The number one cause of death in the United States, high blood pressure is a condition that responds well to diet and lifestyle changes. While medication is often used to treat high blood pressure, diet and exercise can also have a major impact.
A nutritious diet that includes foods that are low in sodium, fat-free or low-fat dairy products and a variety of fruits and vegetables can help lower your blood pressure naturally. Learn more about these hypertension-fighting foods and how to include them in your daily meals.
Oatmeal is one of the best foods to lower your blood pressure. It’s high in soluble fiber, which promotes regular emptying of the bowel and helps maintain a healthy balance of blood sugar levels.
In addition, oats are also a good source of calcium and magnesium. These minerals help reduce high blood pressure and control cholesterol.
Oatmeal is also a low-calorie and filling breakfast choice. It is rich in dietary fiber, which means you’ll feel full after eating a serving. This makes it easier to avoid overeating in the afternoon or evening.
One of the best foods to lower your blood pressure is flaxseed. It’s a great source of fiber and omega-3 fatty acids, which may help regulate systolic and diastolic blood pressure.
The seeds are also rich in lignans, which have antioxidant properties and may help improve heart health. They can be consumed in many different forms, including whole seeds or ground seed meal.
In one study, participants who took a daily capsule of 100 milligrams of lignans for 12 weeks had their cholesterol levels fall by about 30%. This may be due to the lignans’ ability to reduce the amount of cholesterol the body absorbs from food.
A recent study shows that a handful of blueberries can lower your blood pressure. In fact, researchers found that those who ate a handful of blueberries each day had lower systolic pressure, which refers to the amount of pressure in your arteries when your heart muscle contracts, than those who didn’t eat them.
Berries are packed with antioxidants that help prevent oxidative stress in the body, which is caused by free radicals. Oxidative stress can lead to chronic diseases, including high blood pressure.
Spinach, a leafy green vegetable, is rich in vitamins and minerals. It is also a great source of iron, which helps to transport oxygen throughout the body.
It can be eaten as a salad or cooked. It contains oxalates, which can contribute to the development of kidney stones if consumed in large quantities over time; steaming or boiling spinach may help to reduce oxalate levels.
It is also a great source of Vitamin C, which can help to regulate blood pressure and improve cardiovascular health. It also contains potassium, calcium, and magnesium.
5. Dark Chocolate
Chocolate is a sweet treat that many people enjoy, but it can also be good for your health. Specifically, dark chocolate has been shown to lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.
This is thanks to the high levels of flavonoids that are found in dark chocolate, which can help dilate blood vessels and improve vascular function.
These flavonoids are able to stimulate your body to produce nitric oxide, which can relax the arteries and help lower your blood pressure.
However, it is important to choose dark chocolate that has at least 70% cocoa content for the best benefits. Other products, such as milk and white chocolate, contain more sugar and fat, but fewer heart-healthy flavonoids.