Lowering blood pressure? Know what you’re eating!

7 min reading time

“Find out which blood pressure-lowering foods help to keep your body healthy”


The number of Dutch people with high blood pressure is alarmingly high. About one in four Dutch people has high blood pressure, and in the elderly this is even one in two1. Although high blood pressure often does not cause immediate symptoms, it can cause irreversible damage to the body in the long term. Cardiovascular disease is a serious condition that increases the risk of death. That’s why it’s important to take timely action and lower your blood pressure.

Blood pressure is an important indicator of the health of our heart and our body as a whole. Fortunately, there are plenty of foods that can help lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of these conditions. In this article, we will take a closer look at blood pressure-lowering foods and how they can be incorporated into a healthy diet.


What is blood pressure and why is it important to control it?


Blood pressure is the force with which blood is pumped against the walls of the blood vessels. It consists of two measurements: the systolic pressure, which indicates the pressure when the heart contracts and pumps blood into the blood vessels, and the diastolic pressure, which indicates the pressure when the heart relaxes and fills with blood.

Normal blood pressure is usually defined as a systolic pressure of less than 120 mm Hg and a diastolic pressure of less than 80 mm Hg. High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is defined as a systolic pressure of 140 mm Hg or higher and/or a diastolic pressure of 90 mm Hg or higher. People with high blood pressure have an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, stroke, kidney disease, and other serious health problems.

It is therefore very important to keep our blood pressure under control. In addition to regular exercise, avoiding smoking, and limiting alcohol consumption, diet also plays an important role in controlling blood pressure. By eating blood pressure-lowering foods that lower blood pressure and avoiding foods that raise blood pressure, we can significantly lower our risk of hypertension and other cardiovascular diseases.


Top 10 Blood Pressure Lowering Foods

There are several foods that are known for their blood pressure-lowering properties. Here are some of the most effective:


1. Dark leafy greens

Dark leafy greens such as spinach, kale and Swiss chard are rich in nutrients such as calcium, magnesium and potassium, ranking number 1 in the top 10 blood pressure-lowering foods. Potassium is especially important because it helps to balance sodium levels in the body, which in turn lowers blood pressure. Try to add a daily serving of these blood pressure-lowering foods to your meals for a healthier heart and lower blood pressure.


2. Berries

Berries such as blueberries, strawberries and raspberries are packed with antioxidants, which help to relax blood vessels and is one of the favorites of blood pressure lowering foods. Plus, they’re low in calories and make a delicious addition to cereal, smoothies, or salads. Try to eat a handful of berries daily for a healthy heart and lower blood pressure.


3. Oatmeal

Oatmeal is a fiber-rich whole grain that helps to lower blood pressure and lower cholesterol levels. So, eating oatmeal for breakfast can contribute to a healthy heart and normal blood pressure. Experiment with different toppings like nuts, seeds, and fruits to make your breakfast more interesting. Oatmeal is known as a favorite blood pressure-lowering food in the morning.


4. Oily fish

Fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel, and sardines are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which are anti-inflammatory and help lower blood pressure. Try to eat oily fish at least twice a week to keep your heart healthy and lower your blood pressure.


5. Nuts and seeds

Nuts and seeds like walnuts, almonds, and flaxseeds are a good source of healthy fats, fiber, and magnesium, all of which help to lower blood pressure. Try to eat a handful of nuts and seeds daily as a snack or as an addition to salads and cereals for a healthy heart and normal blood pressure. In the evening, instead of crisps, take a handful of this blood pressure-lowering food.


6. Green Tea

Green tea is rich in antioxidants and flavonoids, which help to lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of heart disease. Try drinking a cup of green tea daily as part of a healthy diet for better blood pressure control.


7. Garlic

Garlic is known for its blood pressure-lowering properties and has been used for centuries as a natural remedy to treat hypertension. Eating garlic can help lower blood pressure and lower cholesterol levels. Try adding garlic to your meals to take advantage of its health benefits.


8. Beetroot

Beetroot is an excellent source of nitrates, which help to dilate blood vessels and lower blood pressure. Try to eat beetroot regularly to keep your heart healthy and lower your blood pressure.


9. Avocado

Avocados are rich in healthy fats, potassium, and fiber, all of which help to lower blood pressure. Try to regularly add these blood pressure-lowering foods to your meals for a healthier heart and normal blood pressure.


10. Pomegranates

Pomegranates are packed with antioxidants and polyphenols, which help to lower blood pressure and improve heart health. Try drinking pomegranate juice regularly or adding the seeds to salads and yogurt for a healthy boost.


Blood Pressure Lowering Diet DASH

Of course! The DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet is a dietary pattern specifically designed to lower blood pressure and prevent cardiovascular disease. It is based on scientific research and is recommended by health authorities such as the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI).


Here are the key features of the DASH diet:

1. Rich in fruits and vegetables: The DASH diet emphasizes eating plenty of fruits and vegetables. This blood pressure-lowering food is rich in fiber, antioxidants, and essential nutrients that are beneficial for blood pressure.


2. Low-fat dairy products: The diet includes low-fat milk, yogurt, and cheese. These dairy products provide calcium and potassium, which help regulate blood pressure.


3. Whole grains: Whole grain bread, brown rice, quinoa, and oatmeal are good choices. They contain fiber and complex carbohydrates that can lower blood pressure.


4. Lean meats and fish: The DASH diet limits red meat intake and processed processed meats. Instead, the emphasis is placed on lean poultry, fish, and plant-based proteins such as beans and lentils.


5. Restriction of sodium (salt): The DASH diet encourages reducing salt intake. This helps to lower blood pressure. Opt for herbs and spices to add flavor to your meals instead of salt.


6. Moderate alcohol consumption: If you drink alcohol, keep it limited to one drink per day for women and up to two drinks per day for men.


Not only is the DASH diet effective for lowering blood pressure, but it also has other health benefits, such as reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes and promoting weight loss. It’s important to tailor the diet to your individual needs and preferences, and combine it with regular exercise for optimal results. Always consult with a healthcare professional before making any major changes to your diet.



In addition to eating blood pressure-lowering foods, it’s also important to address other aspects of your lifestyle to keep your blood pressure in check. This includes exercising regularly, avoiding stress, getting enough sleep, and limiting alcohol and caffeine.

It is also advisable to have your blood pressure checked regularly by a doctor and take medication to treat hypertension if necessary. By combining a healthy lifestyle with blood pressure-lowering foods and regular medical check-ups, you can significantly lower your risk of cardiovascular disease and maintain a healthy heart.


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