Eight Foods Clinically Proven To Lower Your Blood Pressure

Written by Eli Ben-Yehuda

On May 3, 2022

High blood pressure can triple your risk of heart attack, heart failure, and stroke. It’s the silent killer that you don’t even know about — until it hits!

While it is important to use medications if you have to, your diet and the foods you eat can also be a helpful tool in lowering your blood pressure naturally.

Here are natural foods to lower blood pressure:
#1: Dark chocolate

foods that lower blood pressure dark chocolateThere’s no getting around it, most of us absolutely adore chocolate!

And the good news is, you don’t have to give up your sweet indulgence – if you choose the right type of

Cocoa, the major ingredient in chocolate, contains compounds called flavanols, which come from the cacao bean. Scientists have known for some time that these compounds have a wide range of beneficial effects on cardiovascular health.

In fact, indulging in some good quality cocoa has been shown to help relax arteries and improve blood flow, along with decreasing both systolic and diastolic blood pressure.

However, this is not a free license to consume as much chocolate as you please. The benefits are found in the cocoa so you can try to chocolate-up your food. For instance, try adding an unsweetened cocoa powder to your morning oatmeal, coffee, smoothie, or yogurt, or make your own hot chocolate with unsweetened cocoa powder and milk.

Or, if you’re going to indulge in the chocolate itself, choose the darkest chocolate you can find.

#2: Apple

foods that lower blood pressure appleAn apple a day keeps the doctor away!

And in terms of assisting with blood pressure control, this may also be true.

Apples contain a flavonol called quercetin, which is also found in other plant-based foods such as onions, citrus fruits, berries, red grapes, red wine, broccoli, bark roots, flowers, and tea.

And this quercetin flavonol happens to have blood pressure-lowering effects.

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In one clinical trial where hypertensive participants supplemented with 730 mg/day of quercetin for 28 days, versus placebo. The groups supplementing saw an average 7 mmHg reduction in systolic pressure, and 5 mmHg reduction in diastolic pressure.

 

#3: Healthy fats

foods that lower blood pressure fishFats contain fatty acids, and some fatty acids are great for cardiovascular health. For instance, omega-3 fatty acids.

One of omega-3’s main benefits is its ability to calm inflammation throughout the body. And according to a review of seventy clinical trials, consumption of omega-3s may reduce systolic blood pressure by an average of 1.52 mmHg, and diastolic blood pressure by an average of 0.99 mmHg.

OMEGA 3 food sources include:

  • Salmon
  • Sardines
  • Mackerel
  • Flaxseed
  • Chia seeds
#4: Olive oil

foods that lower blood pressure olive oilExtra virgin olive oil is an omega-9 fatty acid and contains more than 36 beneficial phenolic compounds. One specific compound, known as oleocanthal, has been discovered to have very powerful natural anti-inflammatory benefits.

This is great news since cardiovascular disease often involves a state of low-grade chronic inflammation in the body. But more than that, researchers suggest olive oil may influence genes that regulate the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system, the hormonal blood pressure control engine.

One study found that olive oil consumption of 25 mL/day (equivalent to about 2 tablespoons) can lower systolic blood pressure by an average of 4.2 mmHg and diastolic pressure by an average of 2.1 mmHg.

However, don’t go purchasing the cheapest olive oil you can find. If you want to reap the benefits, your oil must be a good quality extra virgin olive.

#5: Flaxseed

foods that lower blood pressure flax seedFlaxseed contains a variety of substances that may be beneficial to blood pressure – α-linolenic acid, lignans, and fiber. Flaxseed can be eaten as a whole seed, as a ground flaxseed meal, which you can put in baked goods or add to cereals. Or it can be taken as a flaxseed oil supplement.

A review of 14 clinical trials showed the average blood pressure reduction from consuming flaxseed was 1.77 mmHg systolic and 1.58 mmHg diastolic. And if you consume whole flaxseeds daily for more than 12 weeks, diastolic blood pressure may reduce even further, up to 1.93 mmHg.

