If you’re suffering from high blood pressure, you might want to consider adding some key foods to your diet. Unlike the standard drug treatment—beta blockers—the following foods work on restoring healthy blood pressure by clearing the arteries or removing plaque, rather than reducing the heart’s output of blood. Let’s face it: you might actually want oxygen-rich blood circulating throughout your blood vessels to feed your organs and brain. Here are the top research-proven foods to help if you have high blood pressure.
Magnesium is one of the key electrolytes involved in a healthy heart, blood vessels and blood pressure. Known as Mother’s Nature’s relaxation mineral, the magnesium found in almonds are a great way to help restore healthy blood pressure. A one-ounce serving of almonds contains 20 percent of the recommended daily intake of magnesium.
Beets are among the most powerful natural treatments for high blood pressure. Research published in the medical journal Nitric Oxide showed that consuming more naturally-occuring nitrates, like the ones found in beets, is helpful in the treatment of hypertension. Naturally-sourced nitrates are converted in your body to nitric oxide—compounds that improve blood pressure. Other research published in the Journal of Human Hypertensiondemonstrated that raw beet juice was even more effective than cooked beets, although both are helpful.
Research in the journal Lipids in Health and Disease found that cinnamon improved all markers of the condition known as metabolic syndrome, including high blood pressure. Metabolic syndrome is a collection of symptoms that include: excessive abdominal fat, high blood sugar levels, high blood pressure, and abnormal cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
Potassium is arguably the most important mineral in regulating blood pressure, since it counterbalances the blood-pressure-raising effects of sodium as they work together to create balanced cellular pressure. Figs are good sources of potassium which is needed to regulate blood pressure.
Research published in the journal Clinical Nutrition to reduce high blood pressure levels. Unlike drugs, foods like flax don’t unnaturally drop blood pressure, they work to restore a healthy blood pressure balance.
Red and purple grapes are high in a compound called resveratrol which is a potent anti-inflammatory, making them an excellent choice in the prevention of heart disease. Resveratrol improves the dilation of blood vessels and relaxes the walls of the blood vessels, which may help to lower blood pressure.
Green is the color of balanced blood pressure, if you’re loading up on your favorite leafy greens, that is. So load up on: beet greens, collard, kale, lettuce, parsley and spinach. According to research in the journal Atherosclerosis vegetables with a high lutein content, like leafy greens, reduce the risk of heart disease that is a concern to many people with high blood pressure.
According to research published in EurekAlert!, the science newsletter of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, people who eat mangoes experience a reduction in high blood pressure in as little as 2 hours thanks to the fruit’s naturally-occurring heart- and blood-vessel-healing compounds known as mangiferin, quercetin, gallotannins and gallic acid.
According to research in the journal Archives of Medical Science tomatoes may be a great option for people with high blood pressure or at a high risk of heart disease.
Lycopene found in watermelon has also been linked to a reduced risk of heart disease, atherosclerosis and high blood pressure. This delicious pink-colored fruit contains a nutrient known as citrulline, which in its conversion to the amino acid arginine increases the body’s stores of nitric oxide. Nitric oxide helps to relax blood vessels and improves blood flow, which accounts for watermelon’s ability to help regulate high blood pressure.
According to researchers at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington found that a low intake of nuts and seeds was the leading dietary risk factor for death from cardiovascular disease (CVD). Walnuts are particularly great because they are rich in Omega 3 fatty acids that reduce inflammation throughout the body, including within the arteries.