Medical research has not yet found any specific foods that lower blood pressure, but research has proved that the right combination of foods can reduce blood pressure in hypertension patients, and reduce the risk of hypertension in others.
The combination of foods that are known to reduce and prevent high blood pressure is known as the DASH diet. The DASH diet stands for “Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension.” Following and DASH diet, and reducing your salt intake, may be as effective in reducing blood pressure and preventing hypertension as blood pressure medicine for some patients.
Salt can increase blood pressure by making your blood vessels and body tissues swell and fill with fluid, putting extra strain on your heart. It is important for hypertension patients to limit salt intake to less than one tablespoon per day.
The DASH diet emphasizes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy products, lean meats, and nuts that are rich in magnesium, potassium, calcium, protein, and fiber, and low in saturated fat, sodium, and cholesterol.
The six foods below, when eaten in moderation and as part of a balanced diet, will help reduce blood pressure for patients who have, or are at risk of developing, hypertension.
Food #1: Fish
Fish is an excellent source of protein that is lean enough for hypertension patients, and has many health benefits including omega 3 fatty acids.
Food #2: Poultry
Lean poultry is also an excellent source of protein that can reduce blood pressure when prepared without added salt or saturated fats (and eaten in combination with other foods in the DASH diet).
Food #3: Whole Grains
Brown rice, whole grain pasta, and whole grain breads are recommended choices for substituting refined carbohydrates, as part of the blood pressure diet.
Food #4: Fruits
Fruits that are rich in potassium, such as bananas and apricots, can reduce blood pressure when eaten as part of the DASH diet.
Food #5: Vegetables
Vegetables are an excellent source of vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Celery and celery juice are especially beneficial elements of the DASH diet.
Food #6: Low-Fat Dairy Products
Low-fat dairy products will help you get your daily supply of calcium without the fat. The DASH diet also includes low-fat dairy products.
The DASH diet also limits certain foods that can make raise high blood pressure and increase the risk of hypertension. The foods to avoid when you are following the DASH diet or trying to lower your blood pressure are: fats (especially saturated fats), red meat, and sweets that are loaded with refined sugar and processed carbohydrates. It is also recommended that you limit coffee to one cup per day.