There's a great review by Dr. Mark Houston looking at the effect of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants on blood pressure in the Therapeutic Advances in Cardiovascular Disease. Cumulative study results for a variety of nutrients are reviewed, including calcium, coenzyme Q10, sodium, zinc, protein, fats, green tea, seaweed, etc.
Here are 5 foods with nutrients discussed in this review that you can use to lower blood pressure:
1. Sweet potatoes
Sweet potatoes are a rick source of potassium. Adequate potassium intake is essential to balance sodium and promote a lower blood pressure. The recommended ratio of potassium to sodium is 5:1. Increasing potassium intake can result in a blood pressure reduction of ~5 mm Hg systolic and ~2.5 mm Hg diastolic.
Some additional sources of potassium include beet greens, white beans, plain yogurt, prune juice, and bananas.
Halibut is a great source of magnesium. Magnesium is a mineral that promotes a lower blood pressure. Studies have shown that a dietary intake of 500-1000 mg/day of magnesium is linked to a reduced blood pressure. Magnesium also regulates the level of sodium, potassium, and calcium within cells.
Some additional sources of magnesium include baked potato with skin, cashews, spinach, and shredded wheat cereal.
3. Red Wine
The skin of red grapes is a rich source of the flavonoid resveratrol. A study found a 7.4 mm Hg reduction linked to dealcoholized red wine and a 5.4 mm Hg reduction with regular red wine. Resveratrol is just one of numerous different flavonoids. Flavonoids have been linked to a variety of health benefits, including decreased LDL oxidation, decreased cholesterol, vascular relaxation, and decreased triglyceride levels.
Some additional sources of resveratrol include include mulberries and Japanese knotweed.
Garlic is a source of allicin, which has been shown to lower blood pressure. Around 10,000 mg of allicin (~4 garlic cloves) is needed daily for a blood pressure lowering effect. Studies show the average reduction in systolic blood pressure to be 5-8 mm Hg.
Important to note - not all forms of garlic are equal! Cultivated garlic, aged garlic, wild cultivated garlic, fresh garlic, and long-acting garlic preparations have variable effects.
Tomatoes are a great source of the carotenoid - lycopene. Studies with lengths varying between 8-12 weeks have shown a blood pressure reduction when patients were treated with tomato extract. Blood pressure reduction was between 9-10 mm Hg systolic and 4-7 mm Hg diastolic blood pressure.
Some additional lycopene sources include tomato products, guava, grapefruit, apricots, and watermelon.
For additional ways to lower cholesterol be sure to sign up for the free e-course 7 Natural Ways to Lower Blood Pressure.