8 Delicious Food Remedies for Better Blood Pressure

8 Tasty Food Remedies for Better Blood Pressure

In a recent study from the American Journal of Hypertension, scientists identified a potential risk factor for high blood pressure: frequently eating meals away from home. Along with watching your diet and scaling back on sodium-heavy restaurant meals and processed foods, certain foods are being explored for their potential cardiovascular benefits. Here's a look at eight delicious foods.


Chopped garlic. BJI/Blue Jean Images/Getty Images

About one out of every three adults in the United States has high blood pressure, according to the American Heart Association (AHA). What's more, the AHA estimates that prevalence of high blood pressure may increase 7.2 percent by the year 2030. To lower your odds of developing heart disease (the country's leading cause of death), it's crucial to take steps each day to keep your blood pressure in check.

Boosting your intake of garlic may help modestly reduce blood pressure, according to the National Institutes of Health. Indeed, a research review published in 2008 determined that treatment with garlic preparations may benefit people suffering from high blood pressure. Some research suggests that certain compounds in garlic may help lower blood pressure by promoting widening of the blood vessels.

Along with consuming garlic, you can improve your blood pressure by cutting back on salt, avoiding smoking, limiting your alcohol intake, working out regularly, and managing your stress. Natural remedies like omega-3 fatty acids, cocoa, and hawthorn also appear to help with blood pressure management.

Beet Root

beet root juice
Beet root juice. vanillaechoes/Moment Open/Getty Images

For help in lowering blood pressure and fighting heart disease, some individuals turn to beet root. High in antioxidants, beet root is a top source of betalains—compounds known to reduce inflammation and fight oxidative stress (a destructive biological process closely linked to many health problems, including high blood pressure).

While there's currently a lack of clinical trials testing the health effects of beet root supplements, some research shows that drinking beet root juice may help bring your blood pressure down. For example, a small study published in Nutrition Journal in 2012 found that drinking beet root juice as part of a normal diet may help lower blood pressure in healthy adults.

Some studies suggest that drinking beet root juice may help boost stamina and improve exercise performance as well. You can learn more about juicing for better health here


red grapes
Red grapes are a source of resveratrol. Westend61/Getty Images

Nearly two out of three people with diabetes suffer from high blood pressure, according to the American Diabetes Association (ADA). To keep blood pressure in check, the ADA encourages diabetes patients to take up lifestyle practices such as scaling back on salt, avoiding smoking, and working to maintain a healthy weight. In addition, some studies show that natural remedies like resveratrol may help lower blood pressure in people with diabetes.

An antioxidant compound found naturally in nuts and grapes, resveratrol was the focus of a report published in Molecular Nutrition & Food Research in 2015. In their analysis of six clinical trials looking at resveratrol's possible effectiveness in the treatment of diabetes, the report's authors determined that use of resveratrol may help improve systolic blood pressure (the top or first number on a blood pressure reading).

Related: Resveratrol for Diabetes Care

In addition, some research indicates that resveratrol may help manage diabetes by reducing inflammation, regulating blood sugar levels, and fighting insulin resistance


Blueberries. dm909/Moment Open/Getty Images

Blueberries are sometimes touted as a natural remedy for high blood pressure. Rich in antioxidants known as anthocyanins, blueberry extract is said to help keep blood pressure in check by boosting the health of blood vessels.

Although research on the use of blueberry extract in treatment of high blood pressure is very limited, preliminary research suggests that it may help lower blood pressure to some degree. Tests on animals, for instance, indicate that blueberry extract may prevent the development of high blood pressure, possibly by fighting oxidative stress.

For help in keeping your blood pressure healthy, make sure to limit your intake of sodium and alcohol, maintain a healthy weight, manage your stress, and get regular exercise. Natural remedies like omega-3 fatty acids and garlic may also help bring blood pressure down.  


Salmon. Emilie Duchesne/E+/Getty Images

Struggling with insomnia? A study suggests that people who take longer than 14 minutes to nod off at night may face a greater risk of high blood pressure, a condition also known as hypertension. Along with improving your sleep habits, you can help keep your blood pressure in check by using natural remedies such as fish oil (a major source of omega-3 fatty acids).

For a research review published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, scientists analyzed 17 previously published studies and determined that use of fish oil supplements led to a significant improvement in blood pressure in people with hypertension. It's thought that fish oil may help lower blood pressure in part by increasing the elasticity of your arteries.

Related: Fish Oil for High Blood Pressure?

Not only available in dietary supplement form, omega-3-rich fish oil is especially abundant in salmon, mackerel, herring, lake trout, sardines, and albacore tuna. The American Heart Association recommends eating fish at least two times a week for better heart health.

Hibiscus Tea

hibiscus tea
Hibiscus tea. Hiroshi Uzu/Moment Open/Getty Images

Although few studies have tested the health benefits of hibiscus, research suggests that hibiscus may offer antioxidant effects. A review of four studies found that hibiscus was associated with reduced systolic and diastolic blood pressure. 

