Fact checkedFact Checked

This article is reviewed by a team of registered dietitians and medical doctors with extensive, practical clinical and public health experience.

 

10 Best Foods That Can Lower High Blood Pressure Naturally 2023

Veronica Huerta

Updated on - Written by
Medically reviewed by Dr G. Michael DiLeo, MD

foods that lower blood pressure

As many as half[1] of Americans suffer from hypertension, making it critical to include foods that lower blood pressure in your diet. There are many low-blood-pressure food products you can easily buy at the grocery store and incorporate into your diet, replacing regular salty snacks and unhealthy foods.

In addition to including foods in your diet that lower high blood pressure, it’s also a good idea to learn how to lower blood pressure naturally through diet and lifestyle changes. Fortunately, it’s easy to do with just a few simple changes. Below is everything you need to know about making the best dietary choices for your high blood pressure, how to lower blood pressure naturally, and the best recipes using low blood pressure foods.

10 Best Foods To Lower High Blood Pressure

  1. Citrus orange juice (concentrated) 
  2. Oatmeal
  3. Nitrate-rich vegetables
  4. Beets 
  5. Berries, colorful fruits, and vegetables 
  6. Garlic
  7. Omega-3-rich fatty fish 
  8. Hibiscus tea
  9. Nuts
  10. Whole-grains

10 Best Foods To Lower Your Blood Pressure

Many studies show certain foods can reduce blood pressure, similar to medications. While it’s always best to speak with your doctor before making any dietary changes, here are the 10 best foods to incorporate into your diet if you’re looking to manage hypertension:

Citrus Orange Juice (Concentrated) 

foods that lower blood pressure

One of the best foods that lower blood pressure is concentrated commercially produced orange juice! Also known as Citrus Sinensis, orange juice contains high amounts of citric acid, potassium[2], and vitamin C, all known for reducing blood pressure.

Potassium-rich foods, in particular, help reduce inflammation, relax the arteries, and help keep your blood pressure within a healthy range. For maximum benefit, choose commercially made orange juice (i.e., at grocery stores) instead of naturally squeezed. Although this seems counterintuitive, studies[3] suggest that concentrated orange juice has significantly more beneficial compounds than freshly squeezed.

Oatmeal

foods that lower blood pressure

High in fiber and minerals, oatmeal is a great way to start the day if you’re looking for food that reduces blood pressure. Fiber helps reduce cholesterol levels, while minerals like calcium and magnesium help relax your blood vessels and reduce your risk of hypertension.

In addition to being a great source of essential nutrients, oatmeal also helps fill you up, helping you lose weight if you need a bit of extra help. Studies[4] have shown that adding oat cereal to your diet helps not only reduces high blood pressure and improves insulin sensitivity, both of which positively impact overall heart health.

Nitrate-Rich Vegetables

foods that lower blood pressure

Nitrate-rich vegetables[5] such as spinach, leafy greens, fennel, rocket, and radishes are great sources of nitrate and nitric oxide. Nitrates help reduce blood pressure, as shown by several studies[6] done on healthy young adults. 

While you might think being young means you don’t need to worry about high blood pressure, the truth is hypertension can affect people of all ages. That’s why it’s important to include these types of leafy greens in salads, smoothies, and even as part of the main dish for lunch or dinner.

Beets 

foods that lower blood pressure

Another nitrate-rich food contains compounds called betalains, which have been proven to help reduce blood pressure. It’s always best to consume raw beets cooked on your own since canned beets might have additional sodium and preservatives that harm blood pressure control.

Another way to consume beets is by juicing them! Beet juice allows you to enjoy the natural compounds found in beetroots more quickly and easily, while also consuming fewer calories.

Berries, Colorful Fruits, And Vegetables 

foods that lower blood pressure

When it comes to choosing foods that lower blood pressure, it’s best to opt for colored and bright vegetables and fruits. Of these goods, berries[7], such as blackberries and blueberries, have been shown to help reduce blood pressure in hypertensive patients and are also a good source of antioxidants. 

In addition, they’re also packed with fiber, vitamin C, and manganese. Remember to include berries and lots of colorful fruits and vegetables in your daily diet. To do so, you can mix them into a smoothie, enjoy them as a snack, or simply incorporate them into your main dishes.