#6: Beetroot juice

foods that lower blood pressure beetroot juiceRaw beet juice contains phytochemicals that have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. Alongside those phytochemicals are compounds called nitrates.

The nitrates found in beets are a source of nitric oxide (NO), a natural vasodilator, which means they help to relax and dilate the blood vessels in your body.

When your blood vessels are dilated, the blood is flowing with greater ease and your blood pressure naturally lowers. As a consequence, blood pressure levels are lower. In fact, one study found that just 6 hours after consuming beetroot juice, people’s systolic blood pressure was 4 to 5 mmHg lower!

Although red beets are the richest natural source of nitrates, there are other vegetables you can snack on that also contain them — celery, spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, garlic, and onions.

#7: Hibiscus tea

foods that lower blood pressure hibiscus teaIf you have a hibiscus tree in your garden, pick a few flowers and brew yourself a tea!

Hibiscus tea is often termed ‘sour tea.’ And as it turns out, the hibiscus plant is rich in organic acids, polyphenols, anthocyanins, polysaccharides and nutrients that are beneficial for the cardiovascular system.

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A review of clinical trials found that those who consumed hibiscus tea regularly had a lower systolic blood pressure of up to 7.58 mmHg, and lower diastolic blood pressure of up to 3.53 mmHg.

 

#8: Sweet potatoes
and leafy greens

foods that lower blood pressure sweet potatoThese foods are high in many nutrients, but one that’s particularly helpful for blood pressure is potassium.

When researchers looked at data from 17,000 adults they noticed that those who had lower blood pressure had a higher potassium intake. Since then several clinical trials have shown that increasing potassium does, in fact, lower blood pressure.

And interestingly, you don’t have to increase your intake by much.

Even a small increase of just 250 mg per day in potassium may lower blood pressure by 2 to 3 mmHg. In those that already have high blood pressure, the results may be as much as 7.2 mm Hg systolic and 2.8 mmHg diastolic.

Let’s put that amount of potassium into perspective with a few food sources:

  • Beet greens – 1039 mg potassium per one cup
  • Swiss chard – 961 mg per one cup
  • Spinach – 839 mg per one cup
  • Sweet potato – 839 mg per one potato

As you can see, as little as one quarter to one half a cup of leafy greens a day could help lower your blood pressure.

Did you notice something about all these foods that lower blood pressure?

They are all natural, whole foods!

It goes without saying that eating a healthy diet rich in fruit and vegetables is one of the best ways to control blood pressure naturally.

In fact, when people quit eating the standard American diet — filled with processed foods, added sugar and added salt — and switch to fruits, veggies, whole grains and whole food sources, blood pressure can be lowered anywhere from 3.5 to 11.4 mmHg.

And what’s more, these levels are maintained when a healthy diet is continued!

If you’re ready to make a few changes, the Mediterranean diet and DASH diet (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) are both excellent whole food-based heart-healthy diets to follow.

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11 Replies to “Eight Foods Clinically Proven To Lower Your Blood Pressure”

  1. Is consuming an amount of olives, the same thing as consuming an amount of olive oil?

    How many grams of olives and how many grams of olive oil, should one consume on a

    daily basis, to assist in controlling high blood pressure?

    1. From NutritionFacts.org: extra-virgin olive oil may impair endothelial function. Why then do some studies suggest people’s endothelial function improves on a Mediterranean diet, which is rich in olive oil? Perhaps because that diet is also rich in whole grains, fruits, vegetables, beans, and walnuts. Dietary fruits and vegetables seem to provide some protection against the direct impairment of endothelial function produced by high-fat foods, including olive oil. Thus, health improvements may be in spite of, rather than because of, the oil. Simply adding some vegetables to a fatty meal may partially restore arterial functioning and blood flow.

      We can think of extra-virgin olive oil a little like fruit juice: It has nutrients, but the calories are relatively empty compared to those from the whole fruit. (Olives are, after all, fruits.) Freshly squeezed olive juice already has less nutrition than the whole fruit, but then olive oil producers also throw away the olive wastewater, which contains the water-soluble nutrients. As a result, we end up getting just a small fraction of the nutrition of the whole fruit by the time extra-virgin olive oil is bottled. Refined olive oil (non-virgin) is even worse and, along with other vegetable oils, offers scant nutrition for their heavy caloric loads.

