Many researchers have found that certain foods can lower high blood pressure. We look at which foods work and how to incorporate them into a healthful diet.
Blueberries and strawberries contain anthocyanins, which can help reduce a person’s blood pressure.
Adults should aim to consume 4,700 milligrams (mg) of potassium daily. Other potassium-rich foods include:
cantaloupe and honeydew melon
People with kidney disease should speak to their doctors about potassium, as too much can be harmful.
Drinking beet juice can reduce blood pressure in the short and long terms.
In 2015, researchers reported that drinking red beet juice led to lower blood pressure in people with hypertension who drank 250 milliliters, about 1 cup, of the juice every day for 4 weeks. The researchers noticed some positive effects within 24 hours.
4. Dark chocolate
This sweet treat may lower blood pressure. A review of 15 trials suggests that cocoa-rich chocolate reduces blood pressure in people with hypertension or prehypertension.
Choose high-quality chocolate that contains a minimum of 70 percent cocoa, and consume a single square, or a piece measuring about 1 ounce, each day.
A daily serving of kiwi can reduce blood pressure in people with mildly elevated levels, according to results of one study.
The researchers compared the effects of apples and kiwis on people with slightly high blood pressure.
Watermelon contains an amino acid called citrulline, which may help to manage high blood pressure.
Oats contain a type of fiber called beta-glucan, which may reduce blood cholesterol levels. Beta-glucan may also lower blood pressure, according to some research.
8. Leafy green vegetables
Leafy green vegetables are rich in nitrates, which help to manage blood pressure. Some research suggests that eating 1–2 servings of nitrate-rich vegetables every day can reduce hypertension for up to 24 hours.
Examples of leafy greens include:
Eating garlic can increase a person’s nitric oxide levels. Garlic is a natural antibiotic and antifungal food.
Its main active ingredient, allicin, is often responsible for associated health benefits.
10. Fermented foods
Fermented foods are rich in probiotics, which are beneficial bacteria that play an important role in maintaining gut health. Eating probiotics can have a modest effect on high blood pressure, according to a review of nine studies.
The researchers reported more enhanced effects when study participants consumed:
multiple species of probiotic bacteria
probiotics regularly for more than 8 weeks
atleast 100 billion colony-forming units a day
Fermented foods to add to the diet include:
apple cider vinegar
11. Lentils and other pulses
Lentils are a staple of many diets around the world, as they are an excellent source of vegetarian protein and fiber.
Lentils are very versatile. Many people use them as a vegetarian alternative to minced beef or to add bulk to salads, stews, and soups. A range of lentils is available for purchase online.
12. Natural yogurt
The America Heart Association has reported that yogurt may reduce the risk of high blood pressure in women.
Drinking 1 cup of pomegranate juice daily for 28 days can lower high blood pressure in the short term, according to the findings of a study from 2012. The researchers attributed this effect to the fruit’s antioxidant content.
Cinnamon may also help to reduce blood pressure, at least in the short-term.
An analysis of three studies showed that cinnamon decreased short-term systolic blood pressure by 5.39 mm Hg and diastolic blood pressure by 2.6 mm Hg. However, more research is needed.
Consuming pistachio nuts may decrease a person’s risk of hypertension.
Pistachios are healthful nuts that may decrease hypertension.