The best way to lower your blood pressure naturally is to eat a diet rich in fruits and vegetables. There is overwhelming evidence that leafy green vegetables and fruits should be included as part of a healthy diet. This article will discuss the amazing health benefits, as well as the best ways to incorporate these high-quality foods into your diet, to lower blood pressure naturally.
10 good foods for high blood pressure
Certain foods can lower blood pressure, according to research. The use of these foods together in the diet may have long-term health advantages.
Hypertension, or high blood pressure, can be treated with medications, dietary changes, and other lifestyle adjustments while also reducing the risk of developing related diseases. Heart disease, stroke, and renal disease are all conditions that are made more likely by high blood pressure.
Foods that could be beneficial include:
- fruits, such as kiwi and oranges
- vegetables, for instance, green leafy vegetables and beets
- nuts, for example, pistachios and walnuts
- oily fish, such as mackerel
- spices, such as cinnamon
In this article, we discuss foods that can help reduce high blood pressure, and provide scientific evidence.
A note about sex and gender
There are gender and sex spectrums. The sex assigned at birth will be referred to in this article as either “male,” “female,” or both. To find out more, click here.
10 foods that help lower blood pressure
Many researchers have found that certain foods can lower high blood pressure. We look at some foods that may help and how to incorporate them into the diet.
In general, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) considers a serving to be:
- 1 cup of cooked or raw vegetables or fruit
- 1 cup of 100% fruit juice
- 2 cups of raw leafy salad greens
- half a cup of dried fruit
For most ages, the USDA recommends consuming around 2 cups of fruit per day and 3 cups of vegetables per day, although this varies slightly according to age and sex.
Anthocyanins, a class of flavonoid antioxidants, are found in blueberries and strawberries.
In a previous study, the researchers examined data for more than 34,000 hypertensive patients during a 14-year period. A higher anthocyanin intake, primarily from blueberries and strawberries, was associated with an 8% lower risk of high blood pressure than a lower consumption.
However, a few specialists
According to a reliable source, there is insufficient proof that blueberries lower blood pressure.
- eat them as a snack or sweet treat after meals
- add them to smoothies
- sprinkle them on oatmeal for breakfast
A serving of blueberries is around 1 cup of fresh or frozen blueberries or half a cup of dried blueberries. A serving of strawberries is around 7 strawberries.
Which other foods are rich in antioxidants?
Potassium, which is present in bananas, can help control hypertension. 422 milligrams (mg) of potassium may be found in one medium banana, a Trusted Source of potassium.
The American Heart Association (AHA)Trusted Source claims that potassium counteracts the negative effects of sodium and eases stress in the blood vessel walls.
Males should try to get 3,400 mgTrusted Source of potassium daily, while females should consume 2,600 mg, according to the Office of Dietary Supplements.
Other potassium-rich foods include:
- acorn squash
People with kidney disease should consult a doctor before increasing their intake of potassium, as too much can be harmful.
A serving would be 1 large banana, 1 cup of sliced banana, or two-thirds of a cup of mashed banana.
Drinking beet juice may reduce blood pressure in the short and long term, because it contains dietary nitrate.
A 2015 studyTrusted Source found that people with hypertension who drank 250 milliliters (ml), or about 1 cup, of red beet juice every day for 4 weeks had lower blood pressure. The researchers recorded an average fall in blood pressure of 7.7/5.2 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg) over a 24-hour period.
Tips for use include:
- drinking 1 glass of beet juice per day
- adding beets to salads
- preparing beets as a side dish
A serving of beet is around 1 cup, which is around 2 small beets or 1 large one.
4. Dark chocolate
Flavonoids, an antioxidant, are found in cacao, a component of dark chocolate. According to the AHA, flavonoids may aid in blood pressure reduction.
It does point out that a person might not be able to eat enough flavonoids from dark chocolate for it to have appreciable advantages.
According to the AHA, a modest quantity of chocolate every so often can be a healthy addition to a diet. However, it suggests that people eat it for enjoyment rather than for health.
According to a 2015 study by Trusted Source, kiwis can help manage mildly elevated blood pressure if eaten daily.
For 8 weeks, people who had 3 kiwis daily exhibited a greater decrease in systolic and diastolic blood pressure than those who consumed 1 apple daily. The authors of the study speculate that this might be because of the bioactive compounds in kiwis.
