Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is the most common preventable risk factor for heart disease (1Trusted Source).
Over 1 billion people around the world have high blood pressure, which is defined as systolic blood pressure (SBP) values (the top number) of 130 mm Hg or more, diastolic blood pressure (DBP, the bottom number) of more than 80 mm Hg, or both (2Trusted Source).
Medications, including angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, are commonly used to reduce blood pressure levels. However, lifestyle changes, including dietary modifications, can help lower blood pressure levels to optimal ranges and reduce your risk of heart disease.
Following a nutritious, heart-healthy diet is suggested for all people with high blood pressure, including those on blood-pressure-lowering medications (1Trusted Source).
A healthy diet is essential for lowering blood pressure and maintaining optimal levels, and research has shown that including certain foods in your diet, especially those high in specific nutrients like potassium and magnesium, reduces your blood pressure levels (1Trusted Source, 3Trusted Source).
Here are the 17 best foods for high blood pressure.
1. Citrus fruits
Citrus fruits, including grapefruit, oranges, and lemons, may have powerful blood-pressure-lowering effects. They’re loaded with vitamins, minerals, and plant compounds that may help keep your heart healthy by reducing heart disease risk factors like high blood pressure (4Trusted Source).
A 5-month study involving 101 Japanese women demonstrated that daily lemon juice intake combined with walking was significantly correlated with reductions in SBP, an effect that the researchers attributed to the citric acid and flavonoid content of lemons (5Trusted Source).
Studies have also shown drinking orange and grapefruit juice may help reduce blood pressure. Yet, grapefruit and grapefruit juice can interfere with common blood-pressure-lowering medications, so consult your healthcare provider before adding this fruit to your diet (4Trusted Source, 6Trusted Source).
2. Salmon and other fatty fish
Fatty fish are an excellent source of omega-3 fats, which have significant heart health benefits. These fats may help reduce blood pressure levels by reducing inflammation and decreasing levels of blood-vessel-constricting compounds called oxylipins (4Trusted Source).
Research has linked higher intakes of omega-3-rich fatty fish to lower blood pressure levels.
A study in 2,036 healthy people found that those with the highest blood levels of omega-3 fats had significantly lower SBP and DBP than those with the lowest blood levels of these fats. Higher omega-3 intake has also been associated with a lower risk of hypertension (7Trusted Source, 8Trusted Source).
3. Swiss chard
Swiss chard is a leafy green that’s packed with blood-pressure-regulating nutrients, including potassium and magnesium. One cup (145 grams) of cooked chard delivers 17% and 30% of your daily potassium and magnesium needs, respectively (9Trusted Source).
In people with high blood pressure, every 0.6-gram per day increase in dietary potassium is associated with a 1.0 mm Hg reduction in SBP and a 0.52 mm Hg reduction in DBP. One cup (145 grams) of Swiss chard packs 792 mg of this important nutrient (10Trusted Source).
Magnesium is also essential for blood pressure regulation. It helps reduce blood pressure through several mechanisms, including by acting as a natural calcium channel blocker, which blocks the movement of calcium into heart and arterial cells, allowing blood vessels to relax (11Trusted Source).WERBUNG
4. Pumpkin seeds
Pumpkin seeds may be small, but they pack a punch when it comes to nutrition.
They’re a concentrated source of nutrients important for blood pressure control, including magnesium, potassium, and arginine, an amino acid needed for the production of nitric oxide, which is essential for blood vessel relaxation and blood pressure reduction (12Trusted Source, 13Trusted Source, 14Trusted Source).
Pumpkin seed oil has also been shown to be a powerful natural remedy for high blood pressure. A study in 23 women found that supplementing with 3 grams of pumpkin seed oil per day for 6 weeks led to significant reductions in SBP, compared with a placebo group (15Trusted Source).Read More