Lower Blood Pressure With These 5 Top-rated Foods

Hypertension affects thousands of adults in the US. It is so common, that high blood pressure has become expected. Some patients are likely to have the doctor recheck their blood pressure if the first test indicated a normal range! Luckily, it is possible to lower blood pressure by making changes to your diet and lifestyle.

lower blood pressure

The problem is, hypertension can lead to deadly health conditions such as stroke, heart disease, and kidney disease. Furthermore, this illness shows no symptoms hence the name: silent killer!

Despite the risk factors, hypertension has been shown to be a hormonal issue. The change and decline in youthful hormones stirs imbalances and deficiencies of vital nutrients in the body, raising the blood pressure.

Well, you would think that knowing the cause helps find the solution, right?

The truth is, though possible to find a cure, there is no single solution that can permanently fix any illness. Except magic, maybe. Unfortunately, pharmaceutical companies – in their bid to make trillions of dollars – may lead you to believe that “magical pills” exist. However, it is not the case. That is why there are over 70 varieties of blood pressure reduction medication, but the condition is worsening by the day. Not to mention the side effects associated with the said treatments.

The silver lining? You can lower your blood pressure naturally without medications by consuming foods that lower blood pressure!

Food has been the best medicine since time immemorial. Today’s “food” is incomplete, overly processed, and lacking in vital nutrients that were once available centuries or decades ago. So switching to a diet that is more plant based will help.

So what next?

Your best bet is to have a concrete plan…

Rather than just aiming to lower blood pressure, your goal should be specific. For example:

  • Healthy blood circulation
  • Normal waste excretion and fluid balance
  • Healthy body stress response with lowered cortisol levels

Next, look for sources of nutrients that can help you achieve the set goals. And when it comes to hypertension, these nutrients are potassium, antioxidants, omega-3 fatty acids, and magnesium. Foods that lower blood pressure are food rich in the aforementioned 4 nutrients.

The list of food rich in these minerals is limitless. In this article we look at 5 top rated foods that lower blood pressure, how to consume them for maximum benefits, plus the scientific evidence behind their claims.

One: English Hawthorn berries

English hawthorn berry is a plant whose roots, berries, flowers, and leaves have been used to make medicine for centuries. But most importantly for our case here, it’s a food that lowers blood pressure.

The plant contains potent antioxidants and flavonoids that help lower fat levels in the blood, reduce anxiety, stress, and insomnia while having anti-inflammatory benefits. That is to say, the English Hawthorn berry can lower BP this way:

  • It widens and dilates blood vessels, decreasing the stress placed on the heart. This can help reduce the risk of stroke, heart failure, and heart attack too.
  • It acts as a natural Angiotensin Converting Enzyme (ACE) inhibitor, a treatment for lowering blood pressure.
  • It helps regulate stress response – a key risk factor for hypertension – while reducing cortisol levels to optimize blood pressure.
  • Its potent antioxidants help reduce the furring up and hardening of arteries (which happens with age).

Clinical proof

Randomized clinical research tested whether hawthorn berries can help lower blood pressure. In the trial, 39 patients took 1200mg of the plant’s extract daily while the other 40 participants took a placebo for 16 weeks. The group consuming the extract showed a significant drop in the diastolic blood pressure.

Dosage

500 – 1200mg daily taken once or split into 3, 300mg doses.

Key Points to Note

The liquid form of this berry tends to lose potency quickly and the pills may not be absorbed effectively by the body. That leaves English Hawthorn Berry extract as the most reliable and potent form.

It is proven that the berry extract works better when mixed with other complementary ingredients such as grape extract (85% total phenolic), coenzyme Q10, garlic, and magnesium blend.

Side effects

Hawthorn lacks cardiac glycosides and thus can cause dizziness, skin rashes, heart palpitations, sweating, and mild cases of nausea.

Alternative Sources of Key Ingredients

Blackberries, raspberries, strawberries, and blueberries.

Additional health benefits

The plant can be used to treat various health conditions such as kidney stone, digestive problems, and cardiovascular diseases.

Two: Celery seeds

Eating a celery stalk gives you magnesium, potassium, and fiber.

The real magic is in the celery seeds – the natural and safer diuretic with a high I-3-n-Butylphthalide (3nB) content. Researchers have shown that these components help relax and dilate blood vessels. This appears to occur by antagonizing or blocking calcium flow into the muscle cells lining the blood vessels. They are a natural form of calcium channel blocking medications. That said, it is clear that celery can lower blood pressure following these mechanisms:

  • As a natural diuretic, the seeds help speed up waste and salt excretion. This is rather helpful as high levels of processed salt lead to fluid retention in the blood vessels consequently raising the blood pressure.
  • Celery contains phthalides (NBP extract) that can help relax the tissues lining the artery walls, which increase blood flow and lower blood pressure.
  • Magnesium present in the celery helps to prevent constriction of blood vessels enhancing blood flow.

Clinical proof

Research at the University of Chicago Medical Center identified 3nB as the factor responsible for lowering blood pressure in celery.