Kiwis contain a lot of vitamin C. According to an earlier studyTrusted Source, people’s blood pressure levels significantly decreased after taking 500 mg of vitamin C daily for roughly 8 weeks.
Kiwis are simple to include in smoothies or meals.
2-3 kiwifruits or one cup of kiwi constitute one serving.
Citrulline is an amino acid that can be found in watermelon.
Citrulline is transformed by the body into arginine, which aids in the production of nitric oxide, a gas that relaxes blood vessels and promotes flexibility in arteries. Blood flow is improved as a result of these effects, which can lower high blood pressure.
Adults with obesity and mild or prehypertension in an earlier trial consumed a watermelon extract supplemented with 6 grams (g) of L-citrulline/L-arginine.
The subjects saw a decrease in blood pressure in their ankles and brachial arteries after 6 weeks. The primary artery in the upper arm is the brachial artery.
A 2019 small study
According to a reliable source, 27 persons drank watermelon juice or another beverage before working out. Although the males did, the females who drank watermelon juice did not report a spike in blood pressure after exercise.
People can consume watermelon:
- as juice
- in salads, including fruit salads
- in smoothies
- in a chilled watermelon soup
One serving of watermelon is 1 cup of chopped fruit or 1 slice of around 2 inches.
Oats include beta-glucan, a type of fiber that may be good for blood pressure and heart health.
Beta-glucan and avenanthramide C, both contained in oats, have been shown in a 2020 rodent study to lower levels of malondialdehyde, a sign of oxidative stress in hypertensive rats. These findings imply that components found in oats may help lower blood pressure and safeguard the heart in other ways.
Among the ways to eat oats are:
- having a bowl of oatmeal for breakfast
- using rolled oats instead of breadcrumbs to give texture to burger patties
- sprinkling them on yogurt desserts
8. Leafy green vegetables
Leafy green vegetables are rich in nitrates, which help manage blood pressure.
Some research suggests that eating at least 1 cup of green leafy vegetables per day can lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Examples of leafy greens include:
- collard greens
- mustard greens
- Swiss chard
To consume a daily dose of green vegetables, a person can:
- stir spinach into curries and stews
- saute Swiss chard with garlic as a side dish
- bake a batch of kale chips
A serving of spinach is 2 cups of fresh leaves. A serving of raw cabbage is 1 cup.
Garlic has antibiotic and antifungal properties, many of which may be due to its main active ingredient, allicin.
A 2020 reviewTrusted Source concludes that garlic in general, and specifically Kyolic garlic, can reduce:
- blood pressure
- arterial stiffness
Garlic can enhance the flavor of many savory meals, including stir-fries, soups, and omelets. It can also be an alternative to salt as a flavoring.
10. Fermented foods
Fermented foods are rich in probiotics, which are beneficial bacteria that may help manageTrusted Source blood pressure.
In 2020Trusted Source, researchers analyzed data for 11,566 adults aged 50 years or older in Korea. The results suggest that women who had gone through menopause and ate fermented soy foods had a lower risk of hypertension. However, this did not appear to be true for men.
Sodium is a risk factor for high blood pressure, and experts advise people to limit their salt intake. However, a 2017 study did not find that eating salt-fermented vegetables increased the risk of high blood pressure, despite the high sodium content.
The effects of probiotics on blood pressure appeared more beneficial when the participants consumed:
- multiple species of probiotic bacteria
- probiotics regularly for more than 8 weeks
- at least 100 billion colony-forming units per day
Fermented foods to add to the diet include:
- apple cider vinegar
Probiotic supplements are another option.
High Blood Pressure Diet
- Whole Grains
- Reduced-Fat Dairy
High Blood Pressure Diet
Brussels sprouts are one of the vegetables good for people with high blood pressure.
Healthy food is like medication for high blood pressure. Except you don’t need a prescription, and you won’t have to worry about side effects. Just choose wisely, eat, and repeat.
Just as there are foods that raise blood pressure, there are foods that lower it. There’s even an eating plan based on that fact. It’s called DASH, or Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension.
Whether you follow DASH or chart your own course, try to focus on what you can eat instead of what you can’t. Like any other healthy diet, a diet to lower blood pressure will emphasize fruits, vegetables, and whole grains while avoiding fats, fried foods, and salty snacks.
