Is Eating Raw Veggies Best For Blood Pressure
Although many people with high blood pressure do incredibly well on a diet high in vegetables, some studies have analyzed cooked vegetables vs. raw vegetables in relation to lowering blood pressure.
In one study published in the Journal of Human Hypertension in 2013 , researchers from Imperial College in London would follow about 2,200 people from the U.S. for a three-week period. The results found that raw vegetables were linked to a lower overall blood pressure.
Among the commonly consumed raw vegetables were green leafy vegetables, carrots, tomatoes, and scallions. The common cooked vegetables in the study included tomatoes, scallions, peas, and celery.
The researchers did not include cooked white potatoes and sweet potatoes, since both vegetables have a high starch content.It is also important to note that cooking may reduce the antioxidant content of vegetables. This includes vitamin C, polyphenols, and glucosinolate.
When you do cook vegetables, steaming or blanching them will maintain most of the nutrients, rather than boiling them in water.
Interestingly, the absorption of antioxidants like carotenoids improves when you cook certain vegetables like tomatoes.
Other Foods That May Help Lower Your Blood Pressure
Garlic may also help lower your blood pressure. Garlic has been shown to help reduce inflammation. Using garlic to add flavor to your food also helps you reduce salt, which can also help lower blood pressure.
Moderate amounts of alcohol have also been shown to help lower blood pressure. Women shouldnt exceed one drink per day, while men shouldnt have more than two drinks per day. Keep in mind, consuming greater quantities of alcohol can cause blood pressure to rise.
Some people should drink less than this amount, or not at all, though. Drinking even moderate amounts of alcohol can interfere with certain medications and can increase your risk of other chronic conditions, including certain cancers and osteoporosis. Ask your health care provider if drinking alcohol is safe for you.
Tips For Using Diet To Control Blood Pressure
Fiddling with diet to control cholesterol makes perfect sense. After all, some of the cholesterol that ends up in arteries starts out in food. Changing your diet to control blood pressure doesn’t seem quite so straightforward. Yet food can have a direct and sometimes dramatic effect on blood pressure.
Salt certainly plays a role. But there is far more to a blood pressurefriendly diet than minimizing salt intake. Fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy foods, beans, nuts, whole-grain carbohydrates, and unsaturated fats also have healthful effects on blood pressure.
There isn’t a single “magic” food in this list. Instead, it’s the foundation for an all-around healthful eating strategy that is good for blood pressure and so much more. Rigorous trials show that eating strategies such as the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension diet, DASH variants like the OmniHeart diet, and Mediterranean-type diets lower blood pressure in people with hypertension and those headed in that direction. They also help prevent some of the feared consequences of high blood pressure.
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Tips For Following A High Blood Pressure Diet
Drastically changing your diet can be challenging, so Cochrane recommends starting slowly.
“If the plan is overwhelming, don’t try to do it all at once,” she says. Below are a few tips to start:
- Add a single serving of a fruit or vegetable with every meal or replace a pre-packaged snack with a fresh piece of fruit like an apple or orange.
- Stop using table salt as part of an effort to reduce sodium intake. Instead, opt for spices and fresh herbs.
- Keep a food diary or work with a dietician to help you understand your eating patterns and shift them to a healthier approach.
Rather than thinking of the diet as a restriction, Cochrane says to think of it as a way to give your body the best fuel possible. You don’t need to be perfect, and you can still indulge in the occasional sweet or salty treat.
“A good goal to strive for is to eat heart-healthy about 80% of the time,” Miller says.
Beets & Other Nitrate Rich Foods
Beets contain high levels of a chemical compound called nitrates that clinical trials suggest might be responsible for a beneficial effect on blood pressure. After you eat nitrates they are converted into nitric oxide by the body. Nitric oxide opens up your blood vessels – and thus relieves some of the pressure they’re experiencing.
Not to mention vegetables like beets are also packed with micronutrients, phytochemicals, and other antioxidant goodness that have benefits beyond blood pressure support.
How many beets should you be consuming? Theres really not enough evidence to know. However, studies that looked at their effect on blood pressure used anywhere between about 1/3rd to 2 cups each day of beetroot juice .
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Fresh Fish Are Part Of A Heart
Many fish are a great source of lean protein while other varieties offer omega-3 fats, which some research has linked heart-health benefits, according to Harvard Health. Certain fish, such as trout, are rich in vitamin D. People usually dont get enough vitamin D from food, so this is one way to boost your intake, Dean says.
A fresh fish fillet needs only minimal preparation. Keep it low-sodium by brushing on a little olive oil, sprinkling it with cracked black pepper, and baking or grilling it for a few minutes its easy and flavorful.
Different Fibers Different Effects
When taking AX, most participants had a significant drop in low-density lipoprotein , or bad cholesterol, and an increase in bile acids. The authors suggest that the increase in bile acids may contribute to the reduction in LDL. However, some participants saw no change in LDL levels.
For LCI, most, but not all, people saw a small decrease in inflammatory markers and an increase in Bifidobacterium. This gut microbe is generally regarded as beneficial to gut health. However, the highest dose of LCI reversed this effect. At this dose, participants saw increased inflammation and elevation in alanine aminotransferase, an enzyme associated with liver damage.
