What is hypertension?
Hypertension is a disease that is increasingly present in the Western population. The concept of high blood pressure is an increase in the pressure with which blood flows through the bloodstream.
That it is elevated can cause problems in terms of causing damage to blood vessels, heart disease, kidney problems and strokes, among others.
However, these damages occur in the long term and over the years. Because of that, hypertension is known as silent killer. No previous symptoms except and only analyzable through the continuous measurement of blood pressure.
In the United States, about 75 million people already suffer from hypertension, and the number is increasing year after year.
Generally, it is due to a general loss of the working population in terms of exercise and a worsening of the quality of the food consumed.
Specifically, those diets high in sodium such as those we can consume with canned goods, fast food and other unhealthy foods.
The Risks of High Blood Pressure
If hypertension is not treated, either through foods that lower blood pressure, increased sports activity or the consumption of medications for this purpose, the problems are discovered a few years after suffering the problem.
In general, there can be serious complications such as heart attacks, irreversible kidney damage, strokes and a long etcteria.
When measuring blood pressure, a value above 130/80 mm hg is considered a high and treatable value.
A change of life that involves an increase in sports activity, healthier foods and a drastic decrease in the amount of sodium ingested can result in a decrease of more than 5 mm Hg in systolic (highest number) and 2 to 3 mm hg in diastolic (the lowest number).
Diet with foods that lower blood pressure
Taking the previous paragraph, we have prepared a list of foods that lower blood pressure quickly and effectively and without the need to propose a drastic change in our lifestyle.
In general, the scientific community establishes general guidelines to reduce blood pressure, even without taking medications.
- Take fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
- Eat low-fat products, lean meats, fish and nuts.
- Avoid foods high in salt, saturated fat, and processed foods.
- Perform continuous physical activity throughout the week.
12 Foods That Lower Blood Pressure
1- Green leafy vegetables
In general, many of the foods that lower blood pressure are mainly vegetables.
One of the main minerals that can help us reduce the amount of sodium eliminated in the urine is potassium. This is intimately related to the reduction of blood pressure.
Therefore, potassium is usually high in foods that lower blood pressure, and specifically in green leafy vegetables.
- Beet leaves
It is important to choose fresh vegetables that do not contain added sodium, as this element is often added to increase the preservation capacity.
2- Berries and berries
Lately, the consumption of different berries, especially blueberries, is being related to the antioxidant potential to correct various problems of the body.
Specifically, the potential of blueberry flavonoids and their effect against blood pressure has been evaluated, considering it as a food that lowers blood pressure.
A fruit of very attractive flavor that we can easily incorporate into our diet. Either alone, as a dessert, or mixed with dairy products and yogurts that can also help us fight hypertension.
A macro-study carried out in 2010 proved the effect of flavonoids on blood pressure, proving that it had significant effects.you in its reduction. [Study]
This is linked to the consumption of anthocyanins, present in strawberries and blueberries, obtaining a reduction in blood pressure of 8% compared to controls that did not take these flavonoids.
The banana, due to its potassium content, is also included in foods that lower blood pressure.
The answer lies in its ability to limit the harmful effects of sodium, associated with a significant increase in blood pressure. [Study]
Although bananas are an important source of potassium as a mineral source, we also find other foods that contain high concentrations of this element.
Beetroot also falls within the group of foods that lower the pressure. A versatile food that contains large amounts of antioxidants.
Its effect can be seen even in the short term, as has been shown in some scientific trials. The consumption, in juice, of up to 250 milliliters daily for 1 month, allowed a notable drop in the levels of systolic and diastolic pressure. [Study]
In this study, the drop in mercury was up to 8/4 mm Hg, a change very comparable to the effect of many drugs intended for this purpose.
This effect has been related to the high concentration of nitrogen contained in beet (subjected to very strong fertilization with this element) that achieves a positive effect on blood pressure.
A practical and healthy way to take advantage of foods that lower pressure is by beet cream recipe.
5- Foods that lower the pressure based on dark chocolate
An ally for cardiovascular health, with little content of sugars and fats, can also help us against hypertension or as a preventive of it.
