Have you been concerned about your blood pressure? Hopefully, you’re eating these specific foods to help with it. There are many foods that lower blood pressure that needs to be included in the daily diet.

Failure to include some of these foods will make it tougher for your body to combat rises in blood pressure. This article will look at why you need to get blood pressure down and the 8 best foods you need to eat.

What Causes High Blood Pressure?

High blood pressure or hypertension affects around 67 million adults in the U.S. alone. Your heart is the pump in your body that of course circulates blood. It sends blood through blood vessels of all sizes. The problem is, these vessels need to stay elastic to keep you healthy, and several things can cause them to weaken including:

  • Smoking
  • Diabetes
  • High cholesterol
  • Family history
  • inactivity
  • Increased age
  • Family history

When these things cause the weakening of the artery, your heart has to pump harder to move the blood through your body. These arteries now become smaller and stiffer, and the more blood your heart has to pump through them, the higher your blood pressure goes.

When the force of all this blood against the artery wall gets too high, life-threatening issues can happen. Some problems include:

  • Kidney disease
  • Stroke
  • Heart attack
  • Heart disease

High blood pressure is 100% something that needs to be addressed by your doctor. They need to be the authority on the issue to assess your personal situation. There will still be some standard things you must do to help lower blood pressure naturally such as losing weight, increasing your activity, quitting smoking, reducing or eliminating salt, and lowering stress. If you’ve been healthy but still want to prevent your blood pressure from rising, you need to include these foods that lower blood pressure.

1. Dark Leafy Greens

Not only do dark leafy greens help lower blood pressure, but they are also some of the healthiest foods you can eat. Think dark green leafy greens like:

  • Swiss chard
  • Kale
  • Spinach
  • Turnip greens
  • Collard greens
  • Arugula

The darker the green, the better. This dark green indicates a deep phytonutrient and mineral content. They also contain potassium that helps your body get rid of excess sodium.

2. Olive Oil

Olive oil is a big part of the Mediterranean diet which constantly shows healthy blood pressure levels. It is also great as it can replace any inferior vegetable oils which can be detrimental to your health. Olive oil is a healthy fat that is filled with polyphenols.

These are compounds that fight inflammation and can improve heart health and lower blood pressure. Use olive oil instead of commercial salad dressings and to cook with.

3. Berries

The fruit is good, but the berries are better. Berries are a low glycemic, high fiber choice that is filled with polyphenols and antioxidants which makes them some of the best foods to lower blood pressure. Your best choices will be blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, and strawberries. Once last surprising berry, you should include: avocados.

Yes, avocados are technically considered a berry! This is another food that is heart-friendly and can lower your blood pressure. It also has healthy fats and potassium to help with this.



4. Red Beets

Red beets are great to add to salads and help give freshness to dishes. When it comes to blood pressure, red beets are high in nitric oxide. This is a compound that helps to open up your blood vessels and this can allow for normal blood pressure.

5. Broccoli

Broccoli is not only low calorie and full of iron but can help protect your blood pressure from rising. Using broccoli is also a good choice as it contains great amounts of calcium, potassium, and magnesium; three things important to keep blood pressure levels healthy.

6. Nuts & Seeds

It’s important that these are raw nuts and seeds and not ones that have been roasted and salted. The excess levels of salt can lead to possible blood pressure issues. The nuts and seeds you want to focus on are things like:

  • Walnuts
  • almonds
  • sunflower seeds
  • sesame seeds
  • pumpkin seeds

These are all full of protein, fiber, healthy fats, antioxidants, and vitamin E. They can help reduce blood vessel tightening to keep blood pressure levels normal.

7. Garlic

This is another one of the tops foods you want to eat often that lowers blood pressure. Garlic also is a great immune system booster and one of the best ways to elevate the flavor of any dish. When it comes to heart health, its high levels of allicin help to fight off high blood pressure.

Allicin is what gives garlic its pungent smell, but this is where all the health benefits lie. You can take capsules of garlic that come in odorless varieties, but using it raw will always be good.



8. Dark Chocolate

This may be music to your ears, but we’re talking about a specific type of dark chocolate. You want to look for dark chocolate that is at least 70% cacao solids. Ideally, it will be higher around the 90% level. This is not sweet chocolate like you would find in a candy bar, but more bitter. This bitterness indicates its super high level of antioxidants and polyphenols.

Various studies constantly show that this is a food that helps to lower blood pressure. But here’s the thing: Dark chocolate is high in calories so you don’t want to go overboard with it. Stick to a square or two a day to get the health benefits and keep your sweet tooth at bay.

Final Thoughts

Blood pressure is an ugly problem, but fortunately, it’s one that can be improved by natural ways. Improving your activity and cutting out junk will go along way. When you add in these foods that lower blood pressure, you can make some great improvements.

You may also notice that these are pretty common foods that are cheap and easy to include in your diet. Make it a point to get as many of these as you can each day to stay as healthy as possible.

References:

  1. https://www.health.harvard.edu/
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/
Jamie Logie, B.Sc.

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