Subsequent animal studies established that even a tiny amount of 3nB can lower blood pressure by up to 14% and cholesterol by up to 7%.

Another human study evaluated the effectiveness of a standardized celery seed extract with 85% 3nB. 150 mg of the extract was administered to 30 patients with moderate hypertension daily for 6 weeks. After this period, there was a significant decline in systolic blood pressure (8.2 mmHg) and diastolic blood pressure (8.5 mmHg) – notable results with no side effects!

Dosage

For maximum benefits, you should eat over 5 stalks of celery daily! Luckily, you can get similar benefits by consuming 150 mg of celery seeds extracts, standardized to 85% 3nB daily.

Key Points To Note

It is worth noting that although effective, celery seeds ability to lower blood pressure can be boosted by combining them with clinically proven ingredients such as grape seed extracts, lycopene extract, magnesium blend, and English hawthorn berry extract.

If you can’t get any celery seeds, and would rather eat the stalks, cook them. It has been established that the more the celery is cooked, the more the decline in blood pressure.

Natural salt such as pink Himalayan rock salt is good for your health.

Alternative Sources of Key Ingredients

Garlic, Broccoli, Flaxseeds, and Berries.

Additional Health Benefits

Celery seeds contain antiseptic properties that can help prevent or relieve urinary tract infection and may help someone manage brain diseases such as vascular dementia and stroke.

Three: Pomegranate

Pomegranate is best known for its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties making it one of the most sought after foods that lower blood pressure.

It is rich in flavonoids such as tannins, catechins, and ellagic acid; which makes pomegranate a better antioxidant when compared to red wine and green tea. The potent antioxidants found in the fruit help reduce platelet aggregation to naturally lower blood pressure. These antioxidants also help clear up plaque from the heart and arteries. Here are some ways pomegranate can lower blood pressure:

  • Pomegranate helps dilates and relax blood vessels as a natural ACE (angiotensin-converting enzyme). Consequently lowering blood pressure and promoting smooth blood circulation.
  • The fruit helps clear artery blockages, restoring them to their original diameter or at least increasing the cross-section which helps lower blood pressure.
  • Pomegranate seeds prevent the blood platelets from coagulating and forming internal clots that can elevate blood pressure.

Clinical proof

In one clinical study, it was established that taking as little as 2Oz of pomegranate juice daily can reduce plaque from the arteries, lower blood pressure, and improve cholesterol. According to the study, pomegranates ability to lower blood pressure could be attributed to its ability to act as an ACE inhibitor.

In another clinical trial, 70% of participants experienced an average of 36% decrease in ACE activity and an average of 5% decline in systolic blood pressure thanks to pomegranate.

Furthermore, there was a 35% decrease in the thickness of participants’ carotid arteries in this study. Incredibly, their atherosclerosis plaque declined and thus arteries were no longer blocked.

Dosage

Take pomegranate extract at 5:1 at 200mg daily for excellent results. For better results, combine the extract with clinically approved complementary ingredients such as grape extract.

Key Points to Note

Yes, it has been proven that pomegranate is a divine food that lowers blood pressure. However, drinking  fruit juice is not always good idea. Fruit juice has a high GI (glycemic index) that can spike your insulin and blood sugar levels. In turn, high sugar levels can lead to fluid retention, elevating blood pressure. Most experts advocate the idea that reducing salt intake will help lower blood pressure. They fail to mention sugar too. In fact, sugar has a higher impact on blood pressure than salt.

Now, eating the actual fruit including the seeds is more beneficial due to the additional fiber present in its skin and seeds.

Whenever possible, take fresh and organic pomegranates, or fresh pomegranate juice without any added sugar.

Alternative Sources of Key Ingredients

Red wine, green tea, apricots, and spinach.

Additional Health Benefits

Pomegranates may help improve memory and exercise performance, arthritis, and certain types of cancer.

Four: Grapefruit

This citrus fruit is not only energizing, but also terrifically healthy.

Grapefruit is rich in Vitamin C, citrus bioflavonoids (e.g. hesperidin, Naringenin, limonene, tangeritin etc.), and potassium. With that, the fruit can lower blood pressure like this:

  • As a source of potassium, red grapefruit helps in the excretion of excess sodium which reduces fluid retention lowering blood pressure.
  • Its antioxidants help protect against furring up and hardening of arteries which would have otherwise resulted in high blood pressure. Hardened arteries are a key contributor to increased blood pressure in older people (65 years and above).
  • Red grapefruits contain high potassium levels that help balance out the negative effects of high levels of sodium.
  • Polyphenols in grapefruits increase blood vessel dilation naturally lowering blood pressure.
  • OPC (Oligomeric Proanthocyanidin of Compounds) in grapefruit seeds promote blood vessel health.

Clinical Proof

An international study published in an Agricultural and Food Chemistry journal stated that a blend of red grapefruit is rich in carotenoid and antioxidants are effective in lowering LDL cholesterol while paralyzing oxidation activity in the bloodstream.

Another study conducted by the University of Michigan established that a grapefruit rich diet can lower BP while reducing the damage of the arterial walls by free oxidized radicals.