  2. I really need all the help I can get. I am so tired of depending on medications. Because drugs loves to hurt some other place instead of concentrating on the specific area

    1. Dear James, I fully understand. Many of the people I work with hate taking the medications. They tell me the side effects are worse than the actual problem.

  3. If you have chronic stage 3 kidney disease and high blood pressure are you able to consume potassium?

    1. Hi Vera, With kidney disease potassium presents a problem. Because you kidneys do not work properly they will not excrete all the K+.
      This can cause serious issues. I would speak with your nephrologist. Kindest Regards, Eli.

    2. I had kidney failure 13 years ago from hypertension now I am 79 years old with strong diet & will power ,now I am on stage 3 ,all years,I take only bp medication now let’s talk about potassium,I eat a lot of fruits & vegetables & some natural food with potassium & my potassium is always normal the only be carful from supplements &
      Starchy carbs like potatoes,,,,etc ,so don’t worry about natural fresh food ,good luck.

  4. A book title Celery Juice Author Anthony Williams according to this book High Blood Pressure is caused by the LIVER the LIVER is a filter that MUST be cleansed.

    STAY SAFE

  5. extra-virgin olive oil may impair endothelial function. Why then do some studies suggest people’s endothelial function improves on a Mediterranean diet, which is rich in olive oil? Perhaps because that diet is also rich in whole grains, fruits, vegetables, beans, and walnuts. Dietary fruits and vegetables seem to provide some protection against the direct impairment of endothelial function produced by high-fat foods, including olive oil. Thus, health improvements may be in spite of, rather than because of, the oil. Simply adding some vegetables to a fatty meal may partially restore arterial functioning and blood flow.

    We can think of extra-virgin olive oil a little like fruit juice: It has nutrients, but the calories are relatively empty compared to those from the whole fruit. (Olives are, after all, fruits.) Freshly squeezed olive juice already has less nutrition than the whole fruit, but then olive oil producers also throw away the olive wastewater, which contains the water-soluble nutrients. As a result, we end up getting just a small fraction of the nutrition of the whole fruit by the time extra-virgin olive oil is bottled. Refined olive oil (non-virgin) is even worse and, along with other vegetable oils, offers scant nutrition for their heavy caloric loads.

  6. A systematic review and meta-analysis published in the Journal of the American Medical Association looked at all the best randomized clinical trials evaluating the effects of omega-3 fats on life span, cardiac death, sudden death, heart attack, and stroke. These included studies not only on fish oil supplements, but also on the effects of advising people to eat more oily fish. Overall, the researchers found no protective benefit for overall mortality, heart disease mortality, sudden cardiac death, heart attack, or stroke.

    After putting all the studies together, researchers concluded there was no longer justification for the use of omega-3s in everyday clinical practice.

    Fish oil, even purified (“distilled”) fish oil, has been found to be contaminated with PCBs and other pollutants. The concentration of dioxin-like pollutants in fish oil is so high that when taken as directed, salmon, herring, and tuna oils can cause the average person’s overall daily intake to exceed the tolerable limit of toxicity. This may help explain the studies that found adverse effects of fish consumption on cognitive function in adults and children.

    Thankfully, you can get the benefits without the risks by getting long-chain omega-3s from algae instead, which is where the fish primarily get it from to begin with. By getting EPA and DHA directly from the source at the bottom of the food chain, you don’t have to worry about pollutant contamination. In fact, the algae used for supplements are just grown in tanks and never even come in contact with the ocean.

    The information on this page has been compiled from Dr. Greger’s research. Sources for each video listed can be found by going to the video’s page and clicking on the Sources Cited tab. References may also be found at the back of his books.

  7. Dennis, I want to know the same thing as I cannot take the oil alone. If it’s not asking too much could you please let me know
    when you get a reply. Thank you so much..
    Olive

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