Hypertension or high blood pressure is one leading risk factor of heart disease and stoke and often result from factors that affect degree of blood vessel constriction or narrowing blood vessel and fluid volume inside the body. Both narrow blood vessel as well as retention of high fluid inside the body can lead to high blood pressure or hypertension. In our earlier article we have mentioned about the risk factors of high blood pressure and systolic and diastolic blood pressure. And here we are picking up the best foods to lower blood pressure without medication with a natural approach.
Miracle mineral magnesium helps to relax tissues, improves heart function, maintains elasticity of blood vessels as well as reduces high blood pressure. Apart from that magnesium also helps for better sleep. Also read about this along with food sources and Recommended Dietary Allowances here.
Best foods to lower blood pressure without medication
Celery (Apium graveolens)
Celery offers vitamins, minerals, fiber and antioxidant and it is widely used in Chinese traditional medicine. It contains a phytonutrient called phthalides. Celery seed extract contains an important compound called 3-n-butylphthalide (3nB).
In recent human study published in Natural Medicine Journal, celery seed extract supplying 85% of 3Nb significantly lower both systolic blood pressure and diastolic blood pressure in 30 mild to moderate hypertensive patients. The study used a dose of 150 mg per day.(1) Another study reported 3-n-butylphthalide significantly decreased blood pressure as well as has protective effect in damaging kidney. However the study conducted on rats.(2)
Celery contains considerable amount of potassium and potassium helps to flushes away sodium through kidney. High level of sodium causes elevated level of fluid retention inside the body, thus increases blood pressure.
Celery also contains magnesium which helps to relax tissue and artery wall. Celery stalk and leaf also has health beneficial effect but celery seed has strong potential to lower high blood pressure.
Garlic (Allium sativum)
Garlic enhances regulation of endothelial nitric oxide (NO), which induces smooth muscle cell relaxation, widening of blood vessel, and thus lower blood pressure. Narrow blood vessel elevates blood pressure. Endothelial nitric oxide, i.e. healthy endothelial cells or cells of inner lining of blood vessel release nitric oxide which moisten and smoothen blood vessel and thus help to proper flow of blood.(3)
A double-blind randomized placebo-controlled published in the journal of Integrated Blood Pressure Control in 2016, found aged garlic reduces both systolic and diastolic blood pressure in a large proportion of patients with uncontrolled hypertension. The study also reported that aged garlic has a highly tolerable and acceptable profile, and did not increase the risk of bleeding in patients on blood-thinning medication. It also informed that aged garlic has the potential to improve arterial stiffness, lower inflammation and other cardiovascular risk makers. The study used aged garlic of 1.2 g containing 1.2 mg S-allylcysteine. (4)
Aged garlic seems to be one best form to consume. One or two cloves of aged garlic depending upon size and weight on daily basis is sufficient to take. Daily dose of garlic is 2 to 5 g of fresh raw garlic; 0.4 to 1.2 g of dried garlic powder; 2 to 5 mg garlic oil; 300 to 1,000 mg of garlic extract.
Tomato contains a powerful phytonutrient lycopene, antioxidant carotenoid best known for its red pigment in tomato. And a Meta-Analysis of Intervention Trials suggests that lycopene may effectively reduce systolic blood pressure.(5)
Another research found that tomato extract has potential to reduce significantly both systolic and diastolic blood pressure in people with moderate uncontrolled hypertensives blood pressure.(6)
Tomato contains considerable amount of potassium and thus help to lower blood pressure as well as lower tension in blood vessel.
For better benefits, tomato should be eaten in raw and so for eating raw you should choose organic.
Fish with omega 3 fatty acid
Probably most of us hear about benefits of omega3 fish oil as well as its anti-inflammatory property. Inflammation plays a critical rule in vascular inflammation and can directly decrease the production of nitric oxide in lining of blood vessel. Thus, such condition can cause oxidation further leads to atherosclerosis and vascular constriction. And vascular constriction increases blood pressure as the heart has to pump blood with extra pressure through narrow blood vessel. EPA of omega 3 fish oil has potential anti-inflammatory property and thus lower inflammation and helps to lower blood pressure. But being a polyunsaturated fatty acid omega 3 is sensible to heat and so you should avoid high heat preparation of fish with omega 3 fatty acid. And research also has evidence that omega 3 with EPA and DHA helps to lower high blood pressure (both systolic and diastolic) in people with higher blood pressure.
