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8 Foods for Lowering Blood Pressure Slideshow

8 Foods for Lowering Blood Pressure Slideshow


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Lew Robertson/Digital Vision via Getty Images

Spinach

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Heart-Healthy Nutrients: Potassium, magnesium, folate, and natural nitrates.

Easy Edibles: Throw this leafy green onto sandwiches, in your salads and pastas, or transform it into a pesto.

Try some of these spinach recipes.

Unsalted Pumpkin Seeds

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Heart-Healthy Nutrients: Magnesium.

Easy Edibles: Keep some around for midday snack attacks, toast and season (with salt-free spices) for an easy appetizer, or use them in place of pine nuts for that spinach pesto.

Potatoes (Purple)

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Heart-Healthy Nutrients: Potassium, magnesium, and anthocyanins (the compounds that give these violet spuds their color), which may also help lower blood pressure.

Easy Edibles: Bake your own heart-healthy french fries, make a mash or a hash, or throw a handful of tots into stews and curries.

Beans

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Heart-Healthy Nutrients: Magnesium, potassium, and a high fiber-to-protein ratio, which helps regulate blood sugar and lower blood cholesterol levels.

Easy Edibles: Make a black bean salad or white bean dip for that next potluck, throw them on top of a spinach salad or into your next homemade burrito wrap, or give garbanzos a quick bake in the oven for a crunchy topping or appetizer.

Mushrooms

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Heart-Healthy Nutrients: Iron, zinc, potassium, vitamin D, and lots of natural umami, which will please the palate so much that it won’t miss the salt shaker.

Easy Edibles: Replace beef with these meaty vegetables. Make burgers out of large, grilled portobellos; fill tacos with spiced and sautéed creminis, trumpets, and chanterelles; and mix shiitakes with noodles or rice.

Dandelion Greens

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Heart-Healthy Nutrients: Magnesium, as well as a natural diuretic, meaning this leafy green kicks out extra sodium without draining you of potassium.

Easy Edibles: Make a fresh salad from the greens or use in a pesto.

Broccoli

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Heart-Healthy Nutrients: Fiber, potassium, calcium, magnesium, and vitamin C.

Easy Edibles: With a quick steam and a chop, add these mini trees to your hash for some bright green color. Or of course, eat them whole and raw with that low blood-pressure bean dip.

Click here for broccoli recipes.

White Fish

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Heart-Healthy Nutrients: Omega-3 fats, which serve as a natural blood thinner.

Easy Edibles: Whether you use a skillet, the grill, or the oven, fish cooks up quickly. And for a full meal, top that hash with some cod, trout, halibut, herring, or even fresh, grilled sardines.


DASH Diet: Meal Ideas

The DASH (Dietary Approach to Stop Hypertension) diet helps you control your blood pressure. It's simpler, and tastier, than you may think.

The key to eating well isn’t banning “bad” foods, but embracing the good-for-you options, says Melissa Rifkin, RD, a bariatric dietitian at Montefiore Medical Center in New York.

“People hear the word ‘diet’ and want to run the other way, but DASH is great for anyone who wants to lower blood pressure and reduce their risk of heart disease.”

To get you started, here are a day’s worth of tasty DASH-friendly recipes shared by nutrition and fitness expert Janet Bond Brill, PhD, RD, in her book, Blood Pressure Down.

“DASH is great for anyone who wants to lower blood pressure and reduce their risk of heart disease.” -- Melissa Rifkin, RD


We Give You the 8 Most Powerful Juice Recipes For High Blood Pressure:

1. Golden Juice
Beet Root (golden) – 1 beet
Carrots – 3 large
Celery – 4 stalk, large
Cucumber – 1/2 cucumber
Ginger – 1/2 thumb
Pear – 1 medium

2. Beetroot Juice
Beat High Blood Pressure with Beet.
Drinking just 500 ml of beetroot juice a day can significantly reduce blood pressure.

