8 Foods that lower blood pressure
According to Mark Houston, a physician and medical director of the Hypertension Institute of Nashville, eating 4 stalks or 1 cup of chopped up celery per day may help you lower your blood pressure.
To increase protein and make the celery taste better, you can add a tablespoon of unsalted peanut or almond butter (high in heart healthy monounsaturated fats).
2. Cold Water Fish such as Wild Caught Salmon, Tuna, Mackerel, Cod, Trout, Halibut, Herring or Sardines.
Omega 3 fatty acids are not made by your body and so you must supplement with them. The FDA and EPA recommend 2 – six ounce servings of cold water fish per week. However if you bruise easily, take blood thinners or have a bleeding disorder, you should discuss this with your doctor.
Some of the heart healthy benefits of cold water fish include:
- Triglycerides: Omega-3s can reduce triglycerides by as much as 15–30% (38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44).
- Blood pressure: Omega-3s can reduce blood pressure levels in people with high blood pressure (38, 45, 46, 47, 48).
- HDL-cholesterol: Omega-3s can raise HDL (good) cholesterol levels (49, 50, 51, 52, 53)
- LDL- Cholesterol: For some people, omega-3s can also lower LDL (bad) cholesterol. However, the evidence is mixed and some studies actually find increases in LDL (60, 61, 62, 63).
- Blood clots: Omega-3s can keep blood platelets from clumping together. This helps prevent the formation of harmful blood clots (54, 55).
- Plaque: By keeping the arteries smooth and free from damage, omega-3s help prevent the plaque that can restrict and harden the arteries (56, 57, 58).
- Inflammation: Omega-3s reduce the production of some substances released during the inflammatory response (40, 42, 59)
In Native Asia and Europe, dandelion has been used as a natural diuretic for more than a century. Dandelion helps to reduce blood pressure by removing excess sodium (which raises blood pressure) from the body, but without the loss of potassium (helps to regulate blood pressure) which occurs with many other diuretics. In addition dandelion is high in magnesium ( which is critial for proper heart function) and is food for your liver, eyes and skin.
You can eat fresh dandelion in a salad, put it in a stir fry or drink it in a tea, add it to your diet as often as you can to see these health benefits, just make sure it is not grown with harmful pesticides or herbicides.
Oats are high in fiber and magnesium and can help to slow plaque buildup. In a 12 weeks study, researchers divided 88 people into 2 groups. One group at oatmeal and the other ate a refined wheat-based cereal. Researchers found that the group that ate the oatmeal were twice as likely to either eliminate their blood pressure medication or cut in half.
For best results, eat 3/4 of a cup of non instant organic oatmeal per day. By adding skim milk and banana, you are adding extra calcium and potassium as well.
5. Black Beans
Black beans are high in magnesium and have a high fiber to protein ratio. This helps your body to maintain lower blood sugar and cholesterol levels as the fiber helps to scrub artery walls, which can improve blood pressure. In addition, black beans are a high in folate (folic acid) which helps to reduce systolic blood pressure by relaxing blood vessels and increasing blood flow.
400 mcg of folate is considered the RDA (recommended daily allowance), however, 800 mcg a day of folate has been shown to significantly reduce blood pressure. One cup of cooked black beans provides your body with 256 micrograms of folate. Other foods that are high in folate that you can eat ever day to reach 800 mcg are:
|Source||Serving Size||Amount of Folate/Serving||DV %|
|Lentils||1 cup||358 mcg||90%|
|Pinto Beans||1 cup||294 mcg||74%|
|Garbanzo Beans||1 cup||282 mcg||71%|
|Spinach||1 cup||263 mcg||65%|
|Black Beans||1 cup||256 mcg||64%|
|Navy Beans||1 cup||254 mcg||64%|
|Kidney Beans||1 cup||229 mcg||57%|
|Lima Beans||1 cup||156 mcg||39%|
|Split Peas||1 cup||127 mcg||32%|
|Green Peas||1 cup||101 mcg||25%|
|Green Beans||1 cup||42 mcg||10%|
6. Low Fat Dairy
A 2006 study from Harvard Medical School found that people who ate more than 3 servings per day of low fat dairy had a 2.6 point drop in their systolic blood pressure, compared to those that ate less than half a serving per day.
Foods like, skim milk, cheese and yogurt increase calcium, magnesium, and potassium in your body. The low fats helps the calcium to be better absorbed into your system. So aim for at least 3 servings of low fat dairy a day.
Beets are high in nitrates which the body turns into nitric oxide. Nitric Oxide helps to dilate or widen your arteries, which increases circulation. In addition it has an anti-platelet effect that helps prevent blood clots.
A study at Queen Mary University of London found that people that consumed 1 cup of beet juice a day saw their blood pressure return to normal within 24 hours. To make your own beet juice, combine 2 or 3 ounces of beet juice with an equal amount of carrot juice and then slowly increase the amount of beets as your body adjusts to it.
If you don’t like beets, there are other foods that depending on soil conditions may be high in nitrates. Including:
- Mustard greens
- Turnip tops
- Chinese cabbage
- Regular cabbage
- String beans
8. Leafy greens
Leafy greens, which are high in potassium, include:
- romaine lettuce
- turnip greens
- collard greens
- beet greens
- Swiss chard
We do not recommend canned vegetables because they often have added sodium. But frozen vegetables contain as many nutrients as fresh vegetables, and they’re easier to store.
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