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Foods That Can Lower Your Blood Pressure
Maintaining healthy blood pressure levels is important for your health. High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is associated with an increased risk for strokes, heart disease, dementia, metabolic syndrome, heart failure, and memory problems.
The food you eat can put you at risk for high blood pressure. Some vitamins and minerals play a role in blood pressure regulation, and foods that are high in sodium and sugar can have a negative effect on your blood pressure.
Here’s some information about high blood pressure as well as some foods you can eat to lower your blood pressure levels.
Symptoms of High Blood Pressure
Unlike other health conditions, high blood pressure often goes undetected. It is known as a “silent killer” because most people do not find out that they have high blood pressure until it’s too late.1
While there are medications you can take to regulate your blood pressure, oftentimes you may not find out you have high blood pressure until you take a test. Therefore, taking steps to eat a balanced diet can help you avoid high blood pressure levels.
Foods that Lower Blood Pressure
There is still ongoing research on the link between food and blood pressure levels, but here are a few vitamins and nutrients from food that directly affect your blood pressure levels.
Foods with Potassium
Potassium is a mineral used by all of your body’s tissues. It is an electrolyte that controls nerve function and muscle contraction, helps move nutrients to the body’s cells, and regulates your heartbeat.2
Your potassium levels affect how your body regulates its sodium levels in the blood. Low potassium levels can cause your body to retain sodium, and as it builds up in the blood vessels, your blood pressure levels can increase.3
Eating enough potassium-rich foods will keep your body healthy and give it the energy needed to regulate its potassium levels. Some foods high in potassium include:4, 5
- Dairy products
- Dried apricots
Foods with Vitamin C
Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is a nutrient that the body uses to form blood vessels, bones, and muscles. Vitamin C plays a role in the wound healing process and protects your body against free radicals, which are unstable molecules that can cause diseases.6
Some studies link vitamin C to blood pressure levels, specifically when it comes to protecting the blood vessel lining from oxidative stress. Vitamin C has also been linked to an increase in nitric oxide, which helps the body relax the arterial walls.7
Fruits and vegetables are the best natural sources of vitamin C. Some foods that provide a high amount of vitamin C include:8
- Bell peppers
- Brussels Sprouts
Foods with Magnesium
Magnesium is a mineral that is a cofactor in over 300 enzyme reactions. It is naturally present in many foods, however, it is often added to foods and medicines.9
Some of the functions magnesium assist the body with include protein synthesis, blood sugar levels, energy production, and muscle and nerve functions. Magnesium has also been found to play a role in blood pressure regulation.9
Some foods that naturally contain magnesium include:10
- Pumpkin seeds
- Whole Wheat Bread
- Plain yogurt
- Breakfast cereals
Low Sodium Foods
Sodium plays a role in balancing your body’s fluids and influences the way nerves and muscles work. Some people are more sensitive to the effects of sodium than others and will have a harder time eliminating it from their bodies.11
If you eat a diet of foods high in sodium content, your body will retain excess fluids. The fluid buildup can contribute to high blood pressure over time.3
Some foods that are low in sodium include:13
- Fresh fruits such as apples, bananas, strawberries, and blueberries
- Vegetables such as carrots, broccoli, green beans
- Dried fruits
- Frozen vegetables
- Whole grains
- Unsalted popcorn or pretzels
- Nuts and seeds
- Fat-free milk
- Fat-free yogurt
It’s important to review ingredient labels to ensure you aren’t accidentally consuming excess sodium in your diet.
Saber Healthcare and Healthy Eating
If you’re looking for ways to manage your blood pressure levels, research different foods and find a diet that can help you reach your goals. If you’re unsure what you should be eating or want to know if your blood pressure levels are at a dangerous level, consult with a medical expert for advice.
Here at Saber Healthcare, our dietary teams work to provide meals that meet the nutritional needs of the residents we serve. Our dietary teams work on cooking and preparing food that tastes great while helping our residents meet their nutritional goals. To learn more about our company and the services we provide, click here.
Saber Healthcare is an organization dedicated to providing consultant services to long-term care providers. This article is for informational purposes and is not meant to be seen as professional advice. Please consult with a medical expert before relying on the information provided.
- “Hypertension: What is it and How to Prevent it.” Saber Healthcare Group. 23 September 2021. Accessed 9 June 2022. Link: https://www.saberhealth.com/news/blog/hypertension-risks-and-prevention
- “Potassium.” MedlinePlus. 20 October 2019. Accessed 8 June 2022. Link: https://medlineplus.gov/potassium.html
- “High Blood Pressure (hypertension).” Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research (MFMER). 1 July 2021. Accessed 8 June 2022. Link: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/high-blood-pressure/symptoms-causes/syc-20373410
- Lang, Ariane. Feller, Maya, ed. “18 Foods That Pack More Potassium Than a Banana.” Red Ventures, Healthline Media. 4 February 2022. Accessed 8 June 2022. Link: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/foods-loaded-with-potassium#TOC_TITLE_HDR_4
- “10 Foods That Are High in Potassium.” Health Essentials, Cleveland Clinic. Accessed 8 June 2022. Link: https://health.clevelandclinic.org/10-foods-that-are-high-in-potassium/
- “Vitamin C.” Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research (MFMER). 17 November 2020. Accessed 8 June 2022. Link: https://www.mayoclinic.org/drugs-supplements-vitamin-c/art-20363932
- “High Blood Pressure.” Linus Pauling Institute, Oregon State University. 8 June 2022. Link: https://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/health-disease/high-blood-pressure
- “Vitamin C.” The President and Fellows of Harvard College. Accessed 8 June 2022. Link: https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/vitamin-c/
- “Magnesium.” National Institutes of Health. 2 June 2022. Accessed 8 June 2022. Link: https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Magnesium-HealthProfessional/#:~:text=Magnesium%20is%20a%20cofactor%20in,%2C%20oxidative%20phosphorylation%2C%20and%20glycolysis.
- “Magnesium Rich Food.” Cleveland Clinic. 24 November 2020. 8 June 2022. Link: https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/15650-magnesium-rich-food
- “Nutrition and healthy eating.” Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research (MFMER). Accessed 8 June 2022. Link: https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/sodium/art-20045479
- “Lower-Sodium Foods: Shopping List.” Myhealthfinder. Last updated 1 June 2022. Accessed 8 June 2022. Link: https://health.gov/myhealthfinder/health-conditions/heart-health/lower-sodium-foods-shopping-list