9 Superfoods That Can Help Lower Your Blood Pressure

Load your plate with foods from the DASH diet and reap the benefits.

Jan 17, 2020

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Keeping your blood pressure in check is one of the best ways to stay healthy. Since prevention is the best cure, eating right before you see the numbers climbing is the way to go.

High blood pressure, or hypertension, refers to the amount of force of blood against arterial walls. If the pressure is too high, according to Healthline, you can damage the blood vessels and possibly suffer from heart disease, stroke, or kidney disease. A blood pressure reading that is above 120/80 is considered high.

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that 75 million Americans suffer from high blood pressure and many are not aware they even have it. While some factors are out of your hands – like genetics, age, and ethnicity – there are things that you can do to prevent or reduce hypertension. Diet is one of the most important.

That's why if diagnosed, following the Dash Diet – a flexible and balanced eating plan for heart health – can help you lower your numbers. Eating a diet that is high in potassium, magnesium, and fiber can help you reduce and possibly prevent the onset of high blood pressure.

Here are nine delicious superfoods that you probably already have in your kitchen that will let you eat your way to health: 

Leafy Greens

These colorful fresh vegetables are rich in nitrates that help to lower your blood pressure and chock full of potassium which helps your kidneys get rid of sodium according to Medical News Today. Some research shows that eating one or two servings of leafy greens every day can help to reduce your blood pressure numbers for up to a full day. Leafy greens that can help are romaine lettuce, arugula, kale, turnip greens, collard greens, spinach, beet greens, and Swiss chard.

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Red Beets

Beets are high in nitric acid which according to Healthline can open your blood vessels by reducing inflammation and lowering your blood pressure. It is so effective that researchers found that the nitrates in beetroot juice can lower blood pressure in just 24 hours. You can juice your own beets or cook and eat the entire beet. Beets are delicious when roasted with other root vegetables or added to stews or stir-fries.

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Bananas Plus

This morning go-to fruit is loaded with potassium which plays a vital role in containing hypertension. Medical News Today said that you should try to eat 4,700 milligrams (mg) of potassium daily. Add this superfood to oatmeal and get double benefits that include lowering cholesterol. Other potassium rich foods are avocados, melons, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, tuns, beans, and mushrooms

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Flax and Seeds

Unsalted seeds are high in that all-important mineral potassium and other minerals that can help reduce blood pressure. Flax is particularly high in omega-3 fats, lignans and fiber (which can help reduce blood pressure). Snack on a quarter cup of sunflower, pumpkin, or squash seeds. Grind flax and other seeds to make a tasty healthy coating for chicken or fish or add to yogurt or cereals. There are recipes galore.

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Low-Fat Yogurt

Yogurt and other low-fat dairy products do a good job of reducing the risk of developing hypertension. In fact, the American Heart Association said that women who ate more than five servings a week had a 20 percent reduction in their risk. Just watch the sugar content in yogurt. Combine low-fat dairy products with oats, bananas or seeds for added benefits.

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Oats and Oatmeal

Oats contain a specific type of fiber called beta-glucan (also found in barley) which Medical News Today says may reduce blood cholesterol and blood pressure. Make oatmeal for breakfast or add oats to pancakes, breads, and other baked goods. Add oat bran to any other whole grain cereal to make it even healthier.

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Salmon and More

Fish is a great source of protein and fatty fish like salmon, mackerel are full of omega-3 fatty acids that can lower blood pressure, reduce inflammation, and lower triglycerides; the bad cholesterol. Fish also contains vitamin D that has properties that can also lower blood pressure. In fact, fish and olive oil which is also high in omega-3 are a very important part of the Mediterranean Diet.

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Pistachio Nuts

Eating pistachio nuts that are rich in healthy fats, magnesium, and potassium is a very tasty way to decrease your blood pressure because it can decrease your blood pressure by reducing peripheral vascular resistance (blood vessel tightening), and heart rate according to Healthline. One study found that eating one serving of pistachios a day can help to reduce your numbers. Eat them as a snack, add them to cereals or yogurt, use them as in ice cream, or as a topping.

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Very Berry

Strawberries and blueberries contain antioxidant compounds that are called anthocyanins which are a type of flavonoid. Researchers in a study of 34,000 people with hypertension found that people who ate fruits with the highest amount of anthocyanins had an eight percent reduction in the risk of blood pressure. Eat berries as a snack or add them to oatmeal or smoothies.

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BONNIE RIVA RAS, EDITOR & WRITER
Bonnie Riva Ras has dedicated her life to promoting social justice. She loves to write about empowering women, helping children, educational innovations, and advocating for the environment & sustainability.