Did you know that around 1 billion people in the world suffer from high blood pressure or hypertension? High blood pressure is said to affect about one in every three adults in the United States.
Medications, dietary changes, and other lifestyle habits can significantly lower high blood pressure, giving you a real shot at a long and healthy life. It can also lower the risk of developing other associated conditions such as heart diseases, stroke, kidney disease, etc.
Thus, it is time to watch what you eat. When we think of lowering high blood pressure, we tend to think about eating bland foods and limiting consumption of salty and processed foods. However, a heart-healthy diet is more than limiting your sodium intake. Besides, you can always enjoy your favorite foods if consumed in moderation.
In today’s article, we have provided a detailed guide on the foods you should eat to lower high blood pressure.
10 Foods that lower high blood pressure
Here are 10 foods you should consume to lower your blood pressure:
Different types of berries including strawberries and blueberries contain an important antioxidant compound known as anthocyanins. It is a type of flavonoid which has shown to have significant benefits for lowering hypertension or high blood pressure.
According to research, consuming berries has shown to have an 8 percent reduction in people with high blood pressure. Thus, berries are the number one food you should be consuming in a diet that aims to lower high blood pressure and the risk of coronary heart diseases.
- Low-fat yogurt
Low-fat dairy products like yogurt are an incredible source of calcium and amazing addition to a high blood pressure diet. Calcium is one of the most essential compounds that help in fighting hypertension or high blood pressure. A 12-ounce serving of low-fat yogurt or even fat-free yogurt is enough to give you about 30 percent of your every day recommended amount of calcium.
You can enjoy a cup of low-fat or fat-free yogurt with some berries and homemade granola for a quick healthy snack. It gives you an extra heart-healthy boost.
Whole bananas are an incredible source of potassium. An average-sized whole banana has about 420 milligrams of potassium. That is around 9 percent of your daily recommended intake of potassium. In addition, bananas are rich in fiber and have a natural sweetness. The sweetness of bananas is a great alternative for those trying to control their sugar intake.
You can add bananas to sweeten desserts including muffins, frozen goods, baked treats, and even protein shakes and pre-workout smoothies.
Studies have shown that drinking beet juice can significantly lower high blood pressure both in short term and long term. According to a study conducted in 2015, drinking about 1 cup or 250 milliliters of beet juice every day for 4 weeks can lower blood pressure in people who suffer from hypertension.
Thus, it might be helpful to drink beet juice every day or even add beets to salads.
According to the National Institute of Health or NIH, the compound allicin which is found in garlic is beneficial in reducing high blood pressure in older adults who suffer from hypertension.
Allicin is released when the garlic is chopped or crushed. However, doctors have said that it is best to use whole garlic and avoid garlic supplements. There is no evidence suggesting that garlic supplements can help reduce blood pressure.
You can make your garlic spread by baking it in olive oil, or you could also add chopped or crushed garlic to your dishes.
Oatmeal is hands-down one of the best breakfast foods. Besides, high-fiber whole grains like oatmeal have been linked to lowering the risk of cardiovascular diseases and strokes that can be caused as a result of high blood pressure. According to research, three servings of whole-grain oatmeal can reduce the risk of coronary heart disease by at least 15 percent.
One of the best ways to consume oatmeal is to try those delicious overnight oats recipes. In addition, you could also include other sources of whole grain in your diet in the form of whole-wheat bread, barley, quinoa, brown rice, etc.
- Salmon and other fatty fish
Fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, tuna, sardines, herring, etc, are an incredible source of omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids are known to have significant heart-healthy benefits including reducing inflammation, reducing blood-vessel constricting compounds known as oxylipins, and decreasing high blood pressure.
Fatty fish is also a brilliant source of Vitamin D which helps the body absorb calcium more effectively and regulates blood pressure.
Cooking fatty fish like salmon, tuna, mackerel, herring, etc., is super easy. All you need to do is season it with salt and pepper, herbs, a little olive oil and bake it in the oven.
Avocados are not only delicious, but they are also a rich source of calcium, potassium, and magnesium. One whole avocado contains about 975 milligrams of potassium, which is around 25 percent of your daily recommended intake.
The best way to enjoy avocados is to eat avocado toast or add sliced avocados to salads.
- Dark Chocolate
Cocoa-rich dark chocolate is amazing for reducing high blood pressure. It is rich in flavonol which promotes healthy blood vessel function. Consuming a single square of dark chocolate, about one ounce every day can do wonders for your health. However, remember to not go overboard with it.
- Olive Oil
Last but not least, we have olive oil. Even though olive oil can be high in calories, it is an incredible addition to your diet if you want to lower high blood pressure. Olive oil is rich in polyphenols and several health benefits. You should switch to olive oil and make it your go-to oil while cooking.
Drizzling some olive oil on top of salads or using it as a salad dressing is the best way of including it in your diet.
Also, read 14 Mind Blowing Facts About Proteins
These were 10 of the most incredible foods that help to lower blood pressure.