Health Beat: Can food lower blood pressure? | Health Beat

ORLANDO, Fla. – Nearly half of adults in the United States have high blood pressure. Estimates show at least one in three Americans should be on blood pressure medication.

“Medications can be tough to take,” said Dr. Daniel Munoz, a cardiologist at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. “They can be complicated to take, particularly the more medications somebody is prescribed.”

But you can fight this common health threat with what you eat. First, include foods rich in Vitamin C, like bell peppers, cherries, and grapefruit. One study found people with high blood pressure who ate foods high in Vitamin C reduced their readings by five millimeters of mercury.

Salmon and flaxseed contain omega-threes, which have been shown to lessen inflammation and lower blood pressure.

Dark chocolate is rich in flavonoids that have blood pressure lowering effects. Tomatoes contain lycopene, which has been linked to reductions in blood pressure. Also, despite their bad rap, eggs have been shown to lower both blood pressure and cholesterol in recent studies.

Just remember, not having high blood pressure can lead to overall better health.

“A dramatic improvement and benefit for preventing cardiovascular disease, heart attack and stroke,” stated Dr. Mark Supiano, a geriatrics investigator at the University of Utah Health.

The American Heart Association recently lowered its definitions of high blood pressure. It used to define it as 140 over 90, but now, a blood pressure reading is considered high if it’s 130 over 80 or above.

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