Garlic

foods that lower blood pressure

Garlic is proven to lower blood pressure naturally, with studies[8] showing an average 8.3 mmHg decrease in systolic blood pressure and a 5.5 mmHg drop in diastolic blood pressure. This is one of the most significant drops of any food that is thought to reduce blood pressure. 

Garlic has antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties, which help improve overall heart and gut health, correlating to an almost 16% to 40% reduction in the risk of cardiovascular events. You can add garlic to almost any dish, making it one of the most convenient foods that lower blood pressure.

Omega-3 Rich Fatty Fish 

foods that lower blood pressure

Fatty fish is one of the best foods for reducing blood pressure quickly and effectively. The American Heart Association reports[9] that three grams a day of omega-rich fish like salmon, tuna, mackerel, and herring can help reduce the risk of heart disease by reducing blood pressure. Around three grams daily reduced systolic pressure by 4.5 mm/Hg in people with high blood pressure and two mmHg in those without hypertension.

These fatty fish are also high in protein, so you can get a double dose of health benefits with one serving while lowering blood pressure. Consider cooking up a salmon filet for lunch or dinner or adding a can of tuna to your favorite salad.

Hibiscus Tea

foods that lower blood pressure

Recent studies[10] have suggested that hibiscus is proven to be as effective as certain anti-hypertensive medications. In addition, a study[11] showed that people who were diagnosed with stage 1 hypertension and drank sour hibiscus tea for one month had a significant mean reduction in their systolic and diastolic blood pressure.

Hibiscus tea is a great way to manage blood pressure with minimal effort. Simply steep the flowers for about 10 minutes for every cup of hot water, and enjoy. You can even make a large batch and keep it in the fridge to drink throughout the week.

Nuts

foods that lower blood pressure

Nuts have not only been shown to lower blood pressure but also reduce[12] the risk of high blood pressure. That’s because nuts contain important minerals like magnesium, potassium, and calcium, all of which help control blood pressure. They also contain unsaturated healthy fats, omega-3 fatty acids, and polyphenols that help reduce inflammation.

Incorporating nuts into your diet can be as simple as adding them to salads, smoothies, trail mix, or as a snack. You can also get creative and add your favorite nuts to oatmeal, yogurt, or baked goods. Avoid salted varieties, as too much salt, can increase your risk of hypertension.

Whole-Grains

foods that lower blood pressure

Whole grains are a great source of B vitamins, fiber, and minerals like magnesium and zinc. All of these help regulate blood pressure levels. Research[13] has also suggested that whole-grains help reduce the risk of hypertension in people with mildly high cholesterol. That’s because the higher fiber content helps lower cholesterol levels.

Whole grains can easily be added to your diet by substituting white bread and rice with whole wheat and brown rice options. You can also add oats, barley, quinoa, or bulgur to salads and soups for a nutrient-dense addition.

Foods To Avoid

If you already suffer from high blood pressure or are at risk, there are certain foods that you should avoid or limit:

High-Sodium Foods

High-Sodium Foods

By far, one of the worst things to include in your diet is sodium. According to the Centers for Disease Control[14], high sodium intake can increase your risk of high blood pressure. That’s because sodium causes the body to retain water, which puts extra strain on your heart and more volume against which your blood vessel walls have to push.

Avoid processed foods, canned soups, and fast food, as these can be high in sodium. Instead, focus on adding more fresh fruits and vegetables to your diet. Additionally, you should always check food labels for sodium content before purchasing.

To flavor your food, consider things like apple cider vinegar, natural herbs, and spices that don’t contain sodium.

Alcohol

Alcohol

Alcohol consumption should be limited if you suffer from high blood pressure, as too much alcohol can increase[15] your blood pressure and worsen the condition. If you do choose to drink, do so in moderation and check with your doctor for advice. Most doctors will recommend either reducing or eliminating alcohol consumption.

Caffeine

Caffeine

Caffeine can both increase blood pressure and worsen symptoms of hypertension. Studies[16] show that, while habitual use isn’t necessarily a risk of developing high blood pressure, it can increase levels immediately after consumption. So, limiting your caffeine intake or avoiding it altogether is best if you already suffer from hypertension. Again, it’s best to ask your doctor for advice.

