Hypertension is a clinical condition that most people face every day. In addition to drugs, there are also many foods that lower blood pressure, which fortunately are easily available all year round and represent valid support for drug therapies. Let’s learn about best foods to lower blood pressure.
Blood pressure and eating habits.
Eating habits are perhaps the easiest to modify, although apparently, they can represent an insurmountable obstacle. By including these blood pressure-lowering foods in our diet and with relatively little daily effort, we will be able to bring good, wholesome foods to our table every day to control hypertension.
The first ingredient that we must ban from our table for a proper pressure diet is salt. The maximum dose of sodium is 2300 mg per day. But suppose we do a very quick examination of the salt in snacks, sauces, canned and pickled foods, frozen foods, cheeses, sausages, and many other products that we usually buy. In that case, we will realize that we have reached this value and systematically exceeded it long before finishing our day.
It is, therefore, necessary to cope with this excess of sodium by introducing some foods that lower blood pressure but also through a diet less rich in salt but equally pleasant, which does not take away the pleasure of being at the table and at the same time helps us to maintain optimal blood pressure levels.
So let’s see some foods to lower blood pressure that can help us in this daily conquest.
Twenty foods that lower blood pressure.
Many foods are useful for lowering blood pressure when levels are too high. Here are the best foods to consume in case of hypertension and why they are good for you.
Our eating habits lead us to believe that a low sodium diet involves sacrifices and tasteless dishes. Nothing can be more false.
The preference for homemade preparations over industrial ones, minimal precautions during the preparation of meals, the use of sodium substitute ingredients, and the consumption of specific foods are the best weapons to lower the pressure by keeping it at adequate levels to defend health and quality of life.
But what are the main blood pressure-lowering foods whose effects are experimentally definite? Here is a list.
Garlic has always been one of the natural remedies to lower blood pressure. Administration of its extract shows to obtain the same results as administration of hypotensive drugs.
Allicin is the active ingredient responsible for the anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and hypotensive properties, which we can find intact in raw garlic or with attenuated effects in cooked garlic. So, you can consume it raw or take it through a quality supplement.
2. Strawberries and blueberries.
Both are blood pressure-lowering foods. The flavonoids present in these two fruits act on blood pressure levels. On the one hand, they can prevent hypertension. On the other hand, they tend to bring high values back to their correct measure.
Blueberries, in this case, have a high content of antioxidants, thanks to which the amount of free radicals present in our body reduces. Strawberries and blueberries lead to their best results when you consume them plain as a snack.
However, it is also possible to use them in smoothies and drinks, even with the knowledge that when mixed with sugars and other molecules, they lose part of their effectiveness.
3. Beetroot juice.
The nitrates in red beet are molecules that our body transforms into nitrites and nitrogen oxides, the latter substances responsible for arterial dilation and the consequent lowering of blood pressure.
The tasty beetroot juice, easily obtainable even with the live juice extractor, is an excellent drinkable to lower the pressure a few hours after its consumption.
4. Green tea.
A high blood pressure diet should include this drink. In green tea, there is a molecule (catechin) present in this variety that intervenes by inhibiting the production, by our body, of angiotensin II, a direct substance responsible for the narrowing of blood vessels and, therefore, hypertension.
A cup or two of green tea seems to be a great help in lowering blood pressure.
5. Oat flakes.
We can safely consider them accomplices of a healthy heart: low in fat and sodium and high in fiber. These are the key characteristics of oat flakes, which you can include in your diet to help lower blood pressure.
In addition, the same oats help to contain body weight and regulate cholesterol, both important factors for maintaining correct blood pressure. A cup of flakes in the morning for breakfast is a healthy habit for containing blood pressure values.
Furthermore, it is preferable to choose unsweetened flakes, which would unnecessarily increase blood glucose and weaken the effects of the active ingredients of oats.
6. Karkade (Hibiscus tea).
Karkade has long been known for its anti-inflammatory, diuretic, angio-protective, and hypotensive properties. These valuable effects are the outcome of the joint action of flavonoids and antioxidants, which specifically have a protective function of blood vessels and are excellent adjuvants in lowering blood pressure, especially when this has high values.
Three cups a day of Karkade (which has no particular contraindications) can lead to good results on the altered values of our blood pressure.
7. Dark chocolate.
Here is one of the most famous and good foods that lower blood pressure. The flavonoids present in chocolate and natural antioxidant substances can help indirectly increase the elasticity of blood vessels and lower blood pressure.
However, it is essential to make some clarifications. First of all, for a correct diet for high blood pressure, the consumption of chocolate must be within reasonable limits, as progressive increases in the consuming quantities do not correspond to lower blood pressure values progressively.
Furthermore, the chocolate we refer to is the dark one, of quality and with a minimum of 70% cocoa. All other products of the confectionery industry containing cocoa and the like are excluded (milk chocolate, bars, chocolates, etc.).
Citrulline, present in watermelon, is the non-essential amino acid that leads to nitric oxide production in our body. This oxide acts on the arteries and vessels, increasing their dilatation capacity. Therefore, watermelon is one of the foods that lower blood pressure as it can facilitate blood flow.
The polyunsaturated essential fatty acids (Omega 3) in flax seeds play an important role in cardiovascular disease and blood pressure values.
Therefore, their regular consumption has an ameliorative effect on hypertension without necessarily requiring the contribution of other changes in the diet. A tablespoon of flax seeds with oat flakes represents a delicious breakfast and a sure effect on our blood pressure.
Alternatively, we can add these pressure-lowering foods to the dough of our baked goods or salads, which will thus acquire a new and full-bodied flavor.
10. Spirulina algae.
Here is one of the blood pressure-lowering foods richest in iron and chlorophyll. These blue-green microalgae grow in salt lakes where temperature and alkalinity are higher than those found in seawater.