If you can control what you eat, you can control high blood pressure and reduce your risk of stroke, heart failure, and heart attack. Start by focussing your grocery list on these healthful choices.
Fruits for High Blood Pressure
Fruit is sweet, it makes a good substitute for less healthy desserts.
Fruit is full of nutrients that can bring down your blood pressure. The key nutrients are potassium, magnesium, and fiber. The potassium in bananas, for example, lowers tension in the walls of your blood vessels. It also helps get rid of sodium — which raises blood pressure — through your urine.
Since fruit is sweet, it makes a good substitute for less healthy desserts. Look for fresh, frozen, or canned versions of these fruits that pack a lot of potassium, magnesium, and fiber:
- Oranges (in moderation — this fruit’s high in sugar)
If you buy canned fruit, make sure it’s packed in water or natural juices, not syrup. And also check to see that there’s no added sugar or salt.
Vegetables for High Blood Pressure
Stock up on these veggies that are rich in potassium, magnesium, and fiber.
Like fruit, vegetables are full of potassium, magnesium, and fiber that help bring your blood pressure down. Keep in mind, you may need to eat more than you normally would for them to have an effect. The DASH plan recommends 4 to 5 servings of vegetables a day. From breakfast to dinner, that might look like 1 cup of raw spinach, half a cup of steamed broccoli, and 6 ounces of vegetable juice.
There are plenty of ways to work vegetables into your day: Throw spinach into your smoothie; eat a salad with dinner; munch on carrot sticks at lunch.
Stock up on these veggies that are rich in potassium, magnesium, and fiber:
- Butternut squash
- Brussels sprouts
- Green peas
- Leafy greens
- Sweet potatoes
Whole Grain Foods That Lower Blood Pressure
Whole grains are full of dietary fiber.
Bread, cereal, pasta, and other foods with carbs and starches can come in whole grain or refined grain versions. Whole grains are full of dietary fiber. That’s why they’re a lot better for your body than foods made with refined white flour. Switch to whole-grain versions of foods you already eat. For example, go for whole wheat bread rather than white. Choose brown rice over white.
Shopping tip: Some packaged foods contain a “whole grain” seal. If you don’t see it, check the ingredient list. If the first ingredient listed contains the word “whole,” that item likely contains mostly whole grain.
Look for whole grain versions of these foods:
- Corn tortillas
Reduced-Fat Dairy Lowers Blood Pressure
You can get calcium, vitamin D, and protein from low-fat dairy products like milk without adding extra fat.
You can get calcium, vitamin D, and protein from low-fat and fat-free dairy products without consuming additional fat. Because calcium instructs your blood vessels to constrict and relax, it lowers blood pressure.
Find methods to incorporate dairy with fruits or grains, such as pairing berries with Greek yogurt and nuts or whole grain crackers with low-fat cheddar, to cram in as many nutrients as you can.
Purchase low-fat varieties of:
- Cottage cheese
- Cream cheese
- Yogurt, plain or Greek
10 Foods That Help Lower Blood Pressure Naturally
- How can you lower naturally lower your blood pressure? Lifestyle factors such as diet can have a big impact on managing hypertension.
- Limiting your salt intake is helpful for lowering blood pressure, but it’s only part of the equation. What you do eat matters, too.
- A diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat dairy products can help you get your blood pressure under control.
If you have high blood pressure, you might be wondering whether the foods you consume could be contributing to your condition. Yes, it is the answer. Diet and other lifestyle choices, such as exercise, can significantly lower blood pressure. In fact, some senior citizens can lower their blood pressure by just modifying their diet. Their requirement for blood pressure medication may thereafter be decreased or perhaps eliminated as a result of this.
What about salt and high blood pressure?
It is well knowledge that sodium, which makes up the majority of salt, can raise blood pressure readings. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) assert that Americans consume significantly more sodium than is necessary. According to the 2020–2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, adults should limit their daily sodium intake to 2,300 mg. The American Heart Association advises a daily dose of no more than 1,500 mg if you have high blood pressure.
Keeping an eye on your salt intake is crucial, but it’s only one factor. Fill your plate with blood pressure-friendly meals to lower your risk of heart attack, stroke, and other consequences.
