Studies show that certain foods can lower blood pressure. Adding these foods to your diet can have long-term health benefits.
Medicines, diet and other lifestyle changes can lower blood pressure or high blood pressure and reduce the likelihood of developing related diseases.
Products that help:
- Fruits like kiwis and oranges
- Vegetables such as greens and beetroot
- Nuts such as pistachios and walnuts
- Fish oil, sharks etc
- Spices like cinnamon
In this article, we will discuss foods that can help lower high blood pressure and provide scientific evidence.
8 foods that help lower blood pressure
Many researchers have found that certain foods can lower high blood pressure.
In general, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) considers foods to be:
- 1 cup cooked or raw vegetables or fruit
- 1 cup 100% juice
- 2 cups green salad
- Half a glass of dry fruits
For most ages, the USDA recommends 2 cups of fruit per day and 3 cups of vegetables per day, although this varies slightly by age and gender.
In a previous study, researchers looked at data from more than 34,000 people with high blood pressure over 14 years. Those with the highest intake of anthocyanins – mainly blueberries and strawberries – had an 8% lower risk of hypertension compared to those with the lowest anthocyanin intake.
However, some experts say there is insufficient evidence that blueberries lower blood pressure.
To enjoy berries:
- Eat as a snack or dessert after a meal
- Add them to smoothies
- Sprinkle them on your oatmeal for breakfast
One blueberry is 1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries or 1/2 cup dried blueberries. A serving of strawberries is about 7 strawberries.
Bananas contain potassium, which keeps high blood pressure under control. A medium banana contains about 422 milligrams (mg) of potassium.
According to a reliable source from the American Heart Association (AHA), potassium reduces the effects of sodium and reduces stress on blood vessel walls.
The Office of Dietary Supplements recommends 3,400 mg of potassium per day for men and 2,600 mg for women.
Other foods rich in potassium include:
People with kidney disease should consult a doctor before increasing potassium intake, as too much can be harmful.
One serving contains 1 large banana, 1 cup banana or 2/3 cup mashed banana.
Drinking beet juice can lower blood pressure in the short and long term because it contains dietary nitrates.
A 2015 study found that people with high blood pressure who drank 250 milliliters (milliliters), or about 1 cup, of beetroot juice daily for 4 weeks had 7.7/5.2 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg SL.) lower blood pressure compared with 24. . The hourly duration decreased on average.
Usage tips include:
- Drink 1 glass of beetroot juice daily
- Add the beets to the salad
- Prepare the beets for the side dish
- A beet is about 1 cup, which means 2 small beets or 1 large beet.
Cocoa, an ingredient in dark chocolate, contains flavonoids, antioxidants. According to the reputable AHAT resource, flavonoids can help lower blood pressure.
However, it suggests that people may not consume the flavonoids in dark chocolate to get significant benefits.
The AHA says that a small amount of chocolate now and then can be part of a balanced diet. However, he advises people to eat for pleasure and not for health.
A 2015 study found that daily consumption of kiwi fruit can help reduce high blood pressure.
People who consumed 3 kiwis a day for 8 weeks had greater reductions in systolic and diastolic blood pressure than those who consumed one apple a day during this period. The authors of the study suggested that this could be due to the biologically active substances in kiwi.
Kiwi is also rich in vitamin C. In a previous study, Trusted Source, people who took about 500 milligrams of vitamin C daily for 8 weeks had a significant increase in blood pressure.
Kiwi is easy to add to your lunch or smoothies. 1 cup of kiwi or 2-3 kiwis make 1 serving.
Watermelon contains an amino acid called citrulline.
The body converts citrulline into arginine, which helps the body produce nitric oxide, a gas that relaxes blood vessels and keeps nerves flexible. This effect helps blood flow, which can lower high blood pressure.
In a previous study, adults with mild obesity or hypertension took a watermelon extract containing 6 grams (g) L-citrulline/L-1. Contains arginine.
After 6 weeks, participants saw a reduction in blood pressure in the ankle and brachial arteries. The brachial artery is the main artery of the shoulder.
In a small peer-reviewed study in 2019, 27 people drank watermelon juice or other beverages before exercise. Women who drank watermelon juice did not experience an increase in blood pressure after exercise, unlike men.
People can eat watermelon:
- Like fruit juice
- In salads, including fruit salad
- To the cocktail
- With cold watermelon soup
- A can of watermelon is one cup of chopped or sliced fruit, about 2 inches in size.
Barley contains a type of fiber called beta-glucan, which may be beneficial for heart health, including blood pressure.
A 2020 mouse study found that wheat beta-glucan and avenanthramide C reduced levels of malondialdehyde, a marker of oxidative stress, in hypertensive mice. The results suggest that compounds in oats may help prevent high blood pressure and protect heart health in other ways.
Ways to eat oats are:
- A bowl of oatmeal for breakfast
- Using oatmeal instead of breadcrumbs adds texture to hamburger buns
- Sprinkle with candy
Garlic has antiseptic and antifungal properties, many of which can be attributed to its main active ingredient, allicin.
A 2020 review of reliable sources concluded that garlic in general and garlic in particular can reduce:
- blood pressure
- Hardening of the arteries
Garlic can add flavor to many savory dishes, including stir-fries, soups, and omelets.
Foods to avoid
Some foods can lower blood pressure while others can increase the risk of developing high blood pressure.
Studies have shown that even reducing salt intake for four weeks or more can significantly lower blood pressure.
The USDA recommends limiting sodium intake to 2.3 grams, or one teaspoon (5.75 grams), per day.
The caffeine compound
A 2011 analysis found that consuming 200 to 300 mg of caffeine could increase blood pressure by 8.1 mmHg and diastolic pressure by 5.7 mmHg within an hour of ingestion. The pressure lasts more than 3 hours.
However, in a 2019 review, experts noted that more research is needed to confirm this.
Drinking regularly can significantly increase your risk of developing high blood pressure. For women, even moderate drinking can have these effects. According to the 2021 review, there is no evidence that low or moderate intake is beneficial for heart disease or high blood pressure.
The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends a maximum of two alcoholic beverages per day for men and one drink per day for women. The alcoholic beverage offering is 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine, or 1-1.5 ounces of spirits.
Processed foods are often loaded with salt and harmful fats. A 2021 study found that people who eat a lot of processed foods are more likely to have high blood pressure.
What relevant can you do to lower your bp?
In addition to diet, the American Heart Association offers the following tips for lowering blood pressure.
- Exercise regularly.
- Learn stress management techniques.
- Smoking or quitting smoking.
- Achieving or maintaining ideal weight.
Work well with your doctor, including taking any medications prescribed by your doctor.
Diet and lifestyle choices can help control blood pressure.
A diet that focuses on fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, garlic, herbs and spices can help. Conversely, salt, alcohol, and processed foods can increase blood pressure.
Doctors can help people develop plans that include exercise, diet and other measures to treat high blood pressure and reduce the risk of heart attack and other health problems.