Other Ways To Lower Blood Pressure Naturally

In addition to diet and lifestyle changes, some natural remedies can help reduce blood pressure. Some of these include

  • Meditating or taking part in deep breathing exercises, which have been proven[17] to lower blood pressure and reduce the stress that leads to high blood pressure
  • Taking up yoga or tai-chi, or another physical exercise, which can help reduce blood pressure[18] and improve the overall health
  • Spending time in nature
  • Trying acupuncture or acupressure treatments
  • Using essential oils like lavender or rosemary oil for aromatherapy
  • Practicing relaxation techniques such as progressive muscle relaxation.

By making a few simple lifestyle and dietary changes, you can easily reduce your risk of hypertension and improve your overall health. And don’t forget to talk to your doctor if you have any questions or concerns about your current condition.

The Bottom Line

High blood pressure is a serious condition that can cause multiple health issues. However, you can reduce your risk of developing hypertension – or even lower your current levels if you already have it – by making a few simple lifestyle changes and through a healthy diet.

Try adding more healthy foods to your diets, like vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and nuts. You should also avoid processed foods, high-sodium products, and alcohol as much as possible. 

Finally, consider trying some natural remedies such as meditation or yoga to help lower blood pressure and reduce stress. With the right combination of diet and lifestyle modifications, you could lower blood pressure naturally and improve your overall health!


+ 18 sources

Health Canal avoids using tertiary references. We have strict sourcing guidelines and rely on peer-reviewed studies, academic researches from medical associations and institutions. To ensure the accuracy of articles in Health Canal, you can read more about the editorial process here

