Your Kitchen Holds the Key to Lower Blood Pressure

The Key to Lower Blood Pressure Could be in Your Kitchen

Written by Alex Reid
Posted November 26, 2012

High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, affects millions of Americans and can lead to deadly consequences like heart disease and stroke if not kept in check. Fortunately, there are many ways to reduce and prevent high blood pressure that don't involve any medications or trips to the doctor. In fact, you may be able to lower your blood pressure by grabbing a snack that is probably already in your refrigerator.

Anyone who suffers from high blood pressure, or knows someone who does, is probably already aware that cutting out salty foods, alcohol and saturated fats from your diet is one of the best ways to help lower blood pressure. But instead of focusing on what you can't have, new research suggests that there are certain foods which can actively improve your chances of reducing high blood pressure.

The American Heart Association, at its recently held High Blood Pressure Research 2012 Scientific Sessions, released the results of a 15 year study, which showed that adding yogurt to your diet can lower your risk of high blood pressure. The study followed more than 2,000 volunteers who all started with normal blood pressure levels. Over the years, participants were asked questions about their diets, including yogurt consumption habits. The results showed that participants whose diets consisted of at least 2% low-fat yogurt (about 2 six-ounce cups a week) were 31% less likely to develop high blood pressure than those who did not eat yogurt.

The sessions also introduced a study of 300 men and women all with mild to moderately high blood pressure who were given a blend of rice bran oil and sesame oil. After just 60 days, participants consuming one ounce of the blend (80% rice bran, 20% sesame) showed a drop in both systolic (top number) and diastolic (bottom number) blood pressure. Researchers believe that the healthier fatty acids and antioxidants found in these oils may be responsible for the results.

Along with these new findings, experts have determined a number of other foods that can also help lower blood pressure. Some of these include:

  • Salmon (wild caught)

  • Dark chocolate

  • Sweet potatoes

  • Bananas

  • Milk (low-fat or skim)

  • Oranges

Medical experts also agree that regular exercise and a vitamin D supplement will contribute to lowering blood pressure levels.

So the next time you think about lowering your blood pressure, instead of thinking about the things you need to eliminate, focus instead on what you can add to your diet and lifestyle. Chances are the changes you make will not only lead to a lower reading on your blood pressure, but to a healthier and happier you.