Adding certain types of foods to your diet can make a significant difference in lowering high blood pressure. The following blood-pressure lowering foods are a great addition to your heart-healthy diet plan.
Blood-Pressure Lowering Foods
1. Fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy foods. According to the landmark 1997 study called Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH), eating more of these blood-pressure lowering foods lowered systolic blood pressure by 11.4 points and diastolic pressure by 5.5 points—reductions on par with those achieved by blood pressure medications. DASH participants realized these gains even without losing weight or cutting back on sodium.
2. Wild Alaskan salmon, organic nuts and seeds, free-range meats, sardines, DHA-fortified eggs, or fermented soy are also great blood-pressure lowering foods. Make sure that you include this kind of healthy protein in every meal. A consistent association exists between a high protein intake, particularly non-animal protein, and lowering high blood pressure. Fermented milk supplemented with whey protein concentrate is also effective for lowering blood pressure.
3. Oatmeal. After eight weeks of eating a soluble, fiber-rich whole grain such as oatmeal every morning, one study of hypertensive men and women found that more than 70 percent were able to lower high blood-pressure medication by at least half. More than one-third eliminated high blood-pressure medication completely.
4. Omega-3s. They stimulate the production of nitric oxide, a compound produced by the endothelium that keeps arteries properly dilated and counteracts the vasoconstricting effect of stress. For best results, eat cold-water fish three times per week to lower blood pressure.
5. Garlic. This herb may lower high blood pressure as effectively as some pharmaceuticals. Research has shown that reductions of 8.4 systolic points and 7.3 diastolic points are possible with garlic. In fact, the higher your blood pressure, the more significant the drop. Four cloves of garlic (about four grams) daily are required to achieve a noticeably lower blood pressure level.