Concerned about your blood pressure? These 6 plant-based foods that help lower blood pressure are just what you need to help strengthen your cardiovascular system.
If you consume a diet which places you at risk for developing high blood pressure (hypertension), you are also putting yourself at risk for experiencing heart attacks and strokes as well as kidney failure. Most people have high blood pressure and don’t even know it until they get a heart attack or stroke!
Consuming highly processed foods like fast food with incredibly high sodium levels are extremely damaging and is often the main culprit in raising your blood pressure. Another factor that puts you at risk for high blood pressure is fat – that is, the highly saturated and trans fatty acids which clog your arteries and make it hard for blood to flow freely through your veins, causing build-up and thus, high blood pressure.
Here are 6 plant-based foods that help lower high blood pressure!
You can change your cholesterol levels and naturally lower your blood pressure levels with garlic! In fact, most members of the allium family (onions, garlic, leeks, etc.) have been shown to reduce cholesterol, high blood pressure and the flu. Countries who consume large amounts of garlic have also been correlated with the lowest levels of cardiovascular disease.
A recent study in 2011 found that just 3 kiwis a day may naturally lower blood pressure (opposed to eating just one apple a day). The study took place over 8 weeks, and at the end of the study, individuals who consumed the kiwis had significantly lower systolic blood pressure than those who ate only 1 apple a day. Kiwis are lutein-rich (an antioxidant), which helps beat free radicals which are often linked to high blood pressure. Kiwis are also one of the most antioxidant-rich fruits, as reported by the Journal of the American College of Nutrition (along with grapes, and wild blueberries).
A study at the University of Michigan showed that grapes may help fight high blood pressure and heart disease (especially if you consume a salty diet). Grapes are incredibly high in antioxidants which fight off free radicals that normally lead to heart failure and hypertension. Grapes also lower inflammation in the body and allow the blood vessels to breathe and relax to prevent higher blood pressure.
4. Leafy Lettuces
Eating green leafy vegetables on a consistent basis can help lower your risk for developing high blood pressure. Leafy greens are incredibly vitamin and mineral rich (with things like calcium, potassium, and manganese) which protects against heart disease and stroke. Lettuces are also nitrate-rich which has been linked to a reduction in blood pressure.
Bananas are very high in potassium which helps regulate blood pressure. Foods with potassium nitrate (like bananas and dates) have been reported to be even better than supplements using potassium chloride for lowering blood pressure, according to a UK study. Eating just two bananas a day can lower blood pressure by up to 10%!
Citrulline in watermelon helps to normalize blood pressure. Eating up to 1/2 of a large watermelon per day can help lower high blood pressure, especially when the fruit is ripe, and when this antioxidant is at it’s highest levels. Citrulline is a type of amino acid that is converted into another amino acid, called Arginine (which people normally take to help lower their blood pressure). However, eating the more natural form of this compound is best, so make sure you eat the whole watermelon in it’s true, natural form!