  1. CDC (2022). Facts About Hypertension. [online] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/bloodpressure/facts.htm.
  2. www.heart.org. (2018). How Potassium Can Help Control High Blood Pressure. [online] Available at: https://www.heart.org/en/health-topics/high-blood-pressure/changes-you-can-make-to-manage-high-blood-pressure/how-potassium-can-help-control-high-blood-pressure.
  3. Asgary, S. and Keshvari, M. (2013). Effects of Citrus sinensis juice on blood pressure. ARYA atherosclerosis, [online] 9(1), pp.98–101. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3653258/.
  4. JM;Pins, K. (2022). Oat ingestion reduces systolic and diastolic blood pressure in patients with mild or borderline hypertension: a pilot trial. The Journal of family practice, [online] 51(4). Available at: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/11978262/.
  5. Sweazea, K.L., Johnston, C.S., Miller, B. and Gumpricht, E. (2018). Nitrate-Rich Fruit and Vegetable Supplement Reduces Blood Pressure in Normotensive Healthy Young Males without Significantly Altering Flow-Mediated Vasodilation: A Randomized, Double-Blinded, Controlled Trial. Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism, [online] 2018, pp.1–10. doi:10.1155/2018/1729653.
  6. van der Avoort, C.M.T., Jonvik, K.L., Nyakayiru, J., van Loon, L.J.C., Hopman, M.T.E. and Verdijk, L.B. (2020). A Nitrate-Rich Vegetable Intervention Elevates Plasma Nitrate and Nitrite Concentrations and Reduces Blood Pressure in Healthy Young Adults. Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, [online] 120(8), pp.1305–1317. doi:10.1016/j.jand.2020.02.014.
  7. Vendrame, S., Adekeye, T.E. and Klimis-Zacas, D. (2022). The Role of Berry Consumption on Blood Pressure Regulation and Hypertension: An Overview of the Clinical Evidence. Nutrients, [online] 14(13), p.2701. doi:10.3390/nu14132701.
  8. Ried, K. (2019). Garlic lowers blood pressure in hypertensive subjects, improves arterial stiffness and gut microbiota: A review and meta-analysis. Experimental and Therapeutic Medicine. [online] doi:10.3892/etm.2019.8374.
  9. www.heart.org. (2022). Consuming about 3 grams of omega-3 fatty acids a day may lower blood pressure. [online] Available at: https://www.heart.org/en/news/2022/06/01/consuming-about-3-grams-of-omega-3-fatty-acids-a-day-may-lower-blood-pressure.
  10. Clinicaltrials.gov. (2019). Effect of Hibiscus Sabdariffa on Blood Pressure in a University Population – Full Text View – ClinicalTrials.gov. [online] Available at: https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT03804801.
  11. Ghiasi, S., Jalalyazdi, M., Ramezani, J., Izadi-Moud, A., Madani-Sani, F. and Shahlaei, S. (2019). Effect of hibiscus sabdariffa on blood pressure in patients with stage 1 hypertension. Journal of Advanced Pharmaceutical Technology & Research, [online] 10(3), p.107. doi:10.4103/japtr.japtr_402_18.
  12. Djoussé, L., Rudich, T. and Gaziano, J.M. (2009). Nut consumption and risk of hypertension in US male physicians. Clinical Nutrition, [online] 28(1), pp.10–14. doi:10.1016/j.clnu.2008.08.005.
  13. Behall, K.M., Scholfield, D.J. and Hallfrisch, J. (2006). Whole-Grain Diets Reduce Blood Pressure in Mildly Hypercholesterolemic Men and Women. Journal of the American Dietetic Association, [online] 106(9), pp.1445–1449. doi:10.1016/j.jada.2006.06.010.
  14. CDC (2021). Sodium. [online] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/heartdisease/sodium.htm.
  15. www.heart.org. (2016). Limiting Alcohol to Manage High Blood Pressure. [online] Available at: https://www.heart.org/en/health-topics/high-blood-pressure/changes-you-can-make-to-manage-high-blood-pressure/limiting-alcohol-to-manage-high-blood-pressure.
  16. Kujawska, A., Kujawski, S., Hajec, W., Skierkowska, N., Kwiatkowska, M., Husejko, J., Newton, J.L., Simoes, J.A., Zalewski, P. and Kędziora-Kornatowska, K. (2021). Coffee Consumption and Blood Pressure: Results of the Second Wave of the Cognition of Older People, Education, Recreational Activities, Nutrition, Comorbidities, and Functional Capacity Studies (COPERNICUS). Nutrients, [online] 13(10), p.3372. doi:10.3390/nu13103372.
  17. Harvard Health. (2020). Meditation and a relaxation technique to lower blood pressure – Harvard Health. [online] Available at: https://www.health.harvard.edu/heart-health/meditation-and-a-relaxation-technique-to-lower-blood-pressure.
  18. www.heart.org. (2018). Getting Active to Control High Blood Pressure. [online] Available at: https://www.heart.org/en/health-topics/high-blood-pressure/changes-you-can-make-to-manage-high-blood-pressure/getting-active-to-control-high-blood-pressure.
Veronica Huerta

Medically reviewed by:

Michael DiLeo

Veronica is a freelance writer who received her BA in Journalism from California State University Long Beach and her AA in Journalism from Long Beach City College. A Native of Los Angeles, she is a former emergency medical technician, psychiatric assistant, and Certified Peer Support Specialist for military veterans (like her) undergoing trauma and substance abuse recovery. Veronica has over a decade of working in the medical field and is passionate about optimizing physical and mental health. She now works full-time as a writer and mental health advocate, educating others on the power of holistic medicine and mental health recovery.

Medically reviewed by:

Michael DiLeo

Harvard Health Publishing

Database from Health Information and Medical Information

Harvard Medical School
Go to source

Trusted Source

Database From Cleveland Clinic Foundation

Go to source

Trusted Source

Database From U.S. Department of Health & Human Services

Governmental Authority
Go to source

WHO

Database from World Health Organization

Go to source

Neurology Journals

American Academy of Neurology Journals

American Academy of Neurology
Go to source

MDPI

United Nations Global Compact
Go to source

Trusted Source

Database From National Institute for Occupational Safety & Health

U.S. Department of Health & Human Services
Go to source

Trusted Source

Database from U.S. National Library of Medicine

U.S. Federal Government
Go to source

Trusted Source

Database From Department of Health and Human Services

Governmental Authority
Go to source

PubMed Central

Database From National Institute Of Health

U.S National Library of Medicine
Go to source