3. Green Power Juice
Apples – 2 medium
Celery – 4 stalk, large
Cucumber – 1 cucumber
Ginger – 1 thumb
Kale – 6 leaf
Lemon – 1/2 fruit

4. Mixed Power Juice
Cucumber – 1 cucumber
Lemon – 1 fruit
Onion (spring/scallion) – 1 medium
Parsley – 1 handful
Pepper (Sweet red) – 1/2 medium
Tomatoes – 3 small

5. Celery Juice
Drink celery juice as much as you can.
If you cannot tolerate its bitter taste mix it with a bit of orange juice.

6. Mexican Juice
Apple – 1 medium
Cilantro – 4 handful
Cucumbers – 2 cucumber
Lime (with rind) – 1 fruit
Pepper (green hot chili) (seeds removed) – 1 pepper

7. Celery Cool Down
Celery – 2 stalk, large
Cilantro – 1 handful
Cucumber – 1 cucumber
Tomato – 1 medium

8. Dr. Oz’s green Juice
Apples – 2 medium
Celery – 3 stalk, large
Cucumber – 1 cucumber
Ginger – 1/2 thumb
Lemon (with rind) – 1/2 fruit
Lime (with rind) – 1 fruit
Parsley – 1 bunch
Spinach – 2 cup

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8 foods to lower blood pressure naturally

But the good news is one can control and keep their blood pressure in check by eating healthy and incorporating simple lifestyle changes.

02 /10 ​High blood pressure range

When a person's systolic blood pressure (top number) is more than 130 mm Hg and diastolic blood pressure is more than 80 mm Hg, the person is said to have high blood pressure.

Here are the top 8 foods to keep your blood pressure in check:

03 /10 ​Citrus fruits

Citrus fruits are not just great for our immunity but also have powerful blood-pressure-lowering effects. These are loaded with minerals, vitamins and various pant compounds that help in keeping your heart healthy and reduces the risk of high blood pressure.

A study conducted on Japanese women found that daily lemon juice intake when paired with walking resulted in the reduction of systolic blood pressure.

04 /10 ​Bananas

Bananas are rich in potassium, a mineral that plays a major role in controlling hypertension. Potassium reduces the effects of sodium and reduces the tension in the walls of the blood vessels.

05 /10 ​Fatty fish

Fatty fish is densely rich in omega 3 fatty acid, which is great for our heart health. These fats help in reducing blood pressure by reducing inflammation and oxylipins, the blood vessel constricting compounds.

Studies have linked high intake of omega 3 fatty acid with lower blood pressure levels.

06 /10 ​Pumpkin seeds

Pumpkin seeds are power-packed with nutrients that help in controlling blood pressure. It has magnesium, potassium and arginine all of which are essential for blood pressure relaxation and thus reduction.

You can include pumpkin seeds or pumpkin oil in your daily diet to lower your blood pressure.

07 /10 ​Beans and lentils

Beans and lentils are rich in fibre, potassium and magnesium, which helps in lowering blood pressure. Various studies have shown that including beans and lentils in your diet is helpful in reducing blood pressure levels.

A review of 8 studies found that beans and lentils when exchanged for other foods lowered systolic blood pressure significantly in people suffering from hypertension.

08 /10 ​Berries

Berries are often termed as a superfood because of the various health benefits they offer. They are abundantly rich in antioxidants, which gives berries their vibrant colour.

The anthocyanins antioxidants in berries increase the nitric oxide level in the blood and reduce the production of blood-vessel restricting molecules, which helps in reducing the blood pressure levels.

Blueberries, raspberries, chokeberries and strawberries are some of the berries which have been associated with blood pressure lowering effects.

09 /10 ​Pistachios

Like other nuts, pistachios are not much talked about. But pistachios consumption has been linked to healthy blood pressure levels. Pistachios are high in various nutrients including potassium that helps in lowering blood pressure.

A review of 21 studies has found that pistachios intake has the strongest effect on reducing both systolic and diastolic blood pressure.

10 /10 ​Carrots

Carrots are high in phenolic compounds like chlorogenic, p-coumaric and caffeic acids that help relax the blood vessels and reduce inflammation, which in turn helps lower blood pressure.

You can include carrot in your salad, have it in the form of soup or mix it with another vegetable to make curries or subzi.


