Five Ways to Decrease Blood PressurePosted on : January 22, 2024
by Ashleigh Feltham Accredited Practising Dietitian and Accredited Nutritionist
Five Ways to Decrease Blood Pressure
High blood pressure increases the risk of heart attack or stroke as well as other conditions, like damage to your brain, eyes and kidneys. Even if your lifestyle consists of regular exercise and a healthy diet, you may still end up with high blood pressure.
If you want to improve your blood pressure naturally without harsh restrictions, this is a must-read post. Here are five dietary additions you can include to help decrease blood pressure.
1. Increase Potassium
Potassium is a mineral that works with sodium to regulate blood pressure and support normal muscle contractions. Most people do not eat enough potassium. This causes an imbalance of sodium, which increases blood pressure.
Good sources of potassium include fruit and vegetables, nuts and seeds, legumes, dairy, and salmon.
2. Increase Magnesium
Magnesium is an essential mineral your body needs. It is involved in over 325 different body functions, including blood pressure regulation. Good sources of magnesium include nuts and seeds, whole grains like wholegrain bread, crackers and couscous, quinoa, oats, and brown, black, or red rice. Tofu, dairy, and leafy greens are also good sources of magnesium.
3. Increase Calcium
Calcium is a mineral needed for strong bones and teeth as well as for normal muscle contractions, like contractions in your heart. Meeting your daily needs of calcium is one way you can help keep your blood pressure at healthy levels.
4. Add in Nitrate
Dietary nitrates can help your blood vessels widen or dilate. This improves the blood flow through your blood vessels and allows more oxygen and other important nutrients to be delivered throughout your body. As a result, this helps to lower your blood pressure.
Good sources of nitrate include beetroot, leafy greens like spinach, kale, lettuce, fennel, radishes, rocket, Chinese cabbage and parsley.
5. Increase Prebiotics and Probiotics
The World Health Organisation defines probiotics as ‘live microbes, when given to your body in adequate amounts provide health benefits’. Think of your gut as a garden; plant a variety of probiotics, the more the better. A healthy gut microbiome keeps your body healthy, including the promotion of healthy blood pressure levels.
Prebiotic foods feed the health-promoting microbes in your gut. Prebiotic foods are found in good amounts in whole, plant-based foods like fruit, vegetables, nuts, seeds, legumes, beans, wholegrains like oats and wholegrain pasta, couscous, bread, and crackers.
Probiotics can be found in foods like yoghurt, miso, tempeh, natto, sauerkraut, kefir, pickled cucumbers, gouda, mozzarella, cheddar, and cottage cheese.
Take home message
If you want to lower your blood pressure without harsh restrictions, try adding these five nutrients into your diet.