High blood pressure can be a dangerous thing. High blood pressure can contribute to health conditions like heart attack, stroke, damaged blood vessels, and more. If medication isn’t something you want to rely on, there are certain dietary choices you can make to reduce your chances of developing high blood pressure.

According to Mayo Clinic, if high blood pressure goes uncontrolled it can lead to serious health complications or conditions such as heart attack, stroke, aneurysms, heart failure, weakened blood vessels in the kidneys, damaged blood vessels in the eyes, metabolic syndrome, and trouble with memory. Whoa, that’s a long list. I didn’t know high blood pressure could be so serious. It really is though.

Luckily there are ways to lower your chances of developing high blood pressure and experiencing its symptoms. Food is one of these ways. Adjusting your diet can help you maintain healthy blood pressure.

Fruits

Medical News Today says berries, bananas, kiwis, watermelon, and pomegranates reduce blood pressure. 

“Berries, especially blueberries, are rich in natural compounds called flavonoids,” claims Healthline. “One study found that consuming these compounds might prevent hypertension and help lower blood pressure.” Bananas are also beneficial due to the potassium they contain. 

Vegetables

As for vegetables, beets and leafy greens are beneficial. “Beets are high in nitric oxide, which can help open your blood vessels and lower blood pressure,” Healthline provides. “Researchers also found that the nitrates in beetroot juice lowered research participants’ blood pressure within just 24 hours.” That sure is a fast turnover time. This may be the way to go if you need a quick fix. 

Leafy greens such as romaine lettuce, arugula, kale, and spinach reduce blood pressure because they are high in potassium. According to Healthline, “Potassium helps your kidneys get rid of more sodium through your urine,” which lowers your blood pressure.

Garlic, which is apparently a vegetable, increases the amount of nitric oxide in the body. “Nitric oxide helps promote vasodilation, or the widening of arteries, to reduce blood pressure,” Healthline says.

Nuts and seeds

Healthline claims seeds are also high in potassium, magnesium, and other minerals known to reduce blood pressure. 

The pistachio nut is particularly beneficial because it reduces “peripheral vascular resistance, or blood vessel tightening, and heart rate.” No wonder they are so expensive…

Fish

The only meat on the list, fish, may lower blood pressure as well. “Fatty fish like mackerel and salmon are high in omega-3 fatty acids, which can lower blood pressure, reduce inflammation, and lower triglycerides,” Healthline provides.

Herbs and spices 

Herbs and spices are a more indirect way of helping lower blood pressure. According to Healthline, “Incorporating flavorful herbs and spices into your daily diet can also help you cut back on your salt intake.” So herbs and spices are helpful in that they prevent you from eating a food you shouldn’t if you have high blood pressure– salt.

This leads us to the next point: which foods you should not eat if you are trying to lower your blood pressure. 

Foods to avoid

Medical News Today says you should avoid salt, caffeine, and alcohol if you suffer from high blood pressure or hypertension. Salt is especially bad because it contains sodium which can significantly raise blood pressure.

In summary 

There are many foods you can both adopt into your diet or eliminate in an effort to lower your chances of developing high blood pressure. These include fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds, fish, and herbs and spices.