High blood pressure, also called hypertension, is one of the most common risk factors for heart disease. There are at least 1 billion people with a high blood pressure around the world according to WHO. And, this stat clearly makes hypertension one of the most common health problems in the world. Since high blood pressure brings about many serious health conditions that mainly affect the heart, brain, and kidneys, it is important to know how to reduce blood pressure if increased or how to maintain a stable blood pressure level.
There are prescription medications to lower high blood pressure. However, drugs are not the only way to reduce high blood pressure. A healthy diet, regular exercise, stress management and regular health check-ups are also vitally important in managing blood pressure.
Even though all the prevention methods above for hypertension are individually important, in this article, we will focus solely on the foods that are effective ( according to doctors and nutritionists ) for preventing and reducing hypertension.
Nevertheless, before embarking upon it, let’s make a brief description of what high blood pressure is. According to NSH: high blood pressure is considered to be 140/90mmHg or higher whereas ideal blood pressure is between 90/60mmHg and 120/80mmHg.
Please note that the scientific studies and evidence that support the efficacy of the below-given foods in reducing blood pressure are highlighted in red colour.
We recommend you discuss these foods with your physician to ensure that you are free to eat following foods.
Here are the 10 foods that can reduce blood pressure
1- Pumpkin Seeds
Pumpkin seeds’ ability to reduce blood pressure must be stemming from their rich and healthy nutrient content which contains magnesium, iron, fibre, potassium, vitamin K, zinc, healthy fats and more.
Even though all these given nutrients are essential for the human body, especially magnesium and potassium which abound in pumpkin seeds are claimed to be the reason why pumpkin seeds are a good choice to lower high blood pressure.
Eating 20 grams of pumpkin seeds daily may help you regulate your blood pressure.
2- Citrus Fruit
We all know that citrus fruits such as oranges, lemons, and grapefruit are quite beneficial for our health thanks to their nutrient content, particularly vitamin C.
What a thorough scientific study suggests is that citrus fruits can also be effective in terms of regulating blood pressure as well as reducing it. The flavonoid found in citrus fruits is the nutrient that makes citrus fruits effective against hypertension.
Therefore, adding citrus fruits especially lemon into your diet may help avoid health problems that occur as a result of high blood pressure.
For many people, pistachios are the most delicious nuts on earth. And, it’s needless to say these little snacks offer many health benefits with their rich nutrient content.
Don’t forget other nuts such as almonds, hazelnut is also good for heart health.
4- Fatty Fish
Here is a piece of uplifting news for those who enjoy eating fatty fish such as salmon. Scientific studies confirm the importance of fatty fish consumption for heart health.
Fatty fish can provide many essential nutrients for the human body. However, among these essential nutrients, we get from fatty fish especially omega-3 fats have a greater role in reducing blood pressure.
To confirm that, it is important to refer to a scientific study that suggests omega-3 fatty acids decrease the risk of high blood pressure, in turn, heart problems by removing the compounds inside the blood vessels.
Try to consume fatty fish two times a week to manage your blood pressure.
For many years carrots have been associated with many health benefits mainly with improved eye health owing to high vitamin A content.
In addition to the contribution to eye health, according to scientific studies carrots are reduced high blood pressure. A well-rounded scientific study shows how regular consumption of carrot juice decreases blood pressure. These carrots’ ability for regulating blood pressure is often attributed to caffeic acids that help to remove components inside the blood vessels.
Eat carrots regular basis to obtain promised health benefits including healthy eyes and stable blood pressure.
6- Dark Chocolate
According to the Harvard School of Public Health: cacao-rich dark chocolate can reduce high blood pressure. The report says that since dark chocolate consumption helps the body to produce nitric oxide that improves blood flow, it can be effective in reducing high blood pressure.
As long as the consumption is not excessive and the chocolate contains at least 70% cacao, you can add this sweet food to your diet to manage stable blood pressure.
Spinach can provide many essential nutrients and antioxidants with the human body needs. Potassium, calcium, folate and magnesium available in spinach are perfect nutrients for heart health according to doctors.
Especially the amount of potassium spinach contains makes this veggie quite ideal food for those with hypertension. Spinach efficacy in reducing artery stiffness in turn decreasing the risk of experiencing hypertension is proven by a scientific study.
Broccoli can promise many health benefits from reducing inflammation to preventing certain cancers. Just as spinach mentioned in the previous section, broccoli too can be an effective food choice to reduce high blood pressure.
Since broccoli contains flavonoids that are associated with the reduction in cardiovascular diseases, this veggie is considered to be effective in terms of decreasing high blood pressure.
Pulses such as lentils, beans, chickpeas, and peas are a great source of protein and fibre, especially for vegans and vegetarians who don’t consume meat and fish.
A scientific study found that regular consumption of pulses reduce blood pressure level in the participants irrespective of whether or not the participants have hypertension problem.
Berries are famous for being an excellent snack and also offering amazing health benefits. These health benefits range from weight loss to stable blood sugar. And, the heart is not an exception when it comes to the health benefits of berries.
Berries contain an antioxidant known as anthocyanins ( flavonoid ) which is what gives berries vibrant colours. This flavonoid can decrease blood pressure by keeping the blood vessels as clean as possible.
Enjoy them between meals to get the most benefit.
Tarkan is an experienced health writer ( currently more than 600 articles ) and also the founder of this website namely www.neededforhealth.com. His expertise in health stems from in-depth medical research and knowledge which he obtained over the course of many years.
Tarkan enjoys sharing factual knowledge on health, psychology and nutrition. He always aims to deliver evidence-based recommendations, provide links to related scientific studies.