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[2 min read] 12 best foods to treat high blood pressure
Did you know that hypertension, or high blood pressure, is the most common preventable risk factor for heart disease? Globally, over 1 billion people have high blood pressure, which is commonly treated with various medications including ACE inhibitors.
However, lifestyle changes such as diet modifications can help lower blood pressure levels to an optimum range and reduce risk of heart disease. As a primary care practitioner, recommending foods high in specific nutrients such as potassium and magnesium can help reduce your patients’ blood pressure and allow them to lead an overall healthier life.
The 12 foods most recommended for lowering high blood pressure are:
- Citrus fruits – Loaded with vitamins, minerals and plant compounds.
- Fatty fish – Rich with omega-3 fats that aid to reduce inflammation and decrease oxylipins which constrict blood vessels.
- Swiss chard – Packed with potassium and magnesium which help regulate blood pressure.
- Pumpkin seeds – Relax blood vessels with high levels of magnesium, potassium, and the amino acid arginine.
- Beans, lentils and wholegrains – Rich in blood-pressure-regulating nutrients including fibre and magnesium.
- Berries and nuts – Reduce heart disease risk factors with potassium and antioxidants, which increase nitric oxide levels in the blood.
- Carrots and celery – High in phthalides and chlorogenic, p-coumaric, and caffeic acids, which help relax blood vessels.
- Tomatoes – Rich in nutrients including potassium and the carotenoid pigment lycopene which has many benefits for heart health.
- Broccoli – Full of antioxidants which enhance blood vessel function and increasing nitric oxide levels in the body.
- Greek yoghurt – Nutrient-dense and packed with minerals that help regulate blood pressure, including potassium and calcium.
- Herbs, spices, chia and flax seeds – Packed with powerful compounds that help optimise heart health.
- Beetroot and spinach – High in nitrates, which help relax blood vessels and may lower blood pressure short-term.
Guiding your patients towards a nutrient-rich diet that supports their heart health can be a significant step towards lowering their blood pressure levels and reducing their risk of heart disease.
Learn more in the Professional Diploma program in Medical Nutrition Management