Diet is the number one way to reduce high blood pressure or hypertension. This is one of the most important ways to control or avoid the condition. There are other approaches such as lifestyle changes such as quitting smoking and limiting alcohol intake. But these dietary changes are the best way to control it or avoid its onset altogether. Reducing your blood pressure through diet alone can reduce your blood pressure from high to normal by about 5-8mm Hg, depending on your current level. So, what about food to lower blood pressure?
A lot of people think that to lower your hypertension, you need to cut out all types of red meat. This is a common misconception and simply isn’t true. Studies have shown that there’s no scientific evidence to suggest that eating less red meat will lower your hypertension. The reason is that there is plenty of low-fat, low-sodium and low-cholesterol food available that doesn’t come from animals.
Ingesting more fiber, vitamins and minerals can also significantly lower your blood pressure. This includes calcium, vitamin C, potassium, magnesium supplementation, beta-carotene (found in carrots, cantaloupe and broccoli), and food enzymes. Low-fat whole foods are also important to keep your arteries clean. This includes lean meats, seafood, fruits and vegetables, and whole grain breads and cereals. If you do take a supplement, look for a multi-nutritional supplement that includes vitamins, minerals, fiber, amino acids and herbs.
Some plants actually contain vitamin k2 (also known as vitamin K), which is an essential mineral for healthy blood vessels. However, most plants lack this crucial nutrient. You may eat enough vitamin k2 in your diet to reduce your risk of stroke or develop cardiovascular disease. But you still need to add extra vitamin k2 to your diet to get the benefits of the mineral.
Olive oil is full of antioxidants and heart-protective nutrients, including vitamins A, D and E. Extra virgin olive oil has a high saturated fat content, but it also contains healthy monounsaturated oils that reduce cholesterol and increase HDL levels (good cholesterol). It is one of nature’s richest sources of essential fatty acids. Extra virgin olive oil also contains high levels of magnesium, which is another heart-protective nutrient. It may even lower your cholesterol and reduce your risk of developing cardiovascular disease. There are no studies to suggest that olive oil alone can cure or prevent heart disease, but if taken in combination with other healthy foods it may reduce your risk of developing cardiovascular disease.
Green tea is rich in antioxidants, particularly flavonoids, polyphenols and terpenoids. These compounds have been shown in numerous studies to be effective anti-inflammatory, anti-platelet, anti-tumor and anti-oxidant agents. They have also been shown to reduce the risk of developing cardiovascular disease and some cancers, and to increase life expectancy. One of the best sources of green tea is green tea extract, which may help reduce blood pressure while simultaneously increasing the antioxidant activity of the body.
Calcium is strongly linked with good cardiovascular health and is one of the three nutrients most commonly deficient in a less-than-healthy diet. We all need calcium, and too little can cause over-worked joints, a weak immune system, and poor bone density. Fortunately, the supplement of calcium is found in many of the healthiest foods on the planet. So even if you do not eat much calcium-rich food, you may still be able to benefit from a daily dose of vitamin k2.
Watermelon is one food to lower blood pressure that should definitely be included in your diet. As one of the largest fruits, watermelon contains plenty of water, fiber and potassium, all of which are important to healthy cardiovascular function. Eating a slice of watermelon each day is certainly not a bad idea!