17 Foods to Lower High Blood Pressure Without Medication
Nutrition is more than saying no to fast food—you also need the good stuff. Like foods to lower high blood pressure without medication.
The DASH diet is a meal plan that may help to get your blood pressure under control. It cuts back on red meat, bad fats, salty food, and sugary foods and beverages. The flexible guide makes sure you get a balanced meal and emphasizes eating healthful foods.
The best part about it is it’s not as restrictive. And it is delicious just as it is healthy. Here’s how to eat your way to a healthy heart.
Foods That Can Lower High Blood Pressure and Why Your Home Chef Should Know Them
Foods That Lower High Blood Pressure | Dairy
1. Fat-Free or Reduced Fat Milk
Milk is a prime source of calcium and protein.
Some studies show that fat-free milk is healthier than regular milk. However, the DASH diet tries to keep saturated fats to a minimum. For this reason, it may be best to stick to low-fat.
Milk with reduced-fat may also be lower in calories and cholesterol.
Enjoy a cup of milk a day alone or with a fiber-rich breakfast like the item below. One and a half ounces of cheese could also do wonders for your palette and heart health.
If you prefer chocolate milk in the morning, add cocoa powder to a cup of warm low-fat milk. You’ll still be able to enjoy the rich taste of hot cocoa while keeping your heart protected.
Fermented and nutrient-dense, yogurt is a dietitian’s go-to superfood.
Yogurt is one of the few probiotics in the Western diet and deserves a spot on your breakfast menu.
Research shows that probiotics may lower cholesterol and have anti-inflammatory, anti-platelet, and anti-oxidative properties.
One cup of Greek yogurt a day may protect your heart from cardiovascular diseases.
Foods That Lower High Blood Pressure | Grains
Carbohydrates have a bad reputation, but they are an essential food group, providing us with energy (calories) and fiber.
Yes, carbs are still part of the meal plan, but make sure they’re of good quality—the less finely milled, the better. Whole grains are a rich source of dietary fiber and nutrients.
Oats are a healthful source of:
They are gluten-free, making them safe for those with celiac disease.
Opt for steel-cut oats or old-fashioned oats as your whole grain option. They have higher fiber content and a lower glycemic index than instant oats.
4. Whole Wheat Bread
A slice of whole-wheat toast or roll will do more for your health than white bread. Refined grains like what you would find in white bread have little to no fiber in them.
And because whole grains offer a heavier meal, you will feel fuller with fewer calories.
5. Brown Rice
Half a cup (one serving) of brown rice can give you a hearty and heart-healthy meal.
One serving contains 108 calories, two grams of fiber, and zero cholesterol—only the good stuff here. You can easily incorporate it into your dishes to give them more texture and easily replace white rice.
Chow down with tandoori chicken or stir-fried vegetables.
Not a fan of oats, whole-wheat bread, or brown rice? Nuts and legumes are can also be a healthful sources of dietary fiber.
Foods That Lower High Blood Pressure | Fruits
6. Apples (with Skin)
Say it with me—an apple a day keeps the doctor away. And there’s truth to the age-old adage.
- 65 calories
- 67.5 IU vitamin (1% daily value)
- 5.7 mg vitamin C (10% daily value)
- 2.8 mcg vitamin K (3% daily value)
- 6.3 mg magnesium (2% daily value)
- 134 mg potassium (4% daily value)
Don’t peel your apples. The skin contains plenty of nutrients and is much healthier than peeled apples.
Nutrients like potassium may help lower your risk for heart attack by controlling your blood pressure. It reduces the harmful effects of sodium and relaxes the walls of your blood vessels, lowering your blood pressure.
Add sliced apples to your salads to give them a sweeter, fresher flavor. The juicy and savory texture will also make your meal more inviting and satisfying at the same time.
Are you looking to drink your fruit? Blend it into a smoothie as juicing it may not get the full benefits of a raw apple. The next item below will help sweeten your smoothie and give it a pleasing creamy texture.
This time, it’s okay to peel your fruit.
One cup of sliced banana contains:
- 133 calories
- 3.9 g dietary fiber (16% DV)
- 96 IU vitamin A (2% DV)
- 13.1 mg vitamin C (22% DV)
- 0.6 mg vitamin B6 (28% DV)
- 40.5 mg magnesium (10% DV)
- 537 mg potassium (15% DV)
Magnesium may also help control and prevent hypertension. While scientists still do not know the underlying mechanisms, doctors widely recommend adding magnesium into your daily diet alongside potassium.
One meta-analysis of 34 trials found that magnesium may lower blood pressure and may have antihypertensive effects.
Bananas make a great stand-alone snack. You can also prepare desserts with them like smoothies or yogurt parfaits.
Beat the heat and hypertension with watermelons.
- 46.2 calories
- 876 IU vitamin A (18% DV)
- 12.5 mg vitamin C (21% DV)
- 15.4 mg magnesium (4% DV)
- 173 mg potassium (5% DV)
Watermelons also contain citrulline, an amino acid that could help lower blood pressure. It plays a key role in producing nitric oxide, keeping blood vessels healthy, and helping to control and reduce blood pressure.
