Specific foods which can lower blood pressure.
- Chocolate. 40-100g per day (but be careful of the sugar content or the effects may be negated!). Dark chocolate is probably best, but not proven. Hot cocoa (not hot chocolate) with a dash of sugar is a good way of consuming the cocoa.
- Curry leaves (pictured above – can be bought at Indian stores). Use in cooking or raw. 11 leaves per day seems to be optimum dose. (The leaves keep well in the freezer)
- Celery – 4 stalks per day. Consider eating with a dash of nut butter.
- Green leafy vegetables, tomatoes, bananas – high in potassium and magnesium which helps lower blood pressure as well as high in fibre.
- Black beans – high in folate which reduces BP.
- Dandelion tea, dandelion leaves in salad. They act as a mild diuretic as well as increasing potassium.
- Oats – up to ¾ cup wholegrain oats per day. But avoid this if you are intolerant of gluten.
- Berries – fresh or frozen, up to 1 cup per day. High in fibre, potassium and magnesium.
Salt and foods which raise blood pressure
- Many people with hypertension are salt sensitive, although it is hard to prove. Salt should be reduced as much as possible and this usually involves avoiding pre-made food – either in packets from the supermarket or in cafes/restaurants as salt is our commonest flavour enhancer and preservative.
- Avoid pre-packaged drinks – these often contain hidden salt.
- You can use a little salt on food if you wish as you can monitor the amount. Consider using ‘lo-salt’ which is a mostly potassium salt.
- Liquorice, ginger, aniseed, rosemary can all raise BP a little. Avoid if possible.
- Sugar raises blood pressure and promotes inflammation.