Several scientific trials and several reviews have been carried out and it has proven effective in the medium term against high voltage peaks. [Study]
However, it is important to choose chocolate as pure as possible, at least with an amount of cocoa greater than 70%.
Kiwi is a fruit that has large doses of vitamin C and serves as a support for people who have slightly high levels of hypertension. The consumption of fruits and vegetables, the reduction of sodium consumption (either with foods low in this mineral or also high in potassium) along with ingredients with high antioxidant load, are the workhorse against this silent disease.
For those people who have moderately high blood pressure levels, it can be a help, as this scientific study states. [Study]
This may be due to the bioactive substances present in kiwi. This same study was compared with other fruits, such as apples, but the results were not as striking as we found them in kiwi.
Oats have become a well-studied cereal with great properties thanks to its fiber content (beta-glucan). [Study]
High fiber consumption can have an impact on reducing cholesterol levels and activating the decrease in blood pressure, according to some scientific research. [Study]
Therefore, for both cardiovascular and digestive health, the consumption of the recommended amounts of fiber is extremely important to ensure the health of our body.
Garlic has many properties and I would highlight to dedicate a single article to each of the beneficial effects.
In addition to its high mineral and vitamin content, the main reason for its effects are the active substances it contains, such as allicin.
Several investigations have evaluated its potential within foods that lower blood pressure, due to its ability to produce nitric oxide in the body.
This has a stimulating effect to dilate blood vessels and reduce high blood pressure. It has been verified in statistical studies that it is strictly complied with. [Study]
9- Foods that lower the pressure from ferment
Fermented foods are gaining fame for the numerous investigations as probiotic substances and the regulation of stomach microbiology in our intestinal health.
The activity of the probiót has been studiedicos as foods that lower the pressure, finding good results in different investigations [Study]
These effects can be achieved with several foods that are easier to find every day in the supermarket:
- Natural yogurt
- Apple cider vinegar
Included within probiotic foods, yogurts are the easiest way to regulate the healthy microbial population of our body.
Especially its effect on the regulation of high blood pressure in women is being studied, where America Heart Association is devoting great efforts.
In principle, studies need more depth but there is a good scientific predisposition for yogurt to be an ally against this disease. [Study]
In young women (up to 30 years) with hypertension, notable reductions of more than 15% were achieved compared to the same profile of women who did not drink yogurt daily.
Cinnamon is a species with a multitude of possibilities in gastronomy and many healthy benefits.
In the short term it can produce remarkable benefits within foods that lower blood pressure.
A study developed over 3 years showed a significant drop in short-term systolic pressure greater than 5 mm Hg and diastolic pressure above 2.5 mm Hg. [Study]
The longer-term effects of cinnamon are still being studied.
Nuts, such as walnuts, almonds and pistachios, have become a great ally against various cardiorespiratory diseases.
Specifically, several scientific investigations have highlighted the possibility of preventing hypertension with the daily intake of pistachios.
Pistachios are healthy nuts that can decrease hypertension. [Study]
This, together with its concentration in unsaturated fatty acids and beneficial for the heart, and its high fiber content, makes it an ally of obligatory daily consumption (maximum 30 grams).
What you can’t take with high blood pressure
From here, we are going to tell you foods that are the enemy of blood pressure, causing a rise that can become chronic.
Salt and specifically sodium is the main enemy of blood pressure. Studies developed since 2013 ensure that a reduction in salt intake (more than 4 grams per day) represents a notable drop in blood pressure. [Study]
Caffeine also activates the body and can raise blood pressure. In general, all stimulant drinks tend to produce this effect on our body.
Specifically, 2 cups of coffee daily increase systolic and diastolic blood pressure up to 3 hours after consumption, so people sensitive to hypertension should abandon this habit and replace it with other options with lower caffeine content.
However, coffee has proven to be an ally in various diseases. As for blood pressure, studies suggest that tension rises for 3 hours but then returns to normal peaks, so in the long term it is not considered to affect.
Alcohol is a major problem causing a multitude of liver and digestive diseases. As for cardiovascular health, there are also chronic increases in blood pressure.
Its consumption increases the risk of heart failure, stroke, cancer, and liver and kidney damage.