Food That Lower High Blood Pressure: Meat, Poultry, Fish
9. Lean Meats
You can still enjoy your steak or barbecue at your family lunch.
The DASH diet allows for some meat as it’s not as restrictive as other popular diets.
Lean meats are a great source of protein and safe to eat when consumed occasionally. Trim all the visible fat and broil, roast, or poach them to make a hearty lunch.
Chicken is still the most healthful source of protein.
Poultry and eggs are healthful alternatives to processed foods. Processed food includes frozen meats you would find in the supermarket. These typically contain high amounts of sodium from preservatives.
Opt for fresh meat over store-bought and highly processed.
Grill chicken with some bell peppers, onion, and tomatoes for a Mediterranean-themed dinner. If you’re cooking for the whole family, bake a chicken in the oven. It’s quick, easy, and very nutritious.
Atlantic wild salmon satisfy 28% of the daily value for potassium and 14% of your daily value for magnesium. Both potassium and magnesium are essential to heart health.
Like most meats, the healthiest way to prepare them is to grill, bake, or poach them.
Drizzle your salmon with lemon sauce to remove the fishy odor. Serve them with brown rice for a protein and carb-dense meal.
Foods That Lower High Blood Pressure: Nuts, Legumes, Seeds
Science-backed diets like the DASH diet and the Mediterranean diet encourage eating almonds for a good reason.
Almonds are an excellent source of antioxidants and keep your blood vessels and blood flow healthy. The health nut could lower blood pressure and reduce your risk for heart disease.
- 546 calories
- 11.6 g dietary fiber (46% DV)
- 20.2 g protein (40% DV)
- 24.9 mg vitamin E (125% DV)
- 0.2 mg thiamin (13% DV)
- 3.2 mg niacin (16% DV)
- 47.5 mcg folate (12% DV)
- 251 mg calcium (25% DV)
- 255 mg magnesium (64% DV)
- 670 mg potassium (19% DV)
Foods that help lower high blood pressure and improve your overall health come in small packages.
Almonds may be a better source of protein and fiber than lean meats and chicken. They are also more nutrient-dense, making them the perfect superfood.
Feeling peckish? Munch on some almonds between meals to satisfy your cravings.
Health nuts subscribe to this particular nut as they are one of the foods that help lower cholesterol, and now it seems it lowers high blood pressure too.
Eating walnuts in a diet with low saturated fats may reduce blood pressure in patients at risk for heart attack. Walnuts are a healthful whole food alternative to saturated fats.
Reach for a pack of walnuts instead of red meat if you’re looking for a snack. Nibble on them alone and down them with a cup of skim milk.
Lentils are a protein powerhouse, besting even meat when it comes to protein content.
Just one cup of lentils will give you 36% of your daily recommended value for protein.
The lens-shaped legumes are one of the foods that help lower high blood pressure and cholesterol. And for those trying to lose weight, they may also help you lose weight and achieve a smaller waist circumference.
Lentil soup cooked with tofu is a protein punch and your best lunch for a healthy heart.
Food that Lower High Blood Pressure: Vegetables
The cruciferous vegetable is one of the superfoods that deserve the top spot on your grocery list.
Broccoli is rich in potassium, dietary fiber, and flavonoids that work together to keep your heart healthy.
- 30.9 calories
- 2.6 g protein (5% DV)
- 2.4 g dietary fiber (9% DV)
- 567 IU vitamin A (11%% DV)
- 81.2 mg vitamin C (135% DV)
- 19.1 mg magnesium (5% DV)
- 288 mg potassium (8% DV)
Broccoli could be good for the heart and promotes overall health, given you prepare it correctly.
One study found that broccoli loses flavonoids when it’s boiled. To get the most out of your broccoli, cook it in the microwave to retain its nutrients. Make the most of your meal by pairing it with juicy red bell peppers and grilled chicken breast.
Tomatoes are rich in heart-healthy nutrients such as lycopene and potassium.
Lycopene poses many properties with heart benefits including:
- protective endothelial effects
In a nutshell, the lycopene in tomatoes may support and protect many heart functions including blood pressure.
While tomato paste and canned tomatoes may still contain lycopene, they may have higher amounts of sodium.
Grill a kebab with tomatoes, chicken, and red and yellow bell peppers. Each bite will be juicy, tender, and absolutely satisfying.
And to those who wonder if tomatoes are fruits or vegetables—they are both.
17. Green, Leafy Vegetables
Kale, spinach, and other leafy green are heralded as superfoods. They contain valuable amounts of vitamins and nutrients with a number of cardiovascular health benefits.
- vitamin K, E, C
They are also a few of your best sources of dietary fiber, essential to maintaining a healthy heart.
You can add them to your favorite fruit smoothie. It may change the color of your beverage but won’t leave it bitter. If you prefer something to munch on, a crispy green salad may be just as refreshing and nutritious.
There are is no one miracle food that will keep you healthy, but a healthful dietary pattern could. And that is what the DASH diet is about. The best diets are the ones you can stick to and include foods to lower high blood pressure.
Which of these healthy foods are your favorites? Let us know in the comment section below!
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