If you’re looking to reduce your blood pressure, the right foods can make a world of a difference (resource). It’s one of the main reasons why I’m constantly talking to the nutritionist at the medical center where I work. I’m passionate about reducing my blood pressure, so I’m just as intense learning about the foods to accomplish that. If you’re eating the wrong foods, there’s a chance your blood pressure will always remain high.
I’ve picked foods that are high in magnesium, potassium and omega-3s because these things are essential to reducing blood pressure. In addition, they are not high in sodium and improve your health in many other ways. The rest of the foods on the list have beneficial nutrients that improve heart health, lower cholesterol and are good for your arteries.
Eating foods to reduce blood pressure doesn’t have to be boring or bland. These foods actually taste good and can be seasoned with many spices other than salt. I’ve designed my daily nutrition where every day I’m eating foods from the list. For me, it’s not a diet but a way of life, eating these foods have become part of my routine.
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1. Fenugreek Seeds
Of all the foods on this list, this one is probably the one that is the least known. Fenugreek is an annual herb that has light green leaves and small white flowers. It is grown in Egypt, India and North Africa and grows to about 2-3 feet tall. Its seed pods contain flat, small yellow-brown seeds.
In addition to digestive problems, diabetes, blood sugar, menopause and libido, fenugreek seeds also benefits hardening of the arteries, lowering cholesterol and triglycerides (fat cells in the blood) (resource). If you want to give them a try, you can buy a variety of fenugreek seeds on Amazon at a reasonable price.
2. Swiss Chard
Swiss chard is a leafy green vegetable that you’ve probably passed a million times while heading to the spinach or broccoli. It’s commonly known as silverbeet or spinach beet and has a reddish color to the stems and throughout the leaves. In addition to magnesium, Swiss chard is high in nitrates which have been associated with reducing blood pressure (resource). It’s also high in vitamins K and A.
3. Pumpkin Seeds
In the top 5 of foods high in magnesium, pumpkin seeds also contain omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. This powerful combination of nutrients can help your blood vessels from hardening, lower cholesterol and decrease your risk of heart disease. Pumpkin seeds are also high in fiber and antioxidants (resource). Don’t worry, you don’t have to buy a pumpkin and pick out the seeds to eat them. It seems that every grocery store sells them in plastic packages.
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4. Dried Apricots
Dried apricots made my list because of its high potassium content. Potassium is crucial in regulating the balance of water levels and reducing blood pressure. Dried apricots are also high in fiber and antioxidants (resource).
I favor 2 beans, first is black beans for their high magnesium which can help reduce blood pressure. Second, lentil beans for coenzyme Q10 (coq10) which can improve heart function. There are numerous studies showing how coq10 is improving heart failure. In one study (resource) of people with heart failure, 2 years of treatment with coq10 improved symptoms and reduced their risk of dying from heart problems.
6. Dark Chocolate
Dark chocolate is high in magnesium. It’s also high in zinc, iron and antioxidants which provide many other benefits for your health (resource). The reason dark chocolate is better than milk chocolate because it contains more cacao and has less sugar.
This fruit is rich in beta-carotene, potassium, magnesium and fiber. The high magnesium and potassium content make it a favorite food to reduce blood pressure with (resource).
8. Brussel Sprouts
Brussel sprouts are tiny size cabbages and are a cruciferous vegetable. They are especially rich in vitamin K which is beneficial for blood clotting and bone health. In addition, they also contain magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, iron and thiamine (resource).
Oysters are an excellent source of iron which helps them promote blood circulation in your body. They are also high in omega-3 fatty acids that help keep bad cholesterol levels low and prevents plaque build up in the arteries. Proper blood flow will help reduce blood pressure (resource).
Did you know avocados are fruits? It’s a unique fruit because most fruits are mostly carbohydrates. On the other hand, avocados are mostly made of healthy fat. They are low in saturated fat and don’t contain any cholesterol or sodium. An avocado is high in potassium and contains a small amount of magnesium. Combine all that with vitamins B6, folate and E, make this fruit heart healthy and good for reducing blood pressure (resource).
Spinach is high in both magnesium and potassium. The combination of both of these makes spinach a great food to reduce blood pressure (resource). It’s also high in calcium and iron making it a super food that packed with nutrients and low in calories.
For years people were told to avoid eggs to keep cholesterol levels low because eggs contain cholesterol. When I was younger, I used to avoid eggs totally thinking they were bad for me. When I started eating eggs again, I only ate egg whites and paid extra in diners for just the whites. At home, I struggled with discarding the yolks and not having them smell in the garbage. Today, I eat about 12 whole eggs a week and my taste buds are thanking me.
Today, we know saturated fats have a larger affect on cholesterol than the cholesterol found in foods. Cholesterol in your diet doesn’t raise cholesterol in the blood (resource). Eggs are a fantastic way to increase HDL cholesterol (the good cholesterol). Those with high levels of HDL typically have a lower risk of stroke, heart disease and health problems in general. Eating eggs is one of the best ways to increase HDL levels. Numerous studies (resource) have showed that eating 2 eggs a day for six weeks increased HDL levels by 10%!
13. All Natural Peanut Butter
The is one of my all time favorite foods. I loved it as a kid and still eat it today. The more I learned about reducing blood pressure, I made the switch to all natural. It’s a great source of protein and healthy fat (resource). Peanut butter is high in magnesium, niacin, vitamin E, B6 and folate. All natural peanut butter is made of peanuts, and that’s it. Some all natural brands try to sneak in some ingredients other than peanuts. Read the label and make sure you’re not buying one with added ingredients. Peanut butters that are unnatural contain added sugar, hydrogenated oils and more sodium.
