There are a number of different approaches to managing high blood pressure, but did you know that the foods you eat can lower blood pressure? It’s true. For example, oranges, spinach, broccoli and bananas all are rich in the mineral potassium. It is a well-known fact that potassium can lower blood pressure, and some physicians even prescribe potassium supplements to their hypertensive patients. People should not supplement their diets, however, with potassium pills unless under the direct supervision of their health care providers. Consuming too much potassium can cause side effects such as heart rhythm abnormalities, dizziness and gastrointestinal upset.
Other foods that can help lower your blood pressure include celery, garlic and onions. Foods that have a high water content can also reduce a hypertensive state. These foods have a mild diuretic effect and can mimic the effects of “water pills.” Water pills are medically known as diuretics and are available only by prescription. Drinking plenty of water and eating foods with a high water content can relieve the body of excess sodium. High sodium intake can dramatically raise blood pressure to dangerous levels and can also impair kidney function. Impaired kidney function can elevate blood pressure and can even lead to renal failure.
Foods such as spinach, soybeans and halibut are rich sources of magnesium. Magnesium is a mineral that can also help lower blood pressure. Magnesium also helps the heart maintain a regular rhythm, and is also beneficial for people suffering from anxiety or panic attacks. Sunflower seeds, Swiss chard and black beans are also high in magnesium. Like potassium, magnesium is also available in supplement form, however, most physicians recommend getting your magnesium through the foods that you eat. Be sure to talk to your doctor before increasing your magnesium intake because too much magnesium can interfere with certain medications or medical conditions.