For details you may read Heath Benefits of omega 3 fatty acid and best fish source with omega 3 fatty acid
Pomegranate has a rich profile of bioactive phytonutrients with antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory and cardioprotective functions. Drinking pomegranate juice significantly lowers both systolic and diastolic pressure in patients of high blood pressure as well as lowers inflammation and improve vascular function. (7)
Beetroot found its importance in extensive scientific research due to its potential of multiple health benefits. Beetroot contains high amount of dietary nitrate (NO3). Bacteria in mouth and intestine convert nitrates to nitrites and which further convert to nitric oxide. And thus dietary nitrate or nitric oxide improves vascular function and lowers high blood pressure.(8)
Also having a potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory profile, beetroot fight against free radicals, prevent free radical cell damage, lower oxidative stress, inflammation along with reducing high blood pressure. (9) Raw or beetroot juice has a better overall health effects than cooked beetroot. (10)
Apart from lowering high blood pressure, beet has other benefits to boost health, stamina and beauty. You can read more about these and precaution with the below link.
Other fruits, vegetables and nuts
Fruits, vegetables and nuts with vitamin C, E and beta carotene having antioxidant properties help to lower inflammation as well as high blood pressure with more or lesser extent. It is better to include those foods in your diet list as healthy eating. Guava is rich source of potassium, magnesium and vitamin C helps to lower high blood pressure as well as lower inflammation and relaxes muscle.
Banana is a good source of potassium. Other potassium rich food including sweet potatoes, winter squash, raisins, spinach, oranges, dried apricots, currants, and zucchini also helps to lower pressure in blood vessel.
Other foods include onions, nuts and seeds, green leafy vegetables for their rich content of calcium and magnesium, foods rich in flavonoids such as berries, cherries, grapes, red kidney beans. (11)All those are part of a healthy diet.
Information in above article of best foods to lower blood pressure without medication, is a generalized information only. So, individual with specific health condition, having food allergy to specific food should consult with a health professional first.
Disclaimer: Information provided here are generalized information for informational and entertainment purpose only, not intended to provide one to one health consultation or replace practice of a qualified practitioner. Different people may have different health condition and may have different reaction to the same food. Hence it has been advised to consult with health care provider before application of any of above information Source and references: 1. A Pilot Study to Evaluate the Antihypertensive Effect of a Celery Extract in Mild to Moderate Hypertensive Patients, By Doddabele Madhavi, PhD, Daniel Kagan, PhD, Venkatesh Rao, MD, and Michael T. Murray, ND, Natural Medicine Journal 2013;4(4):1-3 2. Protective effect of 3-n-butylphthalide against hypertensive nephropathy in spontaneously hypertensive rats, Zhu J, Zhang Y, Yang C, Mol Med Rep. 2015 3.Potential of garlic (Allium sativum) in lowering high blood pressure: mechanisms of action and clinical relevance, Karin Ried and Peter Fakler, Integr Blood Press Control. 2014; 7: 71–82 4.The effect of aged garlic extract on blood pressure and other cardiovascular risk factors in uncontrolled hypertensives: The AGE at Heart trial, Karin Ried, Nikolaj Travica, Avni Sali, Lycopene Supplement and Blood Pressure: An Updated Meta-Analysis of Intervention Trials,Xinli Li and Jiuhong Xu, Nutrients. 2013 Sep; 5(9): 3696–3712 6.The effects of natural antioxidants from tomato extract in treated but uncontrolled hypertensive patients, Paran E, Novack V, Engelhard YN, Hazan- Halevy I, Cardiovasc Drugs Ther. 2009 Apr;23(2):145-51 7.Clinical evaluation of blood pressure lowering, endothelial function improving, hypolipidemic and anti-inflammatory effects of pomegranate juice in hypertensive subjects, Asgary S, Sahebkar A, Afshani MR, Keshvari M, Haghjooyjavanmard S, Rafieian-Kopaei M, Phytother Res. 2014 Feb;28(2):193-9 8.Food sources of nitrates and nitrites: the physiologic context for potential health benefits,9.The Potential Benefits of Red Beetroot Supplementation in Health and Disease, Tom Clifford, Glyn Howatson,Daniel J. West,and Emma J. Stevenson, Nutrients. 2015 Apr; 7(4): 2801–2822 10.Improvement of hypertension, endothelial function and systemic inflammation following short-term supplementation with red beet (Beta vulgaris L.) juice: a randomized crossover pilot study, Asgary S, Afshani MR,Sahebkar A,Keshvari M,Taheri M,Jahanian E,Rafieian-Kopaei M,Malekian F,Sarrafzadegan N,J Hum Hypertens. 2016 Oct;30(10):627-32. 11.The Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine-Michael T. Murray, N.D. & Joseph Pizzorno, N.D.