February is Heart Month and is a great time to lower your blood pressure. The Public Health Agency of Canada reports that 22% of Canadian adults are living with high blood pressure. Given that 17% of these individuals are not even aware of their condition, the prevalence of hypertension is likely even higher in Canada.

So how do you choose foods that will help manage high blood pressure? There are 2 simple rules. Choose foods that are:

  1. Low in sodium – Avoid highly processed foods (HPFs). Be sure to read the nutrition label of packaged foods to find out how much sodium you are eating in each suggested serving.
  2. High in calcium, magnesium and potassium – These 3 minerals have been shown to help manage high blood pressure. Choosing foods high in these are key.

Here are 8 Foods that can Help to Lower Blood Pressure

  • Beans – Tasty and versatile, beans are high in fiber, magnesium and potassium. Simply add beans to your soups, salads or chilli’s to get the benefits.
  • Lentils – Just 100 grams of split red lentils has more potassium than a banana. The Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) study reported that a diet rich in pulses (including lentils) and whole grains was associated with lowering blood pressure. Try making this easy Lentil Lemon soup.
  • Potatoes – Potassium has been shown to help lower high blood pressure and the most common food associated with potassium is a banana. But did you know that a medium-sized potato actually contain much more potassium than banana? Keep the skin please, that’s where most potassium is found.
  • Kiwi – The same goes for kiwi! Kiwi actually has more potassium than a banana! And these little cuties are almost available at supermarkets all year-round.
  • Kale – There is a reason this dark green leafy vegetable is touted as a superfood in recent years! Just one cup of kale provides a high dose of magnesium and potassium. Try this Mashed Potatoes with Red Lentils and Kale recipe on a cold winter day!
  • Avocado – This nutty and versatile fruit contains a high amount of potassium. In fact, just ½ of an avocado contain more potassium than a banana.
  • Edamame – You can find edamame (soybeans indeed) in the frozen aisles at many grocery stores these days. Just ½ a cup will provide a high dose of potassium.
  • Quinoa – Eating whole grains like quinoa not only have been associated with lowering diabetes, but quinoa is also heart healthy as it contain high amounts of magnesium and potassium. Try this Salad Wrap recipe that has both quinoa and lentils.

This Heart Month, give your heart a break and treat it right by choosing foods that can help you manage your blood pressure.


Health Solutions From Our Sponsors

Advances in Nutrition: "Dietary Patterns and Blood Pressure in Adults: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials."

Advances in Nutrition: "Food Groups and Risk of Hypertension: A Systematic Review and Dose-Response Meta-Analysis of Prospective Studies."

American Journal of Hypertension: "Effect of Dietary Pulses on Blood Pressure: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis of Controlled Feeding Trials."

Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice: "The effects of pumpkin seed oil supplementation on arterial hemodynamics, stiffness and cardiac autonomic function in postmenopausal women."

Current Hypertension Reports: "Dietary Approaches to Prevent Hypertension."

Current Hypertension Reports: "Dietary Patterns and Blood Pressure in Adults: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials."

Harvard Health Publishing: "Beating high blood pressure with food."

InformedHealth.org: "High blood pressure: Lowering blood pressure without medication."

Journal of Clinical & Experimental Cardiology: "Role of Dietary Components in Modulating Hypertension."

Nutrients: “Potential Factors Influencing the Effects of Anthocyanins on Blood Pressure Regulation in Humans: A Review."

Top Foods to Eat to Lower Blood Pressure Immediately Related Articles

High Blood Pressure (Hypertension)

High blood pressure (hypertension) is a disease in which pressure within the arteries of the body is elevated. About 75 million people in the US have hypertension (1 in 3 adults), and only half of them are able to manage it. Many people do not know that they have high blood pressure because it often has no has no warning signs or symptoms.

Systolic and diastolic are the two readings in which blood pressure is measured. The American College of Cardiology released new guidelines for high blood pressure in 2017. The guidelines now state that blood normal blood pressure is 120/80 mmHg. If either one of those numbers is higher, you have high blood pressure.

The American Academy of Cardiology defines high blood pressure slightly differently. The AAC considers 130/80 mm Hg. or greater (either number) stage 1 hypertension. Stage 2 hypertension is considered 140/90 mm Hg. or greater.

