(RxWiki News) What you put into your body has an effect on what happens inside your body, and that includes your blood pressure.
High blood pressure has been linked to all kinds of cardiovascular health problems, such as a higher risk of heart attack and stroke. Countless people around the world struggle to maintain a normal blood pressure, which is why so many take potentially life-saving blood pressure control medications.
And while medication is critically important in the fight to maintain a healthy blood pressure, it's not the only factor. In fact, your diet can have an effect on your blood pressure.
The foods we discuss below may lower your blood pressure, but it's important to talk to your health care provider if you have high blood pressure or are considering making any change to your diet or medication regimen.
Read on for five foods that may lower your blood pressure.
1. Oranges, Grapefruit and Other Citrus
Citrus fruits like oranges, grapefruit, lemons and limes are not only high in vitamin C and fiber, but they are also high in potassium, which may be help to lower your blood pressure. But be careful with grapefruit as it can interfere with the way the body breaks down certain blood pressure or cholesterol lowering medications, which can be dangerous. Talk to your pharmacist before adding grapefruit to your diet if you are taking medications to lower your blood pressure.
2. Beans and Other Legumes
High levels of fiber and potassium are likely reasons why beans and other legumes are a recommended food that may lower blood pressure. The effect may be especially visible when you replace red meat and high-salt parts of your diet with legumes.
3. Leafy Greens
Leafy greens like Swiss chard, lettuce, spinach and kale are packed with vitamins and minerals that play a part in regulating blood pressure. For example, Swiss chard is high in magnesium, which is essential to a process that allows the blood vessels to relax, thereby reducing blood pressure.
Like many other green vegetables, broccoli is full of flavonoid antioxidants. These substances may help your blood vessels function better by increasing levels of nitric oxide in your blood. One large study found that consuming several servings of broccoli per week was tied to a reduced risk of high blood pressure.
5. Fatty Fish Like Salmon
Salmon and other fatty fish have high levels of omega-3 fatty acids. These substances have been tied to all kinds of beneficial cardiovascular effects, and that includes lower blood pressure.
Talk to your doctor if you have high blood pressure or are considering making any major change to your diet.