Lori Ballen is a member of the Amazon Associates Program and earns money from qualifying purchases. Posts contain affiliate links that benefit Lori as well.
There are natural remedies for lowering blood pressure and reversing hypertension. If you’ve ever wondered why high blood pressure (hypertension) is called “the silent killer,” consider this:
This high blood pressure goes unnoticed because high blood pressure often doesn’t present with any signs or symptoms. A person could feel “fine” and still have blood pressure that’s too high.
Unfortunately, uncontrolled high blood pressure can eventually damage the blood vessel walls and strain the heart muscle, which has to pump harder to move blood around the body.
Over time, this can increase a person’s risk for serious health complications, including heart disease, heart failure, heart attack, and stroke.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently estimated that high blood pressure was the primary or major contributing cause of death for almost half a million Americans in 2018.
What is High Blood Pressure, Exactly?
This chronic health condition occurs when the pressure inside the blood vessels (the force of the blood pushing against the walls of the arteries) is consistently high.
Hypertension is usually defined as a blood pressure reading of 140/90 mmHg or higher, although the American Heart Association considers 130/80 mmHg high enough to increase the risk of health complications.
While fewer than half of people with hypertension have their condition under control, high blood pressure is treatable and even preventable, especially when they make certain healthy lifestyle changes.
In this article, we’re listing some of the top evidence-based ways to improve your blood pressure without medication use naturally.
One important disclaimer before we get started: this blog is for informational purposes only and is not intended as medical advice.
Medical advice can only come from your doctor, and we encourage you to talk to your physician before making any changes to your diet and lifestyle.
Never start or stop taking any medications without your provider’s supervision.
7 Foods to Help Naturally Lower Blood Pressure
Did you know a poor diet is responsible for an estimated 1 out of every 5 deaths worldwide?
Doctors and researchers know dietary changes are one of the most critical ways someone can improve their health. A healthy diet is also essential for improving and controlling high blood pressure.
Whether you purchase these as supplements or enjoy them in their whole form, these foods, when added to your daily diet, can be an effective way to lower your blood pressure naturally.
Evidence suggests that garlic helps increase the amount of nitric oxide you have in your body. Nitric oxide is a compound that relaxes muscles and dilates your blood vessels, which can help lower blood pressure.
One 2013 study published in the Pakistan Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences found that taking a daily garlic supplement for six months significantly lowered blood pressure in a dose-dependent and duration-dependent way.
In other words, the more garlic a person took, and the longer they took it for, the better their blood pressure got.
A tip on enjoying garlic:
The main beneficial compound in garlic is a compound called allicin, known to lower inflammation and offer antioxidant effects. Allicin is produced after garlic is crushed or chopped (it’s also present in garlic supplements).
So, be sure to crush or chop your garlic cloves at least 10 to 15 minutes before you eat it or cook with it to make sure you get the most out of its health benefits, according to the American Institute for Cancer Research.
Flaxseed contains several healthy plant compounds that may help lower blood pressure, including fiber, potassium, magnesium, and essential fatty acids.
I add flaxseed to my shakes or to any cold creamy dish like apple sauce or yogurt.
According to a 2015 meta-analysis and systematic review of 11 studies, consuming whole flaxseeds daily for at least three months may lower blood pressure, especially diastolic blood pressure.
Diastolic blood pressure is the bottom number in a blood pressure reading and refers to the amount of pressure in the arteries when the heart muscle is relaxing and filling with blood.
Other seeds have shown to help lower blood pressure include pumpkin seeds and chia seeds.
I have a favorite cereal that incorporates many of these amazing ingredients.
People have been drinking tea made out of hibiscus flowers for centuries. It has several reported health benefits, including the ability to help lower blood pressure.
For example, one 2010 randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial published in the Journal of Nutrition found that drinking hibiscus tea daily for six weeks significantly lowered systolic blood pressure.
Systolic blood pressure is the top number in a blood pressure reading and refers to the amount of pressure in the arteries when the heart muscle is contracting and squeezing out blood.
In this study, drinking hibiscus tea also helped lower diastolic blood pressure, but not significantly more than a placebo.
Hibiscus flower may interact with hydrochlorothiazide, a drug used to treat high blood pressure. So, people taking this drug shouldn’t drink hibiscus tea.
You can also try drinking other teas shown to support healthy blood pressure levels, including green tea and peppermint tea.
Beets are a deep red root vegetable shown to help lower blood pressure even within hours after consuming it.
While the benefits appear to be better after drinking raw beet juice, consuming beet greens and cooked beets can have a positive effect.
Beets contain nitrates, which may help lower blood pressure by relaxing the blood vessels.
Overall, getting more vegetables in the diet is considered an essential step in naturally lowering blood pressure. Other veggies shown to support healthy blood pressure and heart include carrots, Swiss chard, and spinach.
Turmeric is a rich spice best known for its contribution to curry dishes. It contains many vitamins and minerals, including a compound called curcumin that has powerful anti-inflammatory effects.
While more research is being done, current studies suggest long-time use of turmeric may help lower systolic blood pressure.
Taking turmeric with black pepper seems to help the body absorb its beneficial compounds more quickly, so keep this in mind when cooking with turmeric at home or looking for a turmeric supplement.
Berries get their rich colors from plant compounds known as anthocyanins.
Anthocyanins are potent antioxidants that can lower inflammation and increase nitric oxide levels in the body, which may help lower blood pressure in humans.
Think variety: researchers recommend incorporating a range of berries into your diet for optimal benefits, including blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, blackberries, chokeberries, cherries, and strawberries.
Lemon and other citrus fruits, including oranges and grapefruits, have been shown by science to have antihypertensive effects.
Drinking lemon juice daily for five months (in addition to walking) lowered systolic blood pressure among female participants in a 2014 study published in the Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism.
One important caveat: you may have heard that grapefruit and grapefruit juice can interact with many medications, including blood pressure-lowering drugs.
So, if you are taking any medications, be sure to check with your doctor before adding grapefruit to your diet.
Bonus: 5 Other Ways to Fight High Blood Pressure (That Don’t Involve Food)
Get ample sleep every night. According to Mayo Clinic, sleeping for 6 hours per night or fewer is associated with an increased risk of hypertension (along with other health conditions ranging from cancer to dementia). So, aim for 7 to 9 hours of uninterrupted sleep per night in a cool, dark, or pitch-black room.
Stay physically active. Any amount of physical activity is better than none. But the American Heart Association says you should aim for at least 30 minutes of moderately intense exercise on most or all days of the week. This activity can lower your blood pressure and reduce other risk factors associated with heart disease, including obesity.
Reduce stress. Using healthy coping skills such as journaling, massage, and meditation (in addition to exercise) can reduce your stress level, causing your blood pressure to rise.
Donate blood. Weird, right? But some observational research suggests that people who donate blood regularly see better improvements in their blood pressure.
Take a deep breath. When you take a slow deep breath, you activate the part of your nervous system that helps lower your heart rate and blood pressure.
Lifestyle changes that may naturally control, prevent, or even reverse blood pressure can also benefit your health in other ways. So, no matter where you are on your health journey now is a great time to incorporate natural strategies into your lifestyle to improve your overall well-being.
And if you’ve never had your blood pressure checked before, or if you have a family history of hypertension, schedule an appointment with your doctor. The more knowledge you have about your current health status, the more empowered you’ll be to make positive changes.