High blood pressure affects about 30% of adults worldwide. Many people believe that consuming too much salt is the cause of high blood pressure. But the real culprit may be added sugar, especially fructose from sugary drinks.
So when it comes to blood pressure, avoiding processed foods high in fructose is the first step in lowering your risk.
The next step is to add the right foods to your diet. Here are 7 foods that have been shown to lower blood pressure.
Let’s start with the number 1 food source of a compound that is essential for strong blood flow.
Number 7. Beets.
Beets help lower arteries blood pressure because they contain high levels of nitrates in the diet. Nitrates are found in beets and dark green leaves, such as spinach and arugula.
When you eat nitrates, your body turns them into nitric oxide, which causes the blood vessels to relax and open. This lowers blood pressure and helps the body carry more oxygen to different parts of the body that need it.
Other green leafy vegetables with high levels of nitrates are celery and celery root, watercress, leek, parsley and turnips.
You may have heard that some people take a drug called “nitroglycerin” to help with chest pain and heart attacks. This medicine is a synthetic version of the nitrates found in beets.
In a study funded by the British Heart Foundation, 68 patients with high blood pressure received either 250 ml of beet juice or a placebo juice. Beetroot juice lowered blood pressure in the group that received it.
This group also improved endothelial function by about 20 percent and reduced arterial stiffness.
Another study of more than 1,500 people without high blood pressure showed that those who ate the most nitrate-rich vegetables in 3 years had a 37% lower risk of developing high blood pressure than those who had high blood pressure. ate the least.
Number 6. Dark Chocolate.
Many studies show that cocoa products can lower arteries blood pressure. Dark chocolate is very effective and only small amounts are needed. In a JAMA study of 44 people with high blood pressure or prehypertension, those who ate a small square of dark chocolate (30 calories) found that their systolic blood pressure dropped by 2.9 mm Hg and their diastolic blood pressure by 1 , 9 mm Hg, while there was no change in the group that ate white chocolate.
Researchers say that flavanols, especially epicatechin, are responsible for the blood pressure lowering effects of chocolate. Another study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that chocolate also contains procyanidins that increase nitric oxide production and relax blood vessels.
Chocolate can help save lives. A study of 470 elderly men, published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, found that those who ate the most chocolate not only lowered their blood pressure, but also halved the risk of cardiovascular death.
Number 5. Garlic.
Garlic is an amazing food to keep your blood pressure under control. It does this through several mechanisms that widen your blood vessels and improve blood flow.
Garlic helps increase the production of nitric oxide in cells by increasing the activity of an enzyme called nitric oxide synthase.
It acts as a popular medicine for blood pressure called ACE inhibitors by blocking the hormone angiotensin.
And garlic helps red blood cells produce hydrogen sulfide, which relaxes your blood vessels.
Garlic is just as effective as blood pressure medications. A study of 210 hypertensive patients showed that garlic tablets significantly lowered blood pressure compared to beta-blockers. Unlike medicines, garlic is safe and well tolerated.
Number 4. Watermelon.
Consumption of watermelon is an extremely effective way to reduce blood pressure and the risk of heart disease.
According to a study published in the American Journal of Hypertension, watermelon is the richest natural edible source of L-citrulline and is also an excellent source of vitamin A, B6 and C, as well as fiber, potassium and the antioxidant lycopene.
A study from Florida State University gave 9 prehypertensive people six grams of the amino acid L-citrulline from watermelon extract every day. All patients showed an improvement in blood function and a decrease in aortic blood pressure.
Watermelon contains citrulline, especially the white part of the watermelon. It is converted to arginine in our bodies. Arginine helps us create nitric oxide, which we already know has many benefits for our hearts and blood vessels.
- L-arginine is available as a dietary supplement, but can cause nausea, gastrointestinal discomfort and diarrhea. Watermelon has none of these effects.
Because it is rich in potassium, watermelon also helps prevent sodium from raising blood pressure.
Watermelon is a great source of lycopene, a powerful antioxidant that protects the heart, supports healthy arteries and improves blood flow.
A health study of doctors showed that men with the highest blood levels of lycopene had a 39% decrease in the risk of stroke. Another study in Finland that followed 1,000 men for 12 years found similar results.
Lycopene can also support bone formation, improve male fertility and protect against cancer and UV damage from the sun.
Number 3. Pomegranate Juice.
Pomegranates contain strong polyphenols that can help fight inflammation and oxidation. It has been shown to help prevent or treat a variety of health problems, including high blood pressure, high LDL cholesterol, oxidative stress, high blood sugar and other inflammation-related health problems.\
In an Israeli study, 101 patients with kidney disease received either 100 ml of pomegranate juice or a placebo every day for a year. It was found that systolic blood pressure was significantly lower in the group that drank pomegranate juice, but not in the placebo group. Regular consumption of pomegranate juice reduces systolic blood pressure and can reduce atherosclerosis.
A great idea is to combine beet, pomegranate and carrot juice for an antioxidant-rich drink that lowers blood pressure. A triple-whammy for your health!
Number 2. Green Tea.
New research has shown that green tea can help lower blood pressure in people with high blood pressure.
Green tea contains many powerful antioxidants polyphenols, known for their health benefits. One of the most powerful flavonoids in green tea, EGCG can counteract a variety of diseases and health conditions.
The results of the study also show that EGCG may be helpful in preventing atherosclerosis, blood clots, heart attack and stroke – in part because of its ability to relax blood vessels and improve blood flow.
A review of 25 different studies published in the British Journal of Nutrition found that long-term tea consumption can significantly improve blood pressure. After 12 weeks of drinking tea, blood pressure was lower by 2.6 mm Hg systolic and 2.2 mm Hg diastolic. Green tea had the most significant results, while black tea had better results than no tea.
The best results occur when drinking about 3 to 4 cups of organic green tea a day. Adding a little citric acid, such as lemon juice, can increase the amounts of antioxidants your body can absorb.
Number 1. Olive Oil.
Olive oil has been shown to widen blood vessels, preventing high blood pressure. Studies have also found that it can reduce LDL cholesterol (the bad type) and increase HDL cholesterol (the good type).
The polyphenols found in extra virgin olive oil prevent atherosclerosis. They stop the oxidation of LDL accumulated on the wall of blood vessels. Polyphenols do this by capturing reactive oxygen species (ROS) and preventing their attack on blood vessels.
A study published in the journal Archives of Internal Medicine found that hypertensive patients who consumed 40 grams of olive oil a day reduced their blood pressure medication dose by 50%.
The arterial health benefits of olive oil are 99% related to phenolic components, so it is important to choose high quality extra virgin olive oil.