Best Foods for High Blood Pressure
More than 1 billion people across the world are suffering from high blood pressure issues, known as systolic blood pressure (SBP) values (the top number) of 130 mm Hg or more and diastolic blood pressure (DBP, the bottom number) of more than 80 mm Hg, or both.
Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is one of the most common preventable risk factors for heart disease.
To reduce blood pressure levels, medications like angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors are most commonly used. Nevertheless, changes in lifestyle and dietary modifications can also help lower blood pressure levels to optimal ranges and reduce the risk of heart diseases.
Following a nutritious and heart-healthy diet is suggested for people with high blood pressure as well as for those on blood-pressure-lowering medications. A healthy diet is essential for controlling blood pressure and maintaining optimal levels. According to research, including certain foods in your diet that have high amounts of potassium and magnesium helps reduce blood pressure levels.
Table of Contents
Let us take a look at some of the best foods for high blood pressure:
Pumpkin seeds are small but packed with a range of nutrients. These seeds are a concentrated source of nutrients which include magnesium, potassium, and arginine (an amino acid) that is required for the production of nitric oxide, which is important for the relaxation of blood vessels and controlling blood pressure.
Lentils and Beans
According to several studies, adding beans and lentils to your diet can help lower high blood pressure levels as they are rich in nutrients like fiber, magnesium, and potassium, which help regulate blood pressure. A review of 8 studies that included a total number of 554 people, indicated that beans and lentils significantly lowered SBP and average blood pressure levels in people with and without hypertension.
Chia and Flax Seeds
Chia and flax seeds are tiny seeds that are filled with nutrients like potassium, magnesium, and fiber that are essential for the regulation of healthy blood pressure. A 12-week study that included 26 people with high blood pressure found that supplementing with 35 grams of chia seed flour per day led to blood pressure reductions in both medicated and unmedicated people, as compared with a placebo group. Along with that, results from a review of 11 studies suggested that eating flaxseeds may help lower blood pressure levels, mostly when consumed in their whole seed form for 12 weeks or longer.
Carrots are a staple vegetable in many people’s diets. They consist of high amounts of phenolic compounds like chlorogenic, p-coumaric, and caffeic acids, that help relax the blood vessels and reduce inflammation. This in turn may help lower blood pressure levels. Although most people have carrots in the cooked form, eating them raw can be more beneficial for reducing high blood pressure. A study with 2,195 people between ages 40–59 found that raw carrot intake helps lower blood pressure levels.
Broccoli is known for its many benefits on the circulatory system and overall health. Broccoli is filled with flavonoid antioxidants, which may help lower blood pressure by enhancing the functioning of blood vessels and increasing nitric oxide levels in your body thereby maintaining overall health.
Lifestyle modifications like regular exercising and adopting a healthy diet can significantly help lower blood pressure levels and reduce heart-related risks. According to research, adding certain foods like leafy greens, berries, beans, lentils, seeds, citrus fruits, and carrots to your meals and snacks may help you reach and maintain optimal blood pressure levels. If you have high blood pressure levels or are looking to maintain healthy blood pressure, adding a few of the foods mentioned above is a great first step!