If you have high blood pressure you are at risk of developing life threatening diseases like stroke and heart attack.


Sprinkling of Seeds

Add unsalted seeds like pumpkin, flax, and sunflower to salads, yogurt, or oatmeal to help lower your blood pressure. Seeds are a source of vital minerals like magnesium, which helps control your blood pressure and relax your blood vessels.

Recommended daily serving: 1-1.5 tablespoons (seeds).


Eight Foods Clinically Proven To Lower Blood Pressure

H igh blood pressure can triple your risk of heart attack, heart failure, and stroke. It’s the silent killer that you don’t even know about — until it hits!

While it is important to use medications if you have to, your diet and the foods you eat can also be a helpful tool in lowering your blood pressure naturally.

Here are natural foods to lower blood pressure:
#1: Dark chocolate

There’s no getting around it, most of us absolutely adore chocolate!

And the good news is, you don’t have to give up your sweet indulgence – if you choose the right type of chocolate.

Cocoa, the major ingredient in chocolate, contains compounds called flavanols, which come from the cacao bean. Scientists have known for some time that these compounds have a wide range of beneficial effects on cardiovascular health.

In fact, indulging in some good quality cocoa has been shown to help relax arteries and improve blood flow, along with decreasing both systolic and diastolic blood pressure.

However, this is not a free license to consume as much chocolate as you please. The benefits are found in the cocoa so you can try to chocolate-up your food. For instance, try adding an unsweetened cocoa powder to your morning oatmeal, coffee, smoothie, or yogurt, or make your own hot chocolate with unsweetened cocoa powder and milk.

Or, if you’re going to indulge in the chocolate itself, choose the darkest chocolate you can find.

#2: Apple

An apple a day keeps the doctor away!

And in terms of assisting with blood pressure control, this may also be true.

Apples contain a flavonol called quercetin, which is also found in other plant-based foods such as onions, citrus fruits, berries, red grapes, red wine, broccoli, bark roots, flowers, and tea.

And this quercetin flavonol happens to have blood pressure-lowering effects.

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In one clinical trial where hypertensive participants supplemented with 730 mg/day of quercetin for 28 days, versus placebo. The groups supplementing saw an average 7 mmHg reduction in systolic pressure, and 5 mmHg reduction in diastolic pressure.

#3: Healthy fats

Fats contain fatty acids, and some fatty acids are great for cardiovascular health. For instance, omega-3 fatty acids.

One of omega-3’s main benefits is its ability to calm inflammation throughout the body. And according to a review of seventy clinical trials, consumption of omega-3s may reduce systolic blood pressure by an average of 1.52 mmHg, and diastolic blood pressure by an average of 0.99 mmHg.

OMEGA 3 food sources include:

#4: Olive oil

Extra virgin olive oil is an omega-9 fatty acid and contains more than 36 beneficial phenolic compounds. One specific compound, known as oleocanthal, has been discovered to have very powerful natural anti-inflammatory benefits.

This is great news since cardiovascular disease often involves a state of low-grade chronic inflammation in the body. But more than that, researchers suggest olive oil may influence genes that regulate the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system, the hormonal blood pressure control engine.

One study found that olive oil consumption of 25 mL/day (equivalent to about 2 tablespoons) can lower systolic blood pressure by an average of 4.2 mmHg and diastolic pressure by an average of 2.1 mmHg.

However, don’t go purchasing the cheapest olive oil you can find. If you want to reap the benefits, your oil must be a good quality extra virgin olive.

#5: Flaxseed

Flaxseed contains a variety of substances that may be beneficial to blood pressure – α-linolenic acid, lignans, and fiber. Flaxseed can be eaten as a whole seed, as a ground flaxseed meal, which you can put in baked goods or add to cereals. Or it can be taken as a flaxseed oil supplement.

A review of 14 clinical trials showed the average blood pressure reduction from consuming flaxseed was 1.77 mmHg systolic and 1.58 mmHg diastolic. And if you consume whole flaxseeds daily for more than 12 weeks, diastolic blood pressure may reduce even further, up to 1.93 mmHg.

