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8 Foods That Lower Blood Pressure

Plant-based diets and diets high in fruits and vegetables are strongly associated with lower blood pressure -- so much so that the National Institutes of ealth !NI " officially recommends adopting healthy eating practices as one of the primary actions to ta#e to prevent or lower high blood pressure and hypertension$ %&' ( which stands for )%ietary &pproaches to 'top ypertension() is the eating plan recommended by the NI $ It features foods that are low in saturated fat( total fat( and cholesterol( with a particular focus on fruits( vegetables( and low-fat dairy$ The eight foods on this list are %&' -approved$ Not only are they pac#ed with nutrients that support overall health( but they also help lower blood pressure$ ere*s how+


-ar# ouston( a physician and medical director of the ypertension Institute of Nashville at 'aint Thomas ospital( recommends celery to patients as a natural remedy for lowering blood pressure$ This recommendation isn*t anything new+ %octors of Traditional ,hinese -edicine !T,-" have been prescribing celery or celery root to patients with high blood pressure for more than a century$ 'tudies have shown benefit in animals as well as humans$ How it works: ,elery contains phytochemicals #nown as phthalides( which rela. the muscle tissue in the artery walls( enabling increased blood flow and( in turn( lowering blood pressure$ How much: /esearch suggests that eating four stal#s of celery per day may be helpful in lowering blood pressure$ For a boost of protein( add a tablespoon of unsalted peanut butter or almond butter0 both are high in monounsaturated fat !the heart-healthy #ind"$

,old-water fish

,old-water fish are rich in anti-inflammatory omega-1 fats( which are famous for their cardiovascular benefits$ In particular( omega-1s lower blood pressure and reduce the ris# of heart attac# and stro#e$ 2ild !not farmed" salmon( tuna( mac#erel( cod( trout( halibut( herring( and sardines are among the best sources$ How it works: 3mega-1 fatty acids are essential fatty acids+ The human body can*t ma#e them( so we need to get them from the food we eat$ 3mega-1s act as a natural blood thinner( ma#ing it easier for your heart to pump blood around your body$ Less viscous !thic#" blood is also less li#ely to form clots in veins and arteries$ How much: &ccording to the 4oint guidelines from the F%& and the 5P&( two si.-ounce servings per wee# of most cold-water fish is a safe amount for most people( including pregnant women and nursing mothers( to reap the health benefits with minimal ris# from e.posure to to.ins$ If you bruise easily( have a bleeding disorder( or ta#e bloodthinning medication( tal# to your doctor about potential complications$


Nutritionally spea#ing( broccoli is a red-carpet regular( connecting the worlds of scientific research and natural health$ This cruciferous veggie is hailed as a super-food because of its powerful antio.idant and anti-inflammatory properties$ &nd when it comes lowering blood pressure( broccoli sells itself$ How it works: Broccoli is a potent pac#age of fiber( potassium( calcium( magnesium( and vitamin ,( all nutrients that help lower blood pressure$ 3ne cup of steamed broccoli provides more than 677 percent of the vitamin , you need each day$ /esearchers aren*t sure how( e.actly( vitamin , helps$ Theories range from the vitamin promoting the e.cretion of lead to calming the sympathetic nervous system to protecting nitric o.ide( a molecule that blood vessels( thereby increasing blood flow$ But the results are the same+ &ntio.idant vitamin , helps normali8e blood pressure$ How much: For the myriad health benefits you can reap from regular consumption of broccoli( most people would do well to eat at least one serving a day$ For variety( eat it raw with salsa or hummus( or steamed with olive oil and lemon$ If you have a 4uicer( run the stal#s and leaves through for a spicy green sipper$


