Foods That Fight High Blood Pressure

  • Around one in three Americans has high blood pressure (hypertension). If you’re one of them, there is something you can do about it right now. By eating certain foods, reducing sodium and boosting your potassium levels, you can control two of the big risk factors for high blood pressure – excess sodium and obesity. Simply add these foods to your diet:

    Dark Chocolate

    Who can complain about this one? According to a report by the "Journal of the American Medical Association," eating one half ounce per day of dark chocolate, which is high in phenols, is associated with lowering blood pressure. And don’t worry about gaining weight. If you stick to the recommended amount and don’t binge -- you won’t gain weight.
  • Potassium-Packed Fruits And Veggies Foods rich in potassium help balance the sodium mechanism, which affects our blood and kidneys. Some potassium-hearty foods include bananas, soybeans and soy products, white potatoes, lemons, cherry juice (unsweetened) organic apple cider vinegar, Chinese cabbage, dill and dandelion greens.
  • Garlic Studies have shown that because garlic is high in potassium, it helps to protect our heart and arteries. How? By reducing cholesterol levels, thereby preventing blood clots.
  • Beans A daily serving of one and 1/2 cups of beans provides enough soluble fiber to lower cholesterol levels, and these legumes are an excellent source of folic acid. Plus, beans help prevent buildup of artery-clogging substances that contribute to high blood pressure.
  • Tomatoes Whether they’re heirloom or just the plain grocery-store variety, all tomatoes are rich in lycopene, which is an antioxidant that prevents LDL cholesterol from oxidizing. That’s why eating tomatoes helps prevent plaque formation and heart disease -- as well as reduces blood pressure.
  • A Word About Salt Not everyone is affected the same way when it comes to sodium. Some people can sprinkle their foods liberally with salt or eat foods high in sodium and it won’t affect their blood pressure. But for others, it negatively affects blood pressure and kidney function. If you’re sensitive to its effects, reduce your sodium intake by eliminating canned foods, fast foods and processed meats, which are all high in salt. Read labels carefully to judge the salt content.