#6: Beetroot juice

Raw beet juice contains phytochemicals that have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. Alongside those phytochemicals are compounds called nitrates.

The nitrates found in beets are a source of nitric oxide (NO), a natural vasodilator, which means they help to relax and dilate the blood vessels in your body.

When your blood vessels are dilated, the blood is flowing with greater ease and your blood pressure naturally lowers. As a consequence, blood pressure levels are lower. In fact, one study found that just 6 hours after consuming beetroot juice, people’s systolic blood pressure was 4 to 5 mmHg lower!

Although red beets are the richest natural source of nitrates, there are other vegetables you can snack on that also contain them — celery, spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, garlic, and onions.

#7: Hibiscus tea

If you have a hibiscus tree in your garden, pick a few flowers and brew yourself a tea!

Hibiscus tea is often termed ‘sour tea.’ And as it turns out, the hibiscus plant is rich in organic acids, polyphenols, anthocyanins, polysaccharides and nutrients that are beneficial for the cardiovascular system.

A review of clinical trials found that those who consumed hibiscus tea regularly had a lower systolic blood pressure of up to 7.58 mmHg, and lower diastolic blood pressure of up to 3.53 mmHg.

#8: Sweet potatoes and leafy greens

These foods are high in many nutrients, but one that’s particularly helpful for blood pressure is potassium.

When researchers looked at data from 17,000 adults they noticed that those who had lower blood pressure had a higher potassium intake. Since then several clinical trials have shown that increasing potassium does, in fact, lower blood pressure.

And interestingly, you don’t have to increase your intake by much.

Even a small increase of just 250 mg per day in potassium may lower blood pressure by 2 to 3 mmHg. In those that already have high blood pressure, the results may be as much as 7.2 mm Hg systolic and 2.8 mmHg diastolic.

Let’s put that amount of potassium into perspective with a few food sources:

  • Beet greens – 1039 mg potassium per one cup
  • Swiss chard – 961 mg per one cup
  • Spinach – 839 mg per one cup
  • Sweet potato – 839 mg per one potato

As you can see, as little as one quarter to one half a cup of leafy greens a day could help lower your blood pressure.

Did you notice something about all these foods that lower blood pressure?

They are all natural, whole foods!

It goes without saying that eating a healthy diet rich in fruit and vegetables is one of the best ways to control blood pressure naturally.

In fact, when people quit eating the standard American diet — filled with processed foods, added sugar and added salt — and switch to fruits, veggies, whole grains and whole food sources, blood pressure can be lowered anywhere from 3.5 to 11.4 mmHg.

And what’s more, these levels are maintained when a healthy diet is continued!

If you’re ready to make a few changes, the Mediterranean diet and DASH diet (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) are both excellent whole food-based heart-healthy diets to follow.


Superfood 2: Spinach

Spinach is a well-known superfood, and it makes an appearance here because it contains three blood-pressure lowering ingredients: potassium, magnesium and folate. Not to mention, spinach is low-calorie and brimming with fiber, which is a win-win for your health and waistline. I love the gorgeous green because there are so many delicious ways to enjoy it: Toss fresh baby spinach leaves in salads or layer leaves on sandwiches. Wilt spinach leaves into a pot of simmering soup before serving or add a handful of baby leaves into smoothies to amp up the nutrition without affecting the taste (I swear). Or try whipping up these mouthwatering (and Popeye-approved) Pumpkin-Spinach Meatballs!


Kale’s ubiquity comes from more than just celebrity endorsement it also happens to be a superfood for anyone whose blood pressure is higher than they’d like. Kale is packed with quercetin and beta-carotene, as well as vitamin C, which researchers at Johns Hopkins University Medical Center have found to been an effective means of lowering blood pressure naturally.

Swap out those refined sugar-loaded treats in favor of strawberries. Researchers at the University of Alberta’s Mazankowski Alberta Heart Institute have found resveratrol, a pigment found in red fruit like strawberries, effective at preventing hypertension and dangerous enlargement of the heart muscle in mice and rats, making it a great addition to any hypertension-fighting diet.