For more than a century( dandelion has been used as a cure-all for countless conditions and ailments in cultures around the world( particularly in its native &sia and 5urope$ The entire plant is edible( from leaves to roots$ &nd in addition to lowering blood pressure( it*s good for the liver( eyes( and s#in$ How it works: & natural diuretic( dandelion helps reduce blood pressure by releasing e.cess sodium without the loss of potassium !as occurs with some over-the-counter diuretics"$ This is doubly important because e.cess sodium raises blood pressure by constricting blood vessels( while potassium helps regulate it$ %andelion is also loaded with magnesium( which dissolves blood clots and stimulates the production of nitric o.ide( helping to rela. and dilate blood vessels for better blood flow$ How much: 5at fresh dandelion greens in a salad( saut9 dandelion roots in a stir-fry( or drin# dried dandelion in a tea$ Incorporate dandelion into your diet as often as you can0 it*s really good for you( and in any form you find it !e.cept on your lawn"( chances are that it*s organic -- grown without harmful pesticides or herbicides$

2hole-grain oats

In a :6-wee# study comparing whole-grain oat-based cereals to refined wheat-based cereals( researchers reported that ;1 percent of hypertensive participants in the oats group were able to cut out their antihypertensive medications( or reduce them by half$ The remaining participants also e.perienced significantly reduced blood pressure$ How they work: The fiber and magnesium found in oats both have beneficial effects on blood pressure$ In addition( oats slow atherosclerosis( the pla<ue buildup that occurs in blood vessels$ How much: &im for one serving !about three-fourths of a cup" of whole-grain oats per day( or at least si. servings per wee#$ For a boost of blood-pressure-lowering calcium and potassium( eat whole-grain oatmeal topped with s#im mil# !or unsweetened soy mil#" and banana( or sprin#le oat bran on cereal and salads$ Loose oats also ma#e an e.cellent thic#ener for soups and stews$

Blac# beans

Legumes boast a high fiber-to-protein ratio that you won*t find in any other type of food$ This combination wor#s wonders for regulating blood sugar and lowering blood cholesterol levels( both of which are related to maintaining normal blood pressure$ How they work: Blac# beans are a nutrient-dense source of fiber and magnesium( which are essential for healthy blood pressure levels$ 2hat puts them at a distinct advantage over other foods( though( is the folate you*ll find in these legumes$ Folate( also #nown as folic acid in its synthetic form( is a B-comple. vitamin that appears to lower blood pressure !especially systolic blood pressure" by blood vessels and improving blood flow$ How much: =77 micrograms of folate is the recommended daily allowance !/%&"$ &im for that as a minimum0 877 micrograms daily has shown significant benefit in reducing blood pressure in multiple large-scale studies$ 3ne cup of coo#ed blac# beans provides 6>? micrograms of folate$ -any cereals are also fortified with folic acid$


,alorie for calorie( berries are among the most nutritional foods on the planet when it comes to fiber and antio.idant capacity$ &ll berries are great for you( but blueberries( strawberries( and raspberries are tops for their ability to help lower blood pressure( than#s to high doses of fiber( vitamin ,( potassium( and other plant compounds$ How they work: &ll three berries are high in fiber( but raspberries ran# highest+ @ust one cup delivers more than 11 percent of the daily value( for a mere ?7 calories$ & cup of strawberries offers :1? percent of the daily value for vitamin ,$ &nd blueberries contain a compound called pterostilbene that helps prevent pla<ue buildup in the arteries$ Last but hardly least( berries are anti-inflammatory$ How much: 5at at least one serving !one cup" of berries per day( fresh or fro8en$

Low-fat dairy

In a %utch study of hypertension in adults >> and older( researchers found that low-fat dairy products such as mil#( cheese( and yogurt may help prevent hypertension$ How it works: The modest amount of fat in low-fat dairy is important because it increases the bioavailability of calcium( ma#ing it easier for the body to absorb$ In addition( mil# and dairy products offer blood-pressure-lowering magnesium and potassium$ How much: In a 677? study from arvard -edical 'chool( researchers found that people who ate more than three servings per day of low-fat dairy showed a systolic blood pressure reading of 6$? points less than those who ate less than half a serving per day$ 'o aim to include s#im mil#( cheese( and yogurt into your three daily meals( or in between$