Super Foods for Blood Pressure

HealthAfter50 | June 8, 2016 Aug 26, 2016

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What helps

A well-balanced diet is a boon for the heart, although research has singled out certain foods that may have the ability to help lower blood pressure numbers. These include:

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Blueberries

Some researchers chalk up blueberries’ power to polyphenols, which may boost blood vessel function by improving nitric oxide production. Another potential blood pressure–lowering ingredient, anthocyanin, is found not only in blueberries but other red- and blue-pigmented fruits and veggies.

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Beetjuice

Research linked drinking a cup of beet juice a day to better blood vessel functioning and an improvement in arterial stiffness—perhaps thanks to nitrates, which, like blueberries, can trigger blood vessel dilation. The blood pressure improvement was almost comparable to taking one antihypertensive drug.

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Bananas

Potassium,which is found abundantly in bananas, is known to counter the effects of sodium on blood pressure. (If you’re older or have kidney problems, make sure to discuss any potassium intake with your doctor.)

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Cocoa powder

Cocoa-based products (such as dark and milk chocolate, and cocoa powder) can contain high levels of flavonols, which promote antioxidant activity in the lining of blood vessels. However, most experts don’t recommend consuming cocoa to lower blood pressure, as most products made with cocoa are also high in sugar and fat.

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Yogurt

Some research has suggested that adding non-fat yogurt to your diet (at least 2 percent of daily calories) over the long term could modestly lower systolic blood pressure, with probiotics believed to be behind the benefits.

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Garlic

Lab and animal studies suggest that garlic may offer modest reductions in blood pressure, as well a range of other benefits, including lower blood clot risks and anti-inflammatory and cholesterol-lowering effects. Different garlic preparations may yield different results, however; more studies are needed.