Millions of people worldwide suffer from high blood pressure. According to data, nearly half of adults in the United States suffer from high blood pressure. It has been estimated that high blood pressure was the primary or contributing cause of death of almost 500,000 people in the US.
High blood pressure puts you at risk for heart disease and stroke, especially if your hypertension remains uncontrolled and untreated. The good news is that high blood pressure can be successfully kept under control. We don’t always have to use medication though. People with elevated blood pressure (120-129 mm Hg / <80 mm Hg) can lower their blood pressure by changing their diet.
Fortunately, there are many foods available that have been proven to lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of heart disease.
Lemons, grapefruit, and oranges
Citrus fruits are incredibly healthy for you even if you aren’t suffering from high blood pressure. Lemons, oranges, and grapefruit are full of vitamins and minerals that improve heart health and help keep your blood pressure under control.
Studies have shown that drinking orange and grapefruit juice can reduce blood pressure! Here’s a perfect reason to cut out soft drinks from your diet and replace them with this healthy alternative.
Berries such as raspberries, blueberries, and strawberries are high in antioxidants, which are substances that help prevent cell damage and are essential for keeping you healthy. Moreover, a large study has shown that berries, especially blueberries and strawberries can reduce blood pressure by as much as 8 percent!
We recommend you include berries as a snack between meals or make berry juice.
Salmon and other fatty fish
If you’ve heard of omega-3 fats you probably know how important is to include food rich in omega-3 fat in your diet. Fatty fish such as salmon are high in omega-3 fats, commonly linked with boosting heart overall heart health. Omega-3 fats also help reduce the risk of hypertension.
Bananas are an excellent source of potassium, a mineral responsible for regulating blood pressure. One medium sized banana contains as much as 422 milligrams of potassium.
This tasty fruit is incredibly healthy so there’s no reason not to include it in your diet!
Beans and lentils
We get that beans may not be very popular but there are many reasons to include beans and lentils in your diet. They contain fiber, magnesium, and potassium, vital for regulating your blood pressure.
We can find at least five good reasons why you should include leafy green vegetables in your diet. Not only are they packed with vitamins and minerals but also low in calories, which makes them a perfect choice for people who aim to lose weight.
Kale, cabbage, and spinach are champions among vegetables because they’re loaded with vitamins and minerals. They can be used in a variety of ways, most notably in salads.
Everybody loves tuna! That’s a good thing because easint tuna has numerous health benefits, many of which you haven’t been aware of. An important source of proteins, antioxidants, selenium, and iron, tuna helps reduce blood pressure and cholesterol and is also good for your immune system and skin.
Have we mentioned that tuna is low in calories and an excellent replacement for red meat?
An integral part of many cuisines around the globe, tomatoes remain one of the most popular vegetables in the world, and for a good reason! Besides being incredibly tasty, tomatoes are a source of important nutrients, most notably lycopene which has beneficial effect on heart health. A tomato rich diet can help regulate blood pressure and reduce risk for heart disease.
Drinking beet juice has a proven effect on regulating blood pressure. One study has shown that people who drank 1 cup of beet juice every day had an average drop in blood pressure around 8/4 mm Hg. To illustrate how powerful beet juice can be in combating high blood pressure, single blood pressure medication commonly reduces levels by 9/5 mm Hg.
Besides being incredibly tasty, pistachios are high in nutrients that improve hearth health and help reduce blood pressure levels. They are easily among the healthiest nuts and have been proven to reduce both systolic and diastolic blood pressure.
It’s easy to overlook the importance of including carrots in your diet but that would certainly be a mistake, as they contain a number of substances that have a beneficial effect on your blood pressure levels.
Eating raw carrots has been associated with reducing blood pressure. Consuming raw carrots can be a great alternative to snacks!
A great alternative to meat, mushrooms are incredibly tasty and will certainly make a great addition to your diet. Shiitake mushrooms in particular have been linked with lowering blood pressure levels.
Dark chocolate has gained popularity recently as a perfect source of antioxidants and substances such as iron, magnesium, and copper. Consuming dark chocolate may improve the health of your arteries by reducing resistance to blood flow and in turn reducing blood pressure levels.
When buying dark chocolate, make sure it contains a minimum of 70 percent cocoa. You can consume about 1 ounce every day.