Mixed fiber supplementation yielded fewer significant changes.
The authors note that responses were not consistent for all people for either type of fiber, suggesting that each persons microbiome may determine responses.
Our results demonstrate that the physiological, microbial and molecular effects of individual fibers differ substantially.
Dr. Michael Snyder, senior study author, said in a press release.
Kate Cohen was excited to see where the authors would go next: Uncovering how different fibers interact with the microbiome is an essential step toward making personalized nutrition a reality. This research is also laying the groundwork for using food-as-medicine in a truly prescriptive way. This study confirms once again that the microbiome holds enormous potential for understanding human health.
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Types Of Food That Can Help Lower Blood Pressure
Antioxidant-rich foods may have a small impact on blood pressure levels. Foods high in vitamin C, vitamin E, potassium, selenium or L-arginine are good options if youre looking to lower your blood pressure. Antioxidants protect your cells from damage and can reduce inflammation, which, in turn, can keep blood pressure in control.
1. Foods high in vitamin C
Foods high in vitamin C can protect against oxidative stress, which causes inflammation. Good options include:
- Nuts/seeds like pistachios, almonds and flax seeds.
Bananas are high in potassium, which helps your body get rid of sodium, says Zumpano. Eating foods high in sodium can increase your blood pressure.
4. Foods high in selenium
Selenium is an antioxidant that helps protect your body from oxidative stress. Choose these foods for selenium:
- Seafood like tuna, halibut and shrimp.
- Brazil nuts.
5. Foods high in L-arginine
L-arginine helps make nitric oxide, a chemical that aids in relaxing muscle cells. Some research shows these foods can help lower blood pressure:
- Nuts/seeds like pumpkin seeds, walnuts and peanuts.
- Beans like chickpeas and soybeans.
- Dairy like milk, yogurt and cheese.
6. Foods high in calcium
Studies have shown that meeting the recommended dietary allowance for calcium of 1,000 milligrams and getting up to 1,500 milligrams per day can improve blood pressure. Foods rich in calcium include:
Try Meditation Or Yoga
Yoga, which commonly involves breathing control, posture, and meditation techniques, can also be effective in reducing stress and blood pressure.
A 2013 review on yoga and blood pressure found an average blood pressure decrease of 3.62 mm Hg diastolic and 4.17 mm Hg systolic when compared with those who didnt exercise.
Studies of yoga practices that included breath control, postures, and meditation were nearly twice as effective as yoga practices that didnt include all three of these elements .
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Add These 20 Foods To Your Diet To Lower Blood Pressure
A staggering 108 million Americans thats nearly half of the population are struggling with high blood pressure, the CDC says, which means they are at an increased risk of heart attack, stroke, and other life-altering health consequences along the way.
Skipping the salt and squeezing in some regular workouts can help keep your blood pressure from reaching dangerous levels, but it takes a more proactive approach to keep your blood pressure under control in the long run.
How Diet Affects Blood Pressure
Your food choices can have a significant impact on your blood pressure in positive and negative ways.
Eating a healthy diet rich in vegetables, fruit, whole grains, nuts, seeds, legumes, fish, lean meats, and low-fat dairy can help manage blood pressure.
On the other hand, eating a lot of red meat, fried foods, salt, and added sugars can contribute to high blood pressure.
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Foods To Eat To Lower Blood Pressure
Its estimated that 2 of 3 people with diabetes have high blood pressure. When blood pressure is elevated, your heart works harder to pump blood throughout your body. High blood pressure increases your risk of a heart attack, stroke, kidney disease, and eye problems.
You have already heard about how added salt can increase blood pressure, but did you know that certain foods can help to lower blood pressure? Foods that are high in potassium, magnesium, and calcium can help to regulate blood pressure. Taking these minerals as supplements doesnt have the same effect as eating foods that contain these. Try eating some of the following foods to boost your intake of nutrients that can lower blood pressure naturally.
Nuts are a good source of plant protein and contain the amino acid L-arginine which makes nitric oxide and helps blood vessels relax. While all nuts are a healthy choice, both almonds and pistachios contain the trifecta of potassium, magnesium, and calcium. Nuts are low in carbohydrates and eating nuts has been linked to improved glucose levels.
Beets contain nitrates, which are converted to nitric oxide which helps to control blood pressure. Beetroot juice contains higher amounts of nitrates than cooked beetroot. Beetroots contain potassium. For added calcium and magnesium, eat the beet greens as well.
Snacks That Lower Your Blood Pressure
Over 100 million Americans have high blood pressure. Here are three snacks that can help you lower it.
High blood pressure, or hypertension, is an epidemic facing the United States. More than 100 million Americans have high blood pressure, and the condition played a primary or contributing factor in nearly 500,000 deaths in 2018. The most effective way to combat this problem is to make lifestyle changes, including a healthier diet, alongside prescription medication if your doctor thinks itâs necesarry. This level of commitment may frighten away some people who could really use the help, though.
