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Foods For High Blood Pressure: What To Eat And What To Avoid

Team AckoJan 17, 2024

Did You Know? 1 out of 5 young adults has high blood pressure, and only around 12% of people in India who are diagnosed with hypertension, have their blood pressure under control! 

We don’t know about you but that sounds alarming. Uncontrolled high blood pressure can lead to

  • Increased risk of heart attack and stroke

  • Heart failure

  • Chest pain

  • Kidney damage

  • Vision problems




What is High Blood Pressure?

High blood pressure, also called hypertension, occurs when your blood pressure is higher than normal.

While your blood pressure changes throughout the day, having higher than normal blood pressure consistently may lead to a diagnosis of high blood pressure.

Hypertension is a common concern which if left untreated, can increase your risk of other health problems like heart attack, heart disease, and stroke.

Blood pressure is measured in millimetres of mercury (mm Hg), and hypertension is diagnosed if the blood pressure reading is 130/80 mm Hg or higher. 

How to Control High Blood Pressure With Diet?

It is natural to be concerned after getting diagnosed with high blood pressure. However, there is no need to panic.

High blood pressure can be easily controlled by maintaining a healthy weight, regular exercise, and eating a low-fat diet high in fibre.

Reducing the amount of processed sugar, salt, and alcohol you consume can also help in controlling your high blood pressure. 

Here are the top ten foods for high blood pressure.

1. Citrus Fruits

Citrus fruits are a powerhouse of nutrients, and are believed to have powerful properties for controlling high blood pressure.

Lemons, limes, grapefruits, and oranges are some popular citrus fruits that are loaded with vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients that can help to regulate blood pressure and keep your heart healthy.

If you are taking any medications for your high blood pressure, first check with your healthcare provider before adding citrus fruits to your diet.

2. Garlic

Garlic is among the top foods to combat high blood pressure. It is a very potent ingredient that increases the amount of nitric oxide in the body and helps reduce hypertension.

Nitric oxide is vital for promoting vasodilation to reduce blood pressure. Garlic can also inhibit ACE (angiotensin-converting enzyme) and prevent angiotensin from turning into its active form, angiotensin II, the compound that is responsible for promoting vasoconstriction.

Eat at least 1-4 fresh garlic cloves a day to promote the lowering of blood pressure.

3. Pumpkin Seeds

Pumpkin seeds are a potent source of multiple nutrients. They are rich in unsaturated fatty acids, proteins, vitamins, and minerals. They contain concentrated amounts of these three nutrients that significantly manage high blood pressure: 

  • Magnesium

  • Potassium 

  • Arginine

Pumpkin seeds are easily available raw or roasted at most health food retailers. If you are unable to eat pumpkin seeds, you can supplement your diet with pumpkin seed oil. 

4. Swiss Chard

Swiss chard is a leafy green vegetable that is a great plant-based source of potassium and magnesium. It contains many blood-pressure-lowering nutrients.

Just 145 grams of cooked Swiss chard contains about 17% and 30% of your daily potassium and magnesium requirements, respectively. Both potassium and magnesium play important roles in reducing blood pressure in many ways. 

5. Beans and Lentils

Beans and lentils are among the top foods for high blood pressure. Garbanzo beans, kidney beans, black beans, and lentils of different kinds are rich sources of fibre, protein, vitamins, and minerals.

Eating beans and lentils regularly may help regulate your high blood pressure levels. Include a cup of any or a combination of cooked beans, peas, and lentils in your daily diet plan. Legumes are also a great source of fibre and promote a healthy heart. 

6. Amaranth

Amaranth is a whole grain that often features in the list of foods for high blood pressure. Instead of eating processed grains, it is recommended that you include whole grains in your diet as they are more nutritious.

Amaranth is rich in many nutrients, including magnesium. It is also a good source of protein. Amaranth is a pseudocereal that can be prepared like cereal grains such as wheat and rice.

Amaranth flour can also be used in baking. Just one cup of cooked amaranth can provide up to 38% of your daily magnesium needs.

7. Pistachios

Nuts such as pistachios are very healthy for the heart and may help control high blood pressure. Pistachios are rich in protein, fibre, and antioxidants. They also contain many nutrients, including potassium, that are essential for regulating blood pressure.