How to lower blood pressure with food
What food lowers blood pressure quickly? What is the fastest way to lower blood pressure naturally? Here are 10 foods that can promote normal blood pressure levels and support your overall health:
- Unsweetened yogurt. A recent study showed that yogurt may produce positive blood pressure outcomes for those with hypertension. This is attributed to its high amounts of the minerals calcium, potassium, and magnesium—all thought to help regulate blood pressure. Look for unsweetened natural and Greek yogurts, which can be blended with fruits, seeds, and nuts for a healthy breakfast or snack.
- Berries: Strawberries and blueberries are rich in antioxidant compounds called anthocyanins. Research has linked anthocyanins to a reduction in blood pressure in people with hypertension. In more good news, berries are delicious! Sprinkle them over your yogurt, cereal, or oatmeal, or enjoy them as a sweet afternoon snack.
- Beets: This root vegetable is high in nitric oxide, a compound that’s been shown to reduce systolic blood pressure. Try beets as a side dish or add it raw to salads. You can even purchase beetroot juice (with no added sugar) to drink on its own or add to smoothies.
- Sweet potatoes: Loaded with magnesium, potassium, and fiber, this side dish superstar is a delicious way to lower blood pressure.
- Leafy greens: Cabbage, collard greens, spinach, kale, and other greens are high in nitrates, which have been found to offer blood pressure benefits. It’s easier to get your daily dose of greens by varying how you eat them. For example, you can sauté spinach for a tasty side dish, add fennel to soup, or bake a batch of kale chips in the oven.
- Fatty fish: Salmon and mackerel are packed with heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D, nutrients that can help lower and regular blood pressure. Just lightly season your favorite filet, add a dash of olive oil, and broil in the oven.
- Whole grains (especially oatmeal): Oats and other whole grains contain a type of fiber called beta-glucan, which may lower both systolic and diastolic blood pressure. Start your morning with a bowl of unsweetened oatmeal, use whole-grain bread for your lunch sandwiches, or have a side of seasoned quinoa with dinner.
- Pistachios: One study showed that eating pistachios can lower blood pressure during stressful times. These healthy nuts, best eaten unsalted, can add crunch and flavor to salads of all kinds. You can also blend them into pesto or enjoy a couple of handfuls as a snack.
- Bananas: Just one medium-sized banana packs a powerful potassium punch: 422 milligrams, to be exact. Beans, tomatoes, mushrooms, and avocado are other potassium-rich foods that may help lower blood pressure naturally.
- Kiwifruit: According to one study, eating three kiwifruit daily can help dramatically lower blood pressure. Kiwi is delicious chopped up in fruit salad or sprinkled on top of plain yogurt.
The foods listed above fit into the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet guidelines. DASH is an eating plan recommended by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI). It’s been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease by lowering high blood pressure and improving cholesterol levels. The DASH plan generally focuses on:
- Eating plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
- Limiting sugar-sweetened beverages and desserts.
- Limiting foods high in saturated fat.
- Consuming fat-free or low-fat dairy products.
- Eating fish, poultry, beans, nuts, and vegetable oils.
Many of these recommended foods can be found in the meal delivery kits, which deliver pre-portioned meals directly to your doorstep. Most of these kits are designed with balanced nutrition in mind.
Foods to avoid with high blood pressure
We’ve discussed how to lower blood pressure by eating right. But what foods should you skip if you have hypertension? Below are some foods that raise blood pressure quickly or over time. Consume them in careful moderation or avoid them altogether:
- Fatty meats, and processed meats such as hot dogs and sausage
- Salted snacks like pretzels and potato chips
- Canned soups and vegetables
- Dried soup mixes
- Deli meat
- Fast food
- Potato chips
- Salted popcorn
- Salted nuts
- Whole-milk dairy products
- Condiments (ketchup, salad dressing)
- Pickled food in brine
- Boxed mixes for rice, pasta, and potatoes
SNAP and healthy eating habits go hand in hand
You might be eligible for SNAP if you want to lower your blood pressure naturally but are having difficulties affording healthful food (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program). With the support of SNAP, you may stretch your monthly food budget even farther. Additionally, several online grocery delivery services and supermarket stores accept SNAP.
SNAP can give elderly people like Kellee Lightfoot, 87, much-needed breathing room. There isn’t much money left over after paying the rent and utilities, according to Lightfoot, to spend on food. She applied for SNAP and is currently receiving benefits of $180 per month.