Berries are rich in antioxidants and important nutrients that benefit heart health. One study showed that eating blueberries daily improved blood vessel function which help control blood pressure (resource). In addition, research on 22 studies (resource) showed that eating berries was associated with lowering systolic blood pressure and lowering LDL cholesterol.
15. Organic Grass Fed Lean Beef
If you must eat your red meat, I understand. I love it also but stick to organic, lean beef. There are so many benefits to it including a high amount of potassium and magnesium to start. These two are beneficial to reduce blood pressure. Grass fed lean beef is also good for heart health because it contains omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin E and fewer bad fats and cholesterol.
This beef is also high in coenzyme q10 (Coq10). Coq10 is beneficial for heart health. In one study (resource) where the participants were treated with Coq10 for 2 years, they showed a reduced risk of dying from heart problems and less symptoms.
16. Skinless Chicken
Chicken is an excellent choice packed with protein and low in fat and sodium. Keep your chicken skinless and avoid the fried version to keep chicken heart healthy. It’s also a good source of phosphorus, B6, niacin, contains some magnesium and selenium. Selenium is a trace mineral that could reduce the risk of heart disease or death associated with cardiovascular disease (resource).
Almonds are one of the highest foods rich in magnesium helping to reduce blood pressure (resource). Almonds are also packed with vitamin E, minerals, protein and beneficial fiber for cholesterol and blood sugar.
18. Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potato made the list because it’s rich in potassium making it a great food to reduce blood pressure (resource). It’s also high in iron, calcium, selenium and beta-carotene. In addition, it has a lot of vitamin A, vitamin C, B6 and manganese making this food a no brainer to include in your regular nutrition.
19. Leafy Greens
Leafy greens are a must for any nutrition plan. They’re packed with minerals, fiber and vitamins but are low in calories. In addition to reducing blood pressure and heart disease, they lower your risk of obesity and mental decline (resource). I’ve already included spinach and swiss chard on my list separately, because I feel they stand out from the rest. Other leafy greens include:
- Collard Greens
- Bok Choy
Even though bananas aren’t the highest food in potassium, it does have approximately 400 mg. Potassium helps to reduce blood pressure and maintain a healthy heart. Potassium intake is crucial in maintaining the 4:1 ratio which benefits blood pressure. I wrote a detailed blog post on the exact topic. If you want to check it out, it’s in this same website right here. This helps to In addition, bananas are low in fat and sodium, high in vitamin B6 and C.
21. Wild Caught Salmon
Salmon is high in omega-3 fatty acids. 2 of the acids, EPA and DHA are associated with reducing blood pressure and improving the health of your arteries (resource). Also, salmon is high in potassium, selenium and includes 7 different B vitamins. The B vitamins have been shown to reduce inflammation that leads to heart disease (resource).
22. Wild Caught Halibut
Just like salmon, halibut is high in omega-3 fatty acids (resource). It’s also high in magnesium, providing 42% of the daily recommended amount. Halibut also contains niacin, phosphorus and vitamins B12 and B6.
Studies have shown oatmeal lowers blood sugar levels and reduces the risk of heart disease. Due to the fiber and other nutrients, oatmeal can lower total and LDL cholesterol (resource). Do not buy packaged oatmeal in an envelope. Read the labels prior to buying because they have added sugars and other ingredients that aren’t healthy.
Broccoli is another cruciferous vegetable that is a daily favorite of mine. I usually steam it and season with garlic, onion and black pepper. Broccoli contains potassium, folate, fiber and vitamins K and C.
Fun fact: Broccoli was enjoyed by the Romans. It was introduced to the United States during the colonial era but didn’t become popular until the 1920s.
How Magnesium Foods Reduce Blood Pressure
Many of the foods on my list are high in magnesium for good reason. Magnesium has been shown to reduce blood pressure in more ways than one. The first way is how magnesium has a calming effect on blood vessels. Magnesium has anti-inflammatory properties that helps blood vessels relax. This prevents the blood vessels from constricting which helps keep blood pressure levels low (resource).
Magnesium is also beneficial in helping your body absorb calcium. It accomplishes this task because it is needed to transport calcium across cell membranes. The helps to prevent calcium build up in arteries which can lead to heart disease and heart attacks.
The blood pressure formula I reviewed in this site contains magnesium as one of its 11 main ingredients. If you’re interested, you can read that blog post right here.
Magnesium activates the sodium pump and helps to protect against your body losing potassium. This is important for reducing blood pressure because potassium and sodium help regulate how much fluid is stored in your body. This brings me to the next topic right below.
How Potassium Foods Reduce Blood Pressure
Your kidneys control the amount of fluid stored in your body. The right potassium to sodium ratio helps the kidneys do this effectively. If your body has extra fluid, it raises the amount of blood volume which increases blood pressure. It does this by making your heart work harder and it puts extra pressure on the walls of the arteries (resource).
Maintaining the potassium to sodium ratio of approximately 4:1 helps the kidneys control the amount of fluid. The amount of potassium recommended is 4,700 mg and the amount of sodium is about 1,200-1,500 mg.
If you’re an athlete or have a job that makes you sweat all day long, then this sodium recommendation is not for you. Getting that 4,700 mg of potassium can be tough, so eating foods high in potassium can help that process.
What are drinks to reduce blood pressure? The following are drinks to reduce blood pressure:
- Watermelon Juice
- Hibiscus Tea
- Spinach Juice
- Beet Juice
- Cranberry Juice
- Red Wine
- Low-fat Milk
- Pomegranate Juice
- Banana/Low-fat Milk Smoothie
What Are Foods High In Magnesium And Potassium To Reduce Blood Pressure? Magnesium and potassium have been shown to lower blood pressure. The following foods are high in magnesium and potassium to reduce blood pressure.
- Black Beans
- Swiss Chard
- Bok Choy
- Brussel Sprouts
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