Last Updated on June 18, 2018 by Michael Brockbank
High blood pressure affects many of us. Unfortunately, there is a wide number of things that cause hypertension. Everything from a lack of sleep to high levels of stress will directly affect you. But can you eat your way to lower your blood pressure?
That depends on several factors such as your overall health, cause of the pressure increase and if you have other underlying symptoms. You can’t solve everything with the proper foods.
However, it’s possible for food to make a big impact in how your body functions.
How Foods Affect Your Blood Pressure
There’s no doubt that what you eat will affect you. The human body requires a certain level of nutrition to keep everything operating as it should. Without these nutrients, your body will slowly begin to break down.
In the past, it was believed reducing sodium intake would decrease the risk of stroke and ischaemic heart disease. This was followed by many studies linking high salt content to increased blood pressure and other ailments. [note]NCBI – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1669188/[/note]
However, sodium may not have the same impact on people across the board. In one study, a low-sodium diet didn’t have an overly dramatic decrease to blood pressure. [note]Science Daily – https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/04/170425124909.htm[/note]
Coincidentally, potassium and other elements were found to improve blood pressure in subjects. This includes the study I mentioned a second ago. This is because potassium regulates our cardiovascular system and acts as a balance compared to sodium intake. [note]NCBI – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1627756[/note]
Foods high in nitric oxide act as a vasodilator, which results in lowering blood pressure. A deficiency in this could complicate the cardiovascular system and eventually lead to things such as arteriosclerosis because of hardening vessels and arteries. [note]NCBI – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17170603[/note] [note]Mayo Clinic – https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/arteriosclerosis-atherosclerosis/symptoms-causes/syc-20350569[/note]
Imagine you have a garden hose with a closed nozzle on the end. Before you release the torrent of water, the hose has a great deal of pressure. Once you begin releasing the water, the hose relaxes. This is similar to how arteries throughout your body work.
9 Foods that Will Help Lower Your Blood Pressure
The foods you eat may give you a way to lower your blood pressure naturally and quickly depending on your situation. In some circumstances, you might have a possibility of curbing your blood pressure without the use of medications.
So, what foods can you eat that may lower your blood pressure?
Spinach, among most other greens and vegetables, is high in nitrates. Which means it promotes nitric oxide in the body, as I mentioned above. Spinach is also loaded with a slew of vitamins and minerals that promote a healthy cardiovascular system.
- Beetroot Juice
Beetroots are heavy in nitrates, which convert into nitric oxide as with spinach. It’s believed that drinking beetroot juice helps lower your blood pressure while softening the arteries. And because it’s a juice, it will act rather quickly because it takes less time to digest.
Another food usually high in nitrates is carrots. They also contain a fair amount of beta carotene, potassium as well as antioxidants that suppress lipid peroxidation. In other words, it has vast potential to lower you blood pressure especially when consumed as a juice. [note]NCBI – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3192732/[/note]
In one study, garlic extract was discovered as effective for blood pressure as other standard forms of medication. Things to note is the amount of nitric oxide as well as folate and B-complex vitamins that promote cardiovascular health. [note]NCBI – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4266250/[/note]
- Dark Chocolate
Yes, even the sweets have potential to help lower your blood pressure. Dark chocolate is rich in magnesium, which contributes to the regulation of blood flow and stabilizing blood pressure. [note]Medical News Today – https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/311571.php[/note]
Many types of fish contain omega-3 fatty acids and magnesium, which contributes to lowering blood pressure. Although more studies are needed, there is strong evidence that things like salmon and other sea foods will affect the cardiovascular system. Many people will simply take fish oil pills. [note]NCBI – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3235507/[/note]
- Green Tea
Not only is green tea loaded with antioxidants, but it also has high concentrations of catechins. According to various studies, this is one of the main factors behind how green tea is able to lower your blood pressure. Again, anything in liquid form will begin to affect you quickly as it digests faster. [note]NCBI – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4150247/[/note]
Not only are bananas good for consuming potassium, they also contain magnesium. In fact, one cup of sliced bananas has 10% of what you need in a day. This breaks down to about 40.5 mg. [note]Self Nutrition Data – http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/fruits-and-fruit-juices/1846/2[/note]
Strawberries contain a large amount of potassium. In fact, one cup of sliced berries provides 254mg. They also contain a bit of magnesium as well as quite a bit of vitamin C. This means they are an excellent nutritional source to boost cardiovascular health.
The take away from this should be to drink more green tea and eat far more leafy greens. Of course, this is about par for any diet to combat a range of ailments.
It all boils down to eating more things that are “healthy” for you and fewer processed junk foods. And the best part is, most of these foods that will lower your blood pressure are very common.
Food Isn’t the Only Thing that Helps
Although eating right will definitely help lower your blood pressure, sometimes it’s the external situations that count. Reducing your stress, getting enough sleep and removing yourself from tense situations will play a part.
In fact, I was stage 3 hypertensive at one point in my life. As soon as I stopped driving in rush hour traffic, my pressure dropped dramatically.
Perhaps one of the hardest parts about trying to lower your blood pressure is you. Everyone is different, and each situation may need quite a bit of personalization.
In other words, what works well for one person may not be all that grand for yourself. It’s always best to get an opinion from a real doctor about your own needs. However, you can’t go wrong by eating healthy.
Besides, healthy foods are rich in vitamins and minerals that help in more ways than just blood pressure. Food can stave off cancer, aid in combating mental degradation and even improve your memory and thought.
Create Balance in Yourself
Don’t get me wrong; I love sweets as much as the next guy. However, I also understand the value of proper nutrition and how it can change your life. It’s all about creating balance within and gaining benefits from better food choices.
Discover a better way to eat and give yourself the best chance of survival. The right diet could literally add years to your life.[template id=”3591″]