 2016
By Carlton Ryan

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High blood pres­sure is a seri­ous health con­di­tion that can con­tribute to heart attacks, strokes, aneurysms, kid­ney dis­ease, and other prob­lems. High blood pres­sure (or hyper­ten­sion) is a com­mon med­ical prob­lem, espe­cially among dia­bet­ics.

While there are many ways to rein in high blood pres­sure, one of the sim­plest and best meth­ods is to eat a good diet. Here are ten foods found to be espe­cially effec­tive in low­er­ing blood pres­sure in clin­i­cal research.

Bananas

Foods high in potas­sium, such as bananas, help to lower blood pres­sure. This is because an exces­sive salt intake is one of the lead­ing fac­tors in hyper­ten­sion, and potas­sium helps to nat­u­rally reg­u­late salt lev­els in the body. Plus, bananas are an easy-to-eat nat­ural snack.

Beans

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Beans of all sorts can reduce blood pres­sure. Besides their potas­sium con­tent, beans have lots of heart-healthy fiber. A healthy heart can bet­ter main­tain good blood pres­sure. Beans are also high in pro­tein, which has been con­nected to low blood pres­sure in research.

Spinach

This dark, leafy green is great for your health in gen­eral, and will specif­i­cally help blood pres­sure because of the potas­sium, mag­ne­sium, and folate found in the veg­etable. Like potas­sium, folate and mag­ne­sium are valu­able for keep­ing blood pres­sure down.

Blueberries

An easy nat­ural snack, blue­ber­ries pro­vide your body with flavonoids, a group of nat­ural com­pounds shown to help pre­vent hyper­ten­sion by low­er­ing blood pres­sure lev­els.

Chocolate

You would­n’t think that a food as tasty as choco­late could have any pos­i­tive health ben­e­fits, but choco­late does lower blood pres­sure. Research has dis­cov­ered that the cacao found in choco­late con­tains com­pounds that limit blood pres­sure lev­els by dilat­ing blood ves­sels. Opt for dark choco­late, which has more cacao.

Beets

The juice of this root holds nitrates that have been found to quickly lower blood pres­sure among hyper­ten­sion patients. Once ingested, nitrates become nitric oxide, a gas that helps blood ves­sels stay dilated by relax­ing their smooth mus­cle.

Potatoes

The min­er­als potas­sium and mag­ne­sium are found in abun­dance in pota­toes, so eat­ing this food will put a damper on your high blood pres­sure. Potatoes also con­tain nitrates. Avoid load­ing your pota­toes with large amounts of salty but­ter or sour cream, or fry­ing them in unhealthy seed oils.

Milk

Products with lots of cal­cium are good for high blood pres­sure, mak­ing milk a great option for those with hyper­ten­sion. Try drink­ing skim milk, though, since milk rich in fat will exac­er­bate blood pres­sure prob­lems.

Olive Oil

Daily con­sump­tion of at least two table­spoons of phe­nol-rich extra vir­gin olive oil can be effec­tive in low­er­ing blood pres­sure. In one study, 35 per­cent of the par­tic­i­pants were able to dis­con­tinue their hyper­ten­sive med­ica­tions after con­sum­ing EVOO for six months.

Oatmeal

A high-fiber diet pro­tects from hyper­ten­sion, mak­ing oat­meal a good choice. Since fiber is digested slowly, blood sugar lev­els are kept in check, which in turn reduces blood pres­sure. Plus, oat­meal has very lit­tle fat and sodium.

Hypertension is some­times termed a silent killer’ because the mal­ady has no obvi­ous symp­toms. Considering how com­mon the con­di­tion is, check with your doc­tor and con­sider mak­ing changes to incor­po­rate more of these heart-healthy foods in your diet.

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