A test at Madrid University using a Grape Antioxidant Dietary Fiber (GADF) concoction extracted from grape seeds and skin found the extract to be rich in antioxidants and fiber that lowered the risk of cardiovascular disease while lowering blood pressure by up to 5%.

In other news, research by scientists at the University of California at Davis established that Grape seed extract can lower systolic BP by an average of 12 points and decline diastolic pressure by 8 points. The study involved 24 participants with prehypertension and who were split into 3 groups. One group consumed 300 mg of the extract daily, another 150 mg daily, and another a fake placebo.

There is also a randomized double-blind, placebo-controlled study that involved 52 individuals with high cholesterol levels. The participants were divided into 2 groups where one consumed 200 mg of grape seed extract and the other a placebo for 8 weeks. It was established that the extract lowered LDL by an average of 9.7 mg/dL, total cholesterol by 10.7 mg/Dl, and oxidized LDL by 5.5 mg/dL. This shows the extract can reduce atherosclerosis consequently lowering chances of high BP.

That’s enough proof, right?

Dosage

You can start with a dose of 150 mg daily that can be increased to 300 mg daily for better results.

Key Points to Note

While selecting what grapes to use you should consider whether or not you will absorb, utilize, and obtain the full benefits of the extract you’re consuming. Always ensure you are taking high quality supplements and vitamins.

Side Effects

Grapefruits are known to interact with BP medication (such as calcium channel blockers and beta blockers) thanks to their acidic nature. Therefore, consult your doctor before adding the fruit to your diet.

Alternative Sources of Key Ingredients

Apricots and goji berries

Additional Benefits

Nutrients in grapefruit may improve eye problems, help protect against cancer, and other health conditions.

Five: Tomatoes

Beyond its celebrated ability to manage prostate cancer, a tomato is one of the key foods that blood pressure. This can be attributed to the high concentration of antioxidants (lycopene, beta carotene, Naringenin, Chlorogenic acid, and vitamins C, E, and K), potassium among other minerals.

According to Thomas D. Giles, president of the American Society of Hypertension, vascular and artery walls are prone to oxidative stress as we age making anything with antioxidants beneficial to lower blood pressure.

  • Due to Naringenin flavonoid, tomatoes can help decrease inflammation and consequently lowering blood pressure. In addition, Flavanols help the vessels remain elastic which not only enhance circulation but also lower blood pressure.
  • Tomatoes are rich in Chlorogenic acid that has been clinically proven to lower blood pressure
  • Protein in tomatoes helps balance out the negative effects of processed salts that are proven to raise blood pressure.
  • Vitamin E can help lower blood pressure in mild hypertensive cases.
  • Lutein in tomatoes can help slow down or prevent altogether the thickening of the artery walls. This, in turn, ensure their cross-section area remains the same minimizing chances of increased blood pressure.

Clinical Proof

In 2006, research 31 individuals with hypertension took 250 mg of tomato extract daily for 8 weeks. After the research period, the participants showed a 10 mmHg decline in systolic and 4 mmHg reduction in diastolic blood pressure – significant figures.

A 2014 international study concluded that both raw and cooked tomatoes could be associated with a reduction in both systolic and diastolic blood pressure.

In a more recent study, a standardized tomato extract was given to 82 high-risk hypertensive patients for 4 weeks. The extract resulted in a significant reduction in diastolic blood pressure, 24-h systolic blood pressure, and mean arterial pressure.

Dosage

Taking tomato extracts rich in lycopene at a dose of 15 mg per day is adequate to reduce blood pressure by 10/4 mmHg after 6 – 8 weeks.

Key Points to Note

While tomato sounds promising when trying to lower blood pressure, you would have to eat tons of tomatoes to get the clinically approved dosage for effective results. What’s more, the fiber present in tomatoes may interfere with lycopene absorption and bioavailability.

Thankfully you can skip eating impossible loads of tomatoes by blending its extract with complementary ingredients such as magnesium blend (malate, glycinate, and citrate).

It is important to note that lycopene is highest in the tomato peel and seeds. Therefore, be sure to chew the two or make a tomato juice. And while at it, keep in mind that the redder the tomato the more the lycopene.

It is also advisable to cook tomatoes rather than eating them raw as cooked tomatoes release 5 times more lycopene than its raw cousin.

Side Effects

Though safe for consumption, tomatoes can cause can cause acid influx, muscle aches, and effects of intolerance. When taken in large amounts, tomatoes can cause dizziness, vomiting, and headaches.

Again, though safe most of the times, Lycopene (their key constituents) supplements should be used cautiously especially for people that are pregnant, individuals with the bleeding disorder, and those with stomach ulcers and other issues.

Alternative Sources of Key Ingredients

Watermelon, pink grapefruit, pink guava, papaya

Additional Benefits

Tomatoes help in the management of prostate cancer and reduce the risk of death among people with metabolic syndrome.

Conclusion

There you have it. A list of the top 5 foods that lower blood pressure. Which of these have you tried and what were the results? The comments are right below.

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By |2019-02-11T06:21:18+00:00February 21st, 2019|Health, Life Style|0 Comments

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