Foods That Lower Blood Pressure

Consists of two groups: Foods that lower blood pressure and foods that raise blood pressure. So: Eat the former and avoid the latter. Here is the only proven formula.

The DASH Diet

There is a diet just like that and it is called the DASH diet. DASH stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension. The Joint National Committee on Prevention, Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood Pressure (the JNC) recommends this diet as a primary measure in the treatment and prevention of high blood pressure. This diet emphasizes fruits, vegetables, nuts and low fat dairy products along with reduced saturated and total fat and reduced refined carbohydrates (sugar). The usual American diet was used as the control in this landmark study by the DASH Collaborative Research Group and reported in the New England Journal of Medicine, the top American medical journal. Funded by the National Institutes of Health.

Does your blood pressure need lowering?

To establish your blood pressure level it must be taken by a competent person using proper technique on at least 3 different occasions. These 3 criteria are not easily found together so that competent person could easily be yourself. Yes, learn to take it yourself. See How and Why at How To Take Blood Pressure

Should you eat foods that lower blood pressure only if your pressure is elevated accordingly to this table?

Blood Pressure Classification
115 75 Desirable
120-139 80-89 Prehypertension
140-159 90-99 Hypertension Stage 1
160 or over 100 or over Hypertension Stage 2

The answer is NO because what you eat can contribute a lot to the development of high blood pressure.

If your blood pressure needs lowering:

There are two ways that foods that lower blood pressure can work for you:

  1. Certain foods do act to lower blood pressure just by being eaten.
  2. Certain foods do act to lower blood pressure just by being avoided.

Foods that lower blood pressure (eat)

  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Low-fat milk and milk products
  • Whole grain products
  • Fish
  • Poultry
  • Nuts

Foods that raise blood pressure (avoid)

  • SALT
  • Saturated fat and total fat
  • Cholesterol
  • Sugar
  • Excess alcohol

So if you eat certain foods you get a benefit.
If you also avoid certain foods you get additional benefit.
If you also lose weight you get even more benefit.

All of this shown by the DASH study.

Increasing levels of benefit:

Following the diet loosely did work.
Following the diet closely worked even better.
Following the diet closely plus reducing salt worked even better.
All of the above plus losing weight gave the best benefit of all.

Doctor’s Practical Guide:

Fortuitously, the higher your blood pressure the more benefit you get for the same efforts. Further benefits are gained by an exercise program. Limiting alcohol if necessary also helps.

Even if you ascertain that you have a normal/desirable blood pressure is there any point in eating foods that lower blood pressure? You bet there is! Eating these foods actually retards the development of high blood pressure. When you consider that there is a 90% chance you will develop HBP in your lifetime you are getting an almost direct result.

While we’re at it, remember that eating right and maintaining a normal weight postpones getting diabetes by 10 to 15 years. Diabetes and HBP are two potent strikes against long life and golden years. So following this diet and keeping a normal weight shifts a lot of odds in your favor.

So put it all together and do as much as you can. See what happens. The very best way to know if and how much it is working for you is to monitor your BP yourself. See How To Take Blood Pressure and Home Blood Pressure Monitors

The DASH diet in a 64 page booklet is online at the National Institutes of Health website at:

National Institutes of Health-DASH Diet

Why not win the BP battle? For yourself. You can do it.


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