Include pistachios in your diet regularly to boost your heart health. It is better to eat unsalted pistachios rather than salted ones.

8. Berries

Berries aren’t just sweet and juicy but also provide a plethora of benefits against various medical conditions, including high blood pressure.

Berries are a storehouse of nutrients like vitamins and minerals. They are also rich in antioxidants, especially anthocyanins, which give berries their characteristic vibrant colours. 

Anthocyanins are known to increase nitric oxide levels in the blood. They also bring down the production of blood-vessel-restricting molecules in the body and may help to lower blood pressure levels and improve your heart health.

Have two to three cups of strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and cloudberries daily. You can consume either fresh or frozen fruits. 

9. Beets

Beets are among the best foods for high blood pressure. You can consume both beets and beet greens as part of a healthy diet.

Beets are chock-full of nutrients and are especially high in nitrates. Nitrates play a significant role in relaxing blood vessels and lowering high blood pressure.

You can include cooked beets, cooked beet greens, or fresh beet juice in your diet to reap the amazing health benefits offered by this vegetable. 

10. Carrots

Carrots deserve a mention in the list of foods for high blood pressure. They are rich in multiple nutrients that are vital for good health. They are especially rich in: --

  • Vitamin A

  • Vitamin C

  • Vitamin K1

  • Vitamin B6 

  • Minerals like calcium and potassium.

Carrots are also high in phenolic compounds, such as p-coumaric, chlorogenic, and caffeic acids. Phenolic compounds help to relax blood vessels and may lower blood pressure levels. They reduce inflammation as well.

You can enjoy carrots both in their raw and cooked forms. 

What Foods to Avoid if You Have High Blood Pressure

In addition to including the above-mentioned foods for high blood pressure, one should ensure to avoid or minimise the consumption of these food items: 

  • Alcohol 

  • Beef 

  • Cakes and pastries

  • Ice cream and other fatty desserts 

  • Pork 

  • Cold cuts and cured meats

  • Burritos and tacos

  • Pickles 

  • Pre-packaged foods

  • High-fat dairy products 

  • Puddings, biscuits, and pies

  • Oils 

  • Granola bars or other nutrition bars

  • Lamb

  • Veal

  • Caffeine

  • Canned soups 

  • Instant noodles 

  • Potato chips and other salty snacks

  • White bread and rolls

  • Pizza

What else can I do to lower my blood pressure?

  • Reduce salt intake.

  • Avoid alcohol and smoking

  • Exercise often

  • Learn to manage stress better

  • Follow the DASH diet

Protect Yourself Against High Blood Pressure With Health Insurance

Living a happy and fulfilling life is possible even after a high blood pressure diagnosis.

Adopt a healthy lifestyle, eat a nutritionally-balanced, low-fat diet, and include adequate physical activities in your schedule. Eating lots of nourishing, plant-based foods is mandatory for maintaining an optimum standard of life after you have been diagnosed with high blood pressure.

Getting a suitable health insurance plan is another way of protecting yourself and your family from the impact of high blood pressure-related medical issues.

A good health insurance plan helps cover the cost of treatment of diseases caused by high blood pressure. With insurance, you can avail of the best quality health care without having to worry about the costs.

Choosing a good health insurance plan need not be a tedious process. Check out ACKO’s health plans for a hassle-free insurance experience.

Wrapping up!

A good health insurance plan helps cover the cost of treatment of diseases caused by high blood pressure. With insurance, you can avail of the best quality health care without having to worry about the costs.

Choosing a good health insurance plan need not be a tedious process. Check out ACKO’s health plans for a hassle-free insurance experience.


The following are the common questions and their answers regarding Foods For High Blood Pressure.


What should you eat if your BP is high?

You should eat a diet rich in whole grains, fruits, vegetables and nuts, which are low in saturated fat.

How can I lower my blood pressure immediately?

You can take a warm bath, relax, and do breathing exercises.

What not to eat when my BP is high?

Avoid meats, high-fat dairy, sugary items, and salty foods if you have a high BP.

Does lemon lower BP?

Citrus fruits, including lemons, grapefruits, and oranges, may have powerful blood-pressure-lowering effects.

Disclaimer: The content on this page is generic and shared only for informational and explanatory purposes. It is based on several secondary sources on the internet. As this content piece is not vetted by a medical professional, please consult a doctor before making any health-related decisions.


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