Luckily, there are delicious foods that lower blood pressure. These treats can be easily added to your diet without calling for a difficult recipe or hard-to-find ingredients. While they wonât completely eradicate your high blood pressure issues on their own, theyâre easy, tasty options that can make a difference. What foods lower blood pressure that would make great snacks?
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Eat Garlic Or Take Garlic Extract Supplements
Fresh garlic or garlic extract are both widely used to lower blood pressure.
A meta-analysis found that for people with high blood pressure, garlic supplements reduced their systolic blood pressure by up to about 5 mm Hg and reduced their diastolic blood pressure as much as 2.5 mm Hg .
According to a 2009 clinical study, a time-release garlic extract preparation may have a greater effect on blood pressure than regular garlic powder tablets .
Try These Medicinal Herbs
Herbal medicines have long been used in many cultures to treat a variety of ailments.
Some herbs have even been shown to possibly lower blood pressure. However, more research is needed to identify the doses and components in the herbs that are most useful.
Always check with your doctor or pharmacist before taking herbal supplements. They may interfere with your prescription medications.
Heres a partial list of plants and herbs that are used by cultures throughout the world to lower blood pressure:
- black bean
- river lily
- Avoid daytime naps.
- Make your bedroom comfortable.
The 2010 national Sleep Heart Health Study found that regularly sleeping fewer than 7 hours a night and more than 9 hours a night was associated with an increased rate of high blood pressure.
Regularly sleeping fewer than 5 hours a night was linked to a significant risk of high blood pressure long term .
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Salmon And Fatty Fish
Fatty fish such as salmon and cod are excellent sources of omega-3, which is known for promoting a healthy heart. One study found people with the highest levels of omega-3 in their blood had significantly lower blood pressure when compared with the people with lower levels of omega-3 in their bodies.
What Are The Risks Of High Blood Pressure
One of the biggest concerns regarding high blood pressure is that you may have hypertension and not even know it, most people experience no symptoms at all.
The American Heart Association refers to high blood pressure as the “silent killer“, due to the lack of warning before a cardiac event or serious damage is done.
The damage caused by high blood pressure over time can lead to stroke, vision loss, heart failure, heart attack, kidney disease, sexual dysfunction, and a variety of heart and other health complications.
While medication is necessary at times and can play an important role in blood pressure regulation, changing your lifestyle and eating habits can reduce your need for medication and improve your overall health.
Remember that any changes to your medication regimen should always be done under supervision and in coordination with your healthcare provider.
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Comparison Of Sodium In Foods
Meats, poultry, fish, and shellfish
Food: Milligrams sodium
Fresh meat, 3 oz. cooked: Less than 90 mg
Shellfish, 3 oz: 100 to 325 mg
Tuna, canned, 3 oz: 300 mg
Lean ham, 3 oz.: 1,025 mg
*Whole milk, 1 cup: 120 mg
Skim or 1% milk, 1 cup: 125 mg
*Buttermilk , 1 cup: 260 mg
*Swiss cheese, 1 oz: 75 mg
*Cheddar cheese, 1 oz : 175 mg
Low-fat cheese, 1 oz.: 150 mg
*Cottage cheese , 1/2 cup: 455 mg
Food: Milligrams sodium
Fresh or frozen vegetables, and no-salt-added canned , 1/2 cup: Less than 70 mg
Vegetables canned or frozen , 1/2 cup: 55-470 mg
Tomato juice, canned, 3/4 cup: 660 mg
Breads, cereals, rice and pasta
Food: Milligrams sodium
Bread, 1 slice: 110-175 mg
English muffin : 130 mg
Ready-to-eat, shredded wheat, 3/4 cup: Less than 5 mg
Cooked cereal , 1/2 cup: Less than 5 mg
Instant cooked cereal, 1 packet: 180 mg
Canned soups, 1 cup: 600-1,300 mg
Food: Milligrams sodium
Canned and frozen main dishes, 8 oz: 500-1,570 mg
*These can also be high in saturated fat, unless low-fat or reduced fat options are purchased.
*High in saturated fat.
Foods To Eat If You Have High Blood Pressure
These diets are low in added sodium, added sugar, and saturated fat while being rich in beneficial vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients that can keep your heart healthy.
Here are several foods to include in a high blood pressure diet:
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How Does Diet Play A Role In Managing High Blood Pressure
An unhealthy diet that’s high in sodium, saturated fat, and sugar may increase your risk of high blood pressure. These nutrients contribute to hypertension in a variety of ways. For example, saturated fat increases cholesterol levels, including “bad” LDL cholesterol, that can block your arteries and slow blood flow.
While it’s important to minimize these nutrients in your diet to decrease your risk of or manage your high blood pressure, it’s also important to eat more foods that lower blood pressure.
Foods that lower blood pressure contain specific nutrients that are scientifically proven to reduce blood pressure. These nutrients include:
- vitamin C
While the words “blood pressure-lowering diet” may conjure images of unseasoned egg whites and limp steamed veggies, getting your blood pressure into a healthy range is more than just doableit can be downright delicious.
Here is a list of the 20 healthiest foods that lower blood pressure. And for a more structured eating plan, consider trying the DASH Diet or “The Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension” Diet. This expert-approved, heart-healthy diet is one of the top-recommended diets to lower blood pressure.