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High Blood Pressure? These 9 Foods Can Help


Around the world, more than a billion people suffer from hypertension, or high blood pressure, which increases the risk of cardiovascular diseases such as heart attack and stroke.

One of the biggest lifestyle changes to lowering blood pressure is following the right diet. Luckily, certain foods can help promote healthy blood pressure!

Here are 9 foods that help regulate blood pressure, plus a list of foods to avoid.

1. Blueberries

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Out of all the berries, blueberries contain the largest amount of anthocyanins, which are the phytochemicals that give blueberries their dark color.

Research suggests that anthocyanins may help with blood flow and blood pressure regulation. Eating about one cup of blueberries per day has the potential to improve blood vessel function and decrease systolic blood pressure.

2. Unsweetened Yogurt

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A study out of the University of South Australia found that a daily dose of yogurt may be associated with lower blood pressure—even in small amounts.

According to Dr. Alexandra Wade, one of the study’s researchers, “This study showed for people with elevated blood pressure, even small amounts of yogurt were associated with lower blood pressure. And for those who consumed yogurt regularly, the results were even stronger, with blood pressure readings nearly seven points lower than those who did not consume yogurt.”

The reason? Dairy products such as yogurt contain calcium, potassium, and magnesium, which are all essential in regulating blood pressure. Yogurt, in particular, also contains bacteria that help release proteins that lower blood pressure. (Just aim for the unsweetened kind!)

3. Leafy Greens

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Nitrates help lower blood pressure, and leafy green vegetables have plenty!

Moreover, research suggests that you can lower your blood pressure and reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease by eating at least one cup of leafy green vegetables per day, including kale, collard greens, cabbage, mustard greens, spinach, and Swiss chard.

Add them as a side dish or mix them into your main meal!

4. Fatty Fish

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The American Heart Association recommends eating at least two 3-ounce servings of fatty fish per week. The reason? They’re packed with omega-3 fatty acids (including EPA and DHA), which may help reduce blood pressure.

Omega-3 fatty acids also support brain function and memory, reduce inflammation, and improve cardiovascular health.

Fatty fish that contain the most omega-3 fatty acids include:



Black cod

Bluefin tuna


Striped bass


5. Garlic

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There are so many possibilities for adding garlic to your diet, and that’s a good thing!

A recent review of research concluded that garlic can reduce blood pressure, arterial stiffness, and cholesterol.

Garlic contains allicin, which can prevent the production of angiotensin, a hormone responsible for raising blood pressure by contracting the blood vessels.

6. Whole Grains

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Get this: A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggests that eating whole grains, such as whole-grain wheat and oats, is as effective as taking medication for high blood pressure.

The study included over 200 volunteers, and researchers found that eating three portions of whole-grain foods per day reduces your risk of high blood pressure.

The main benefits of whole-grain foods include:

Managing weight, since they can make you feel full longer

Increasing your potassium level, which is linked to lower blood pressure

Decreasing your risk of insulin resistance

Reducing damage to blood vessels

All of these benefits are essential to maintaining a healthy blood pressure.

7. Extra Virgin Olive Oil

According to the American Heart Association, extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) has a high percentage of monounsaturated fat, which lowers “bad” LDL cholesterol and increases “good” HDL cholesterol and has been shown to lower blood pressure.

Better yet? In addition to lower blood pressure, research has also found that eating more than half a tablespoon per day lowers the rates of premature death from cardiovascular disease and Alzheimer’s disease.

Just be sure to look for extra virgin olive oil that has been “first-pressed” or “cold-pressed,” meaning it’s a natural product that has undergone a single, simple milling process that hasn’t altered its quality.

On the other hand, regular olive oil that is referred to as “pure” or “light” is a marketing tactic for olive oil that has been refined with a small amount of EVOO.

8. Beets

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Beets are another food that is high in nitric oxide, which helps lower blood pressure.

Research has also shown that drinking beetroot juice can help lower your systolic blood pressure (the top number in your blood pressure reading) by 4 to 5 mmHg. This, in turn, can reduce the risk of cardiovascular events.

9. Sweet Potatoes

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Sweet potatoes contain potassium and magnesium, which are an essential part of any healthy diet aimed at lowering blood pressure.

If you’re looking for even more reasons to eat sweet potatoes, they can also help reduce inflammation, regulate blood sugar levels, and aid in weight loss.

Foods to Cut Back On If You Have High Blood Pressure

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In general, salty foods are the worst option if you have hypertension. The reason? When you eat salt, your body retains more fluids, which raises your blood volume and pressure.

So, if you struggle with high blood pressure, here are the top foods to cut back on:

Processed meats, such as hot dogs, deli meat, bacon, and sausage

Restaurant food (most of it is packed with sodium)

Salty snacks, such as chips or pretzel sticks

Pizza (especially delivery or frozen pizza)

Pickles and pickled foods

Canned soups and tomato products

Condiments like ketchup, soy sauce, and BBQ sauce

White bread and rolls

Avoiding a lot of sodium, sugar, and saturated fat is your best bet for controlling your blood pressure.

5 Powerful Health Benefits of Artichokes (+ 7 Yummy Recipes!)

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Whether you’re looking for a reason to add artichokes to your diet once and for all or just another reason to keep eating them, you’ll definitely want to check out their best health benefits!

Plus, we’ve added some delightful recipes to try.

5 Powerful Health Benefits of Artichokes (+ 7 Yummy Recipes!)

14 Health Benefits of Cucumbers (And a Few Refreshing Recipes)

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From healthy skin to improved memory, check out the top 14 health benefits of cucumbers!

And if you’re lucky enough to have a load from your garden or farmers market on hand, you’ll definitely want to check out some of our favorite cucumber recipes, too.

14 Health Benefits of Cucumbers (And a Few Refreshing Recipes)

53 Best Weight Loss Snacks

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To keep you from going crazy with calories even when the saltiest of cravings hit, my team and I rounded up our best weight-loss snack recipes that are super easy to throw together.

And when you don’t have time or you’re on the go, we also made a list of our favorite healthy purchased snacks too!

53 Best Weight Loss Snacks

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