This wondrous fruit an amino acid called citrulline which may help keep your blood pressure under control. Water makes 90 percent of watermelon’s weight, making this fruit ideal for people who want to lose weight.
We could hardly imagine a good dish without garlic! In addition to being used as seasoning in many cuisines, garlic has numerous health benefits. It’s a powerful natural antibiotic but recent research also suggests that garlic boosts the body’s production of nitric oxide, helping your muscles relax and causing blood vessels to dilate.
According to the American Hearth Association study, regular yogurt intake may reduce blood pressure in women. Unsweetened yogurts have more benefits and can be enjoyed with fruit or nuts as a healthy snack.
People with slightly elevated blood pressure levels may benefit from a daily serving of kiwi. If you consume them every day, there may be a long-term reduction in blood pressure levels.
Kiwis taste great and are an excellent source of vitamin C. You can use them in fruit salads or use them with apples and bananas to prepare delicious smoothies.
Celery can be used in a variety of ways in your diet. It contains important compounds which benefits your cardiovascular system. Celery can be best used as a seasoning, in soups and salads, and also in smoothies.
Chia and flax seeds
Chia and flax seeds contain many important nutrients such as magnesium, potassium, and fiber. These may help reduce blood pressure levels and boost your heart health.
You can add them to different foods such as smoothies, yogurt, oatmeal, and salads.
Pumpkin seeds are packed with important nutrients essential for keeping your blood pressure in check. You can consume them roasted as a snack, or add them to salads and smoothies.
If you’re looking to add more fiber in your diet, look no further! Oats are incredibly rich in fiber, in particular a type of fiber called beta-glucan, linked with reducing blood cholesterol levels.
An oatmeal breakfast is both easy to make, will satisfy your appetite, and provide you with essential nutrients necessary for maintaining good heart health.
It’s good to have nuts included in your diet but you should pay special attention to almonds. They contain healthy fats and fiber, protein, magnesium, as well as vitamin E. Almonds reduce cholesterol, regulate blood sugar, and in turn may help with your blood pressure levels.
Being incredibly tasty, you can eat them raw or roasted as a snack or add them to dishes. Almonds can be used to make delicious biscuits and cookies!
You have a million reasons to eat at least one apple daily. Apples are sometimes referred to as ‘The King of the Fruit’ and have a long history of being used in cusine. They are rich in flavanol a substance that helps with overall heart health.
This sweet, crunchy fruit deserves more attention due to its great taste and nutritional value. Figs are another great source of potassium, a mineral that plays a key role in regulating blood pressure.
Figs are best eaten raw but can also be enjoyed baked or roasted.
Caffeine intake can be a problem if you’re suffering from elevated blood pressure. Green tea can be a great alternative to coffee. It helps regulate the blood flow, reduce cholesterol levels, and increases fat burning, which is what makes it so popular.
Mediterranean cuisine, widely regarded as the world healthiest, cannot be imagined without olive oil. Often referred to as the ‘Liquid Gold’ olive oil has so many health benefits it would be hard to list even half of them.
Oilive oil contains a powerful antioxidant called polyphenols that is responsible for keeping your blood vessels flexible, ensuring proper blood flow and thus keeping blood pressure levels within a normal range. You can use olive oil as salad dressing or in cooking. A spoonful of olive oil in the morning can be a healthy addition to your diet.
Similar to oranges, lemons, and grapefruit, pomegranates are rich in antioxidants and have a positive impact on heart health. Drinking pomegranate juice can reduce blood pressure levels in the short term, according to a new study.
Culinary enthusiasts and chefs love cinnamon because it gives a special aroma to food. A recent study showed that cinnamon may help reduce systolic blood pressure.
You can make cinnamon cookies, sprinkle it over oatmeal or fresh fruit as an alternative to sugar, or put in your coffee or tea.
Amaranth is a whole grain that is becoming increasingly popular among as an ingredient in organic food. A diet rich in whole grains is linked with lower risk of high blood pressure and improved heart health. Amaranth is naturally gluten-free, so it’s ideal if you’re ona gluten-free diet.
Basil is a popular herb especially in Mediterranean and Italian cuisines. Basil extract can help dilate your blood vessels thus reducing blood pressure. However, basil is best known for its anti inflammatory properties.