Foods That Lower Blood Pressure

Low-Sodium Foods That Lower Blood Pressure

Lowering blood pressure may also require reducing the amount of salt you take into your body. Salt and high blood pressure go hand in hand, because salt can make your blood vessels and body tissues swell and fill with fluid. This puts an extra strain on your heart and can increase blood pressure. The good news is that recent research has shown that by reducing salt in one's diet, a person can lower his or her blood pressure.
 
Most Americans consume more salt than they need -- an average of 3,300 milligrams per day (about 1.5 teaspoons). The current recommendation is to consume less than 2,400 milligrams of sodium a day. That equals 6 grams (about 1 teaspoon) of table salt a day. This included all salt and sodium consumed, including that used in cooking and at the table.
 
For someone with high blood pressure, African Americans, or middle-aged and older adults, a doctor may advise eating less salt and sodium, since recent research has shown that people consuming no more than 1,500 mg of sodium a day had even better blood pressure-lowering benefits. These lower-sodium diets also can keep blood pressure from rising and help blood pressure medicines work better.
 
(Click Salt and High Blood Pressure for more information.)
 

Impact of Foods That Lower Blood Pressure

People with high blood pressure who followed the DASH diet at the lowest sodium level (1,500 milligrams per day) had an average systolic blood pressure reading 11.5 mmHg lower than participants eating the control diet at the highest sodium level (3,300 milligrams per day). For those who did not have high blood pressure, the systolic blood pressure was 7.1 mmHg lower in those eating 1,500 milligrams per day compared to those eating 3,300 milligrams per day.
 
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