Caution should be used when consuming hibiscus tea in large amounts, as the iron, manganese, and copper content in hibiscus may exceed the recommended intake, and a number of adverse effects including diuresis (increased urination) may occur..

For more help in boosting your antioxidant capacity and reducing inflammation (two factors that could help fight heart disease), look to natural substances like anthocyanins, resveratrol, blueberry, black tea, green tea, and grape seed extract.


soy foods
Tofu and soy beans. 4kodiak/E+/Getty Images

Research suggests that soy may help keep your blood pressure in check. Published in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association, the study found that milk protein supplements had a similar effect on blood pressure.

For the study, 352 adults (all of whom were at an increased risk of high blood pressure or already had mildly elevated blood pressure) took 40 grams of soy protein, milk protein, or a refined carbohydrate supplement every day for eight weeks each. Study results showed that taking the milk protein supplements led to a 2.3 mmHg decrease in systolic blood pressure (compared to when they took a refined carbohydrate supplement), while the soy protein supplements led to a 2.0 3 mmHg decrease in systolic blood pressure.

Systolic blood pressure is the top number in a blood pressure reading. Past research suggests that a 2 mmHg reduction could lead to 6 percent fewer stroke-related deaths, a 4 percent lower rate of heart disease deaths, and a 3 percent reduction in overall deaths among Americans.

Celery Seed

celery seed
Celery seed. Lew Robertson/StockFood Creative

In ayurvedic medicine, celery seed is sometimes taken to bring down blood pressure and fight heart disease. Rich in a number of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds, celery seed is said to shield heart health by lowering cholesterol as well.

The available research on celery seed's potential to keep blood pressure in check includes a rat-based study published in the Journal of Medicinal Food in 2013. While celery seed extract appeared to have no impact on rats with normal blood pressure, it did seem to benefit animals with elevated blood pressure.

For everyday protection against high blood pressure, make sure to limit your intake of sodium and alcohol, manage your stress, and get plenty of exercise. Boosting your consumption of garlic and omega-3 fatty acids may also help you fend off high blood pressure (a top risk factor for heart disease).


Delicious foods for better blood pressure
Cathy Wong

For help in controlling your blood pressure, make sure to work out regularly, manage your stress, lower your salt intake, and avoid smoking. Boosting your intake of garlic and omega-3 fatty acids may also help improve your blood pressure. 

If you're considering using food or any form of alternative medicine for high blood pressure, it's crucial to talk with your doctor first. Self-treating and avoiding or delaying conventional care can have serious consequences.


Campbell F, Dickinson HO, Critchley JA, Ford GA, Bradburn M. A systematic review of fish-oil supplements for the prevention and treatment of hypertension. Eur J Prev Cardiol. 2013 Feb;20(1):107-20. doi: 10.1177/2047487312437056. Epub 2012 Jan 30.

Coles LT, Clifton PM. Effect of beetroot juice on lowering blood pressure in free-living, disease-free adults: a randomized, placebo-controlled trial. Nutr J. 2012 Dec 11;11:106. doi: 10.1186/1475-2891-11-106.

Hausenblas HA, Schoulda JA, Smoliga JM. Resveratrol treatment as an adjunct to pharmacological management in type 2 diabetes mellitus--systematic review and meta-analysis. Mol Nutr Food Res. 2015 Jan;59(1):147-59. doi: 10.1002/mnfr.201400173. Epub 2014 Oct 9.

He J, Wofford MR, Reynolds K, Chen J, Chen CS, Myers L, Minor DL, Elmer PJ, Jones DW, Whelton PK. Effect of dietary protein supplementation on blood pressure: a randomized, controlled trial. Circulation. 2011 Aug 2;124(5):589-95. doi: 10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.110.009159. Epub 2011 Jul 18.

Li Y, Vgontzas AN, Fernandez-Mendoza J, Bixler EO1, Sun Y, Zhou J, Ren R, Li T, Tang X. Insomnia with physiological hyperarousal is associated with hypertension. Hypertension. 2015 Mar;65(3):644-50. doi: 10.1161/HYPERTENSIONAHA.114.04604. Epub 2015 Jan 26.

Moghadam MH, Imenshahidi M, Mohajeri SA. Antihypertensive effect of celery seed on rat blood pressure in chronic administration. Med Food. 2013 Jun;16(6):558-63. doi: 10.1089/jmf.2012.2664. Epub 2013 Jun 4.

Ried K, Frank OR, Stocks NP, Fakler P, Sullivan T. Effect of garlic on blood pressure: a systematic review and meta-analysis. BMC Cardiovasc Disord. 2008 Jun 16;8:13. doi: 10.1186/1471-2261-8-13.

Seow DY, Haaland B, Jafar TH. The Association of Prehypertension With Meals Eaten Away From Home in Young Adults in Singapore. Am J Hypertens. 2015 Mar 18. pii: hpv027. 

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