High blood pressure can pose serious health problems if left untreated and is one of the most common conditions leading to heart disease and stroke. Blood pressure is defined as the pressure of the blood against the artery walls. Although changes in blood pressure during exercise or stressful moments are normal, the development of hypertension is not and can indicate chronically high blood pressure. Over time, high blood pressure can cause blood vessel damage that can increase your risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and other conditions.
Dubbed the “silent killer,” hypertension can go unnoticed due to the absence of symptoms and can go untreated for years, as most people are unaware they have high blood pressure until they are diagnosed. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an estimated 75 million Americans experience high blood pressure.
Help stop blood pressure in its tracks by avoiding the use of overpriced medications with unpleasant side effects, and instead reverse the process naturally by adding these nutrient-rich foods to your daily diet that are guaranteed to lower your blood pressure.
Ditch the supplements and opt for potassium-rich fruits like bananas. Potassium lowers blood pressure by lessening the effects of sodium in your body and easing the tension in the blood vessel walls.
Oatmeal is a great food to consume with a high-fiber, low-sodium, low-fat diet, but it is also a great way to fight high blood pressure. Eating oatmeal can provide you with enough fuel for an energized morning.
Consuming berries, especially blueberries, is a great way to combat high blood pressure due to their natural compounds called flavonoids. According to a study, eating these compounds might help lower hypertension. Blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries can easily be incorporated into your diet by adding them to your favorite smoothies, cereal or yogurt.
16. Leafy Greens
Potassium helps your kidneys remove sodium from urine, which in turn lowers blood pressure. Leafy greens rich in potassium include:
- Romaine lettuce
- Turnip greens
- Collard greens
- Beet greens
- Swiss chard
Try to stay away from canned vegetables, as they are often high in sodium. However, frozen vegetables are packed with tons of nutrients, just like fresh vegetables. You can freeze them to last longer and blend them in with bananas or other fruits and a splash of nut milk for a healthy smoothie.
15. Whole Grains
A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition closely examined how eating whole grains affected blood pressure. According to the study, researchers found that eating three servings of whole grains was connected to a reduction in systolic blood pressure. The evidence doesn’t indicate exactly why, but it is correlated to the positive effect it has on cholesterol.Related: 7 Natural Ways to Lower Blood Pressure
Australian researchers found a link between the consumption of low-fat dairy, like milk and yogurt, and a reduced risk of hypertension, according to the study published in the Journal of Human Hypertension. Dairy’s calcium and other compounds released during digestion, like peptides, might the reason behind its blood pressure lowering effects.
13. Pomegranate Juice
According to researchers from the United Kingdom, using pomegranate juice to treat blood pressure is extremely effective. The study concluded that drinking a cup of pomegranate juice once a day for four weeks can help lower blood pressure over the short term. It is unclear what promotes the reduction, but it may be the potassium or polyphenols found in the juice.
12. Fatty Fish
Fish are a great source of lean protein and are high in omega-3 fatty acids, which help lower blood pressure, inflammation, and triglycerides. Fish like salmon and mackerel are the most recommended, as they can reduce diastolic blood pressure.Related: Why You Should Take Omega 3 Fish Oil Supplements
In 2009, a study found that coriander exhibited several positive benefits. For instance, it has a hypotensive effect, which results in lowered blood pressure.
Pistachios, aside from being a great snack, can have significant effects on heart health. These nuts tend to have a positive effect on both blood pressure and cholesterol. They also reduce the constriction of peripheral blood vessels and lower the heart rate. A study showed that one serving of pistachios a day helps reduce blood pressure.
9. Beetroot Juice
Beet juice can significantly reduce both systolic and diastolic blood pressure and contains high nitric oxide that can help open your blood vessels. Studies have found that nitrates in beetroot juice lowered research participants’ blood pressure within a period of 24 hours.Related: Benefits of Eating Beets
8. Olive Oil
Olive oil is a great way to consume healthy fats and add to your DASH diet. The wonder oil contains polyphenols, which are inflammation-fighting compounds that help reduce blood pressure. Spanish researchers found that polyphenol oil was linked to a drop in both systolic and diastolic blood pressure during a four-month diet study.
7. Dark Chocolate
When tested on a large scale, dark chocolate was linked to lower blood pressure. The best results occur when eating dark chocolate high in flavonoids, specifically phytochemicals that act as antioxidants. They help make blood vessels more elastic and increases blood flow, which results in lowered blood pressure.
Due to its beneficial omega-3s, flaxseed is known to lower blood pressure in patients who have developed peripheral artery disease, a condition caused by fatty deposits and calcium buildup in artery walls, according to a 2013 study published in the journal Hypertension. Consuming flaxseed is linked to reducing both systolic and diastolic blood pressure when taken regularly.
Eating celery can burn more calories when consumed, but it is also a great vegetable to eat to lower blood pressure. The nutrients found in celery help keep blood pressure in line. A study found that cooked celery had a higher potential to lower blood pressure than raw.
Thanks to its heart-healthy nutrient (lycopene), tomatoes have been found to reduce high blood pressure significantly, and are most effective when eaten raw.
3. Purple Potatoes
Purple potatoes are loaded with antioxidants (including anthocyanin pigments that give this potato its color) and dietary fibers, along with magnesium and potassium. Help lower your high blood pressure by indulging in these nutritional purple potatoes, which can help reduce sodium.Related: Magnesium Deficiency: 9 Signs & Solutions
2. Sesame Oil
Research has shown that sesame oil’s fatty acids and antioxidants such as sesamin, sesamol, sesamolin, and oryzanol have great results when used to combat high blood pressure. Sesame oil lowers blood pressure and helps protect against cardiac hypertrophy, a thickening of the heart muscle usually caused by high blood pressure.
1. Hibiscus Tea
This herbal tea contains a large dose of antioxidants, including phenols and anthocyanins, and has been found to be incredibly effective when dealing with high blood pressure. According to a 2010 study, researchers from the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University looked at the impact drinking three daily servings of the tea had over the course of six weeks. The findings showed a drop in both systolic and diastolic blood pressures.Related: Combine These 3 Ingredients to Prevent Cancer, Infections, and High Blood Pressure