It contains an entire series of essential amino acids that our body cannot produce. Therefore, we have to obtain vitamins and essential polyunsaturated fatty acids (Omega 3) from the outside. The Mayan population already used Spirulina for its remarkable benefits to the body, and even today, its therapeutic qualities are confirmed.
Regular consumption of Spirulina algae is a valid agent capable of lowering blood pressure without affecting the diet. It has a not very delicate taste, and simply mixing it in water could turn it into an unpleasant and forced habit.
Therefore, it is better to add it to a smoothie or opt for capsules, which are tasteless and easier to consume.
11. Lentils and beans.
Legumes rich in proteins, carbohydrates, and polyunsaturated fats are foods that lower the pressure for some time recognized and also ideal for people with diabetes, thanks to their ability to balance the presence of sugar in the blood.
In fairly recent times, however, two other important properties have been identified: the ability to lower blood pressure and the repairing tendency of vascular tissues damaged by hypertension itself. Versatile and easy-to-use legumes, we can consume them in dozens of traditional or more modern and innovative dishes.
12. Green leafy vegetables.
Now let’s talk about these great foods that lower blood pressure. It seems that a bowl of green leafy vegetables can maintain pressure values at optimal levels for 24 hours, thanks to the nitrates contained. Once the body transforms into nitrogen oxides, it will dilate the vessels, facilitate blood flow, and thus keep the vessels’ hypertension at bay.
Adding green leafy seasonal vegetables such as spinach, fennel, cabbage, and chard to our diet daily is a healthy and certainly tasty habit that can help lower blood pressure.
28% of our daily potassium requirement is present in single avocado fruit. Potassium, monounsaturated fat, and fiber are the main agents that avocado offers us to deal with high blood pressure. Easy to eat, on its own, as a snack, in salads and tacos, avocado lends itself to countless uses.
It is crucial to pay attention to its high-fat content, which, especially in overweight subjects, could represent a difficulty since the same excess weight is a factor that induces hypertension. If we decide to consume avocados regularly, we can reduce other fatty foods in our diet, perhaps including one of these foods that lower blood pressure.
Three kiwifruits a day have been clinically proven to help lower blood pressure. In reality, in everyday life, outside of laboratory experimentation, it isn’t easy to regularly maintain this rhythm of consumption.
However, by including two kiwis in your weekly diet together with other foods on this list, you can obtain significant benefits towards stable blood pressure.
Herbs are also foods that naturally lower passion. Like many herbs, basil also has a positive effect on hypertension in two ways. The first is due to its diuretic property, which tends to bring blood pressure to lower levels naturally, and to benefit from this, we can try basil extract.
The second method, indirect, relates to its use in the kitchen as a substitute for salt. Practically we can prepare all dishes using aromatic herbs instead of table salt, obtaining splendid flavors and at the same time evading the risk of hypertension.
Almost fat-free, its nutritional principles are represented by sugars, fibers, proteins, to a lesser extent, mineral salts, and vitamins. But it is its tannins that are related to the lowering of blood pressure.
We can use cinnamon creatively in many of our dishes in its powdered form or by grating the stick on the spot. Or we can still get its benefits from herbal tea or, more simply, from the capsules purchased in herbalist’s shops and stores specializing in organic and natural products.
17. Chili pepper.
Although yet to be tested definitively, it seems to play a role in the circulatory system, and capsaicin is the alkaloid responsible for the typical feeling of spicy chili. Capsaicin acts on blood vessels, leading to an increase in nitric oxide production, a gas which, as we have already seen for other foods, performs a protective function of the vessels and dilates them, with a consequent lowering of pressure.
Like all spices and many foods that lower blood pressure, we can use chili pepper in many of our preparations as a substitute for table salt, powdered, grated, or take its active ingredients through food supplements.
Likely, the ability of this food to balance the sugars present in the blood is directly responsible for its hypotensive effects. Furthermore, celery is a superfood. It is a food with a high density of nutritional values, whose benefits also involve reducing body weight.
Being overweight is another cause of hypertension, and celery exerts its effects as food against high blood pressure through this indirect modality.
The banana-potassium combination is now a fact, always indicated as responsible for many benefits for the proper functioning of our cells and our body. Our blood pressure-lowering foods couldn’t fail to include this super fruit.
Two bananas a day can be the right ratio to lower blood pressure and bring it back to optimal values. On the other hand, three fruits seem suitable for contributing to stroke prevention. Especially in subjects whose family history is characterized by such episodes.
The carotenoid lycopene, the substance that gives the tomato its color, gives it hypotensive power on our organism. It seems that this substance produces positive effects on blood pressure by lowering it.
The best effects are obtained with raw consumption, perhaps associating them with other foods that lower blood pressure.
21. Fermented foods.
Fermented foods are rich in probiotics. Beneficial bacteria play a significant role in maintaining intestinal health. Feeding on these probiotics can have a modest effect on high blood pressure in some cases.
The elements rich in probiotics are:
- Natural yogurt
- Apple cider vinegar
If these foods aren’t to your liking or can’t fit into your everyday diet, it may be a good idea to buy probiotic supplements.
Foods that lower blood pressure: Conclusions.
In this list, we face how the clinical condition of hypertension can be controlled and improved by slightly modifying our diet with the introduction of specific foods that lower blood pressure, are tasty, and are rich in active ingredients.
Equally important is the modification of some of our unhealthy eating habits. Consolidated by a hasty lifestyle and by the trends of an increasingly competitive food industry. In reality which is less attentive to the health of its consumers.
However, remember that any intervention must be agreed upon with our doctor. He will certainly be able to indicate the most suitable therapeutic path for us, combined with a specific dietary scheme, also based on the list that we have just read of foods that lower the pressure.