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While high blood pressure is the number-one modifiable risk factor for disease and death in the world, the key emphasis should be on the word “modifiable.” Modify your diet to lower your blood pressure naturally. Researchers have identified blood pressure foods that are especially effective for hypertension.
1. Citrus fruits
Citrus fruits are very high in flavonoids—a type of antioxidant—and citric acid. Both compounds lower your blood pressure. Squeeze some lemon juice into your water or tea. Better yet, eat citrus fruits whole for a bonus dose of fiber.
Berries have some of the highest antioxidant levels of all commonly eaten foods. And when it comes to antioxidants, blueberries are right near the top. Blueberries are exceptionally high in a specific antioxidant compound known as anthocyanin, which gives the fruit its trademark hue.
3. Beets and beet juice
If your blood pressure is in the red, these red vegetables can put your numbers back in the black! Researchers have found that eating cooked beets and drinking beet juice every day can significantly lower your blood pressure within two weeks.
4. Fermented foods
Numerous studies have linked the beneficial bacteria found in fermented foods with improvements in blood pressure numbers, especially in people who already have hypertension.
Healthy, delicious, fermented foods to try include:
- Dairy- or plant-based yogurt or kefir
- Tempeh, miso, natto, and other fermented soy products
- Kombucha tea
- Sauerkraut, kimchi, and other fermented vegetables
5. Whole grains
Whole grains are nutrient-dense, especially when it comes to heart-healthy substances like fiber and essential phytochemicals. Aim for at least three servings of whole grains a day. Examples of a single serving include:
- 1/2 cup of oatmeal
- 1 slice of bread
- 1/2 cup brown rice
Avocados are one of the best sources of monounsaturated fats. This type of fat can lower high blood pressure and prevent high blood pressure. A single avocado also has more than 10 grams of blood pressure-reducing fiber.
7. Fatty fish
Numerous studies have discovered that people who eat diets that are high in omega-3 fats have lower numbers for both systolic and diastolic blood pressure. Some of the best sources of omega-3s include:
- Marine algae oil (ideal if you’re plant-based)
8. Pumpkin seeds
Arginine is a vital amino acid that your body needs to produce blood pressure-reducing nitric oxide. Pumpkin seeds are one of the best dietary sources of arginine. Eat them whole, take in a supplement, or cook with cold-pressed pumpkin seed oil.
9. Dark green, leafy greens
Kale, spinach, chard, and similar leafy greens are some of the richest sources of magnesium. This essential mineral plays a role in regulating your blood sugar and your blood pressure.
Plus, magnesium helps you handle stress better, and it even reduces your levels of the stress hormone cortisol.