Nancy Dell: Foods to lower blood pressure naturally

Image (1) MercyMedicalCenterLogo_20120323115516_0_0.GIF for post 10061. What food can lower blood pressure?
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One in 3 American adults has high blood pressure. It greatly increases your risk of a stroke and a heat attack which is the leading cause of death in America. Here are 6 foods that can reduce your blood pressure. A review of several studies published in the Journal of Human Hypertension found low fat yogurt and milk, but not cheese, reduces blood pressure. People who eat low fat dairy have a 36 percent lower risk of developing high blood pressure. Eat 2 to 3 servings of low fat milk or yogurt a day.

Eating flaxseed may also lower blood pressure even if you are already taking medication. Pistachios have also been found effective. Experts recommend eating nuts and seeds 3 or 4 times a week.  Remember the portion for seeds is 2 tablespoons and  for nuts – one third of a cup.  More is not better. In fact a lower dose of nuts lowered blood pressure more than a high dose. So don’t over do it.

British researchers found drinking 1 cup of beet juice a day lowered systolic blood pressure 8 points and diastolic blood pressure 4 points over 1 month. This was close to what medication can do. When they stopped drinking the beet juice, blood pressure went up again. Beets are high in Nitrates which ease blood pressure. So eat beets or drink beet juice everyday. Green leafy vegetables also have nitrates. These plants absorb the nitrates from the soil.

The journal Nutrition reports that fatty fish like salmon lowers blood pressure. The American Heart Association recommends eating fish twice a week. Finally, researchers at Tufts University found drinking three servings of hibiscus tea a day lowers blood pressure. Hibiscus is usually the first ingredient in most herbal teas like a fruity berry tea.  Read the ingredients to be sure.  Drink it hot or iced.  Remember just a 1 point drop in blood pressure can reduce the risk of stroke by 5 percent. So eating the low fat dairy, seeds, nuts, beets, fatty fish, and hibiscus tea can add up to have a big impact.

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