Vegetables Lower Blood Pressure
Health Topics

Vegetables Lower Blood Pressure

What Is Blood Pressure?

To understand why certain vegetables lower blood pressure, it helps to know a little about what blood pressure is, and what keeps it in balance.

Blood pressure (BP) is the force exerted on artery walls by the blood flowing through the body. A BP reading provides two measures, the systolic pressure and diastolic pressure.

Systolic pressure is measured as the heart pumps. Diastolic pressure is measured between beats when the heart is relaxed, as blood flows back into it.

A normal blood pressure reading for adults is considered to be around 120/80 (mmHg). High blood pressure is 140/90 or above.

What is High Blood Pressure (Hypertension)

Hypertension is another name for a persistently high blood pressure. Anyone can have temporary high blood pressure, resulting from excitement, nervousness, exertion, anger, fatigue, cold or smoking, but in hypertension, high blood pressure is sustained over a period of time.

Imagine a garden hose attached to a fire hydrant. An exaggeration of course, but it helps illustrate why high blood pressure can cause heart attacks, blood clots, aneurysms, strokes, kidney failure, fluid retention (edema) and kidney stones. High blood pressure can also cause blood arteries in the eye to burst or bleed resulting in temporary or permanent blindness.

Until one of these serious consequences arise, high blood pressure can have no symptoms and go undetected for years. For this reason it is important to have your blood pressure checked regularly.

Stress is a leading cause of high blood pressure, but there are usually others factors involved. To combat stress, learning how to recognize the symptoms and employ relaxation techniques is often very effective. Other causes include obesity, and hardening of the arteries. High blood pressure and cholesterol is a serious combination, not to be taken lightly.

To further control high blood pressure – decrease sodium, increase potassium, monitor calories, and maintain a reasonable weight. Even small weight losses can drastically improve blood pressure levels. Lowering and controlling blood pressure can often be achieved using natural cures for high blood pressure to found in vegetables.
Nutrients in vegetables provide natural remedies to lower blood pressure.

Blood pressure depends on a balance of the minerals sodium, potassium, magnesium and calcium. Increasing dietary intakes of these minerals has been reported to lower blood pressure. Past studies also demonstrate that vitamin and mineral supplements lower the incidence of hypertension in populations with a low-nutrient diet.

Accordingly, vegetables that lower blood pressure are high in potassium, and low in salt.

Any with vitamin C and E are useful as anti-oxidants, and folate is required for the formation of red blood cells. An example vitamin chart is provided further below.

This site aims to provide you with information on the health benefits of a variety of vegetables. A list of vegetables in alphabetical order is provided along with their most beneficial properties, vitamins and minerals. You should also know that there some herbs that lower blood pressure too, so I cover those as well.

Most people diagnosed with high blood pressure (hypertension), will be prescribed a tablet to reduce their high systolic or diastolic pressure, possibly required ‘for life’. With the prescriptions come the advice to reduce stress levels, change life-styles, lower salt consumption and so on. Some changes easier said than done. Sometimes the advice is not quite complete, and the relationship between sodium (salt) and potassium fails to be mentioned, along with what vegetables lower blood pressure.

Vegetables lower blood pressure by helping to maintain the balance of four key minerals in the body. Primarily their rich source of potassium being the major contributing factor. Some also provide supportive amounts of magnesium and calcium. This site features a list of vegetables low in sodium, vegetables high in potassium, herbs that lower blood pressure and even how to grill vegetables in aluminum foil.

Making yourself a small vegetable garden, to grow most of your vegetable requirements will save you money and bring you joy and satisfaction. Growing vegetables and tending a garden is an ideal mean of reducing stress as well. Organic vegetables are better still as no chemicals or pesticides are used. A ‘recipe’ for a very effective and all-natural insecticide is also available.

You’ll find tips on why and how to grill vegetables in aluminum foil. This is such a great way to prepare some vegetables, and ways to add flavour without adding salt.

Vegetables that Lower Blood Pressure

After checking the many tables showing vitamin and mineral levels found in various quantities of vegetable, it becomes clear that they can be used only as a ‘rough guide’. In some cases these figures vary a great deal, even when the differences in vegetable volume are taken into account. Some results also refer to the cooked item , and some refer to raw vegetables instead. Organic growing methods also increase the nutrient levels in vegetables.

The only thing that becomes clear, is the trend of those figures, as there is fairly universal agreement about whether a particular vegetable sits at the low or high range for a particular mineral or vitamin. It’s likely that vegetable sub-varieties, locations grown, seasonal growing conditions, soil nutrient levels, and water supply etc. all affect the nutrient levels detected by each test. For more detailed information and levels in other vegetables, refer to the mineral and vitamin tables, chosen because they use a standard 100g measurement.

Low in sodium:
Corn
Brussels sprouts
Cucumber
Capsicum (Pepper)
Leek
Potato
Zucchini

High in potassium:
Artichoke
Brussels sprouts
Potato
Pumpkin
Spinach
Tomato (yes, it’s a fruit ? )

High in magnesium:
Artichoke
Brussels sprouts
Corn
Potato
Spinach
Tomato

High in Vitamin A (anti-oxidents):
Carrot
Peas
Spinach

High in folate:
Spinach

High in Vitamin C:
Broccoli
Brussels sprouts
Capsicums(Peppers)

Vegetables are quite a good source of calcium, but in order to meet your daily requirements, more must be obtained from foods such as dairy products. Remember, the aim is always to maintain the balance between these four minerals – sodium, potassium, magnesium and calcium.

Reducing Salt and Sodium in Your Diet
A key to healthy eating is choosing foods lower in salt and sodium. Look to include vegetables high in potassium, and choose foods that are low in sodium. Remember, most processed, pre-packaged foods are high in salt, and many have low salt alternatives. Don’t be tricked by labels proclaiming a great ‘low fat’ level, if the salt level is high to add flavour.

Sodium Deficiency
Sodium deficiency is very rare but can occur during heavy/prolonged exercise, due to loss in sweat and in high temperatures. Signs of sodium deficiency include: cramps, weakness, fatigue, nausea and thirst. Adventurers walking the Kokoda Trail in New Guinea have even died as a result of drinking too much water to compensate for the extreme heat and exertion along the way.

Other Minerals

Potassium
Potassium is a mineral salt essential for maintaining the balance of pH levels in our body fluids and has an important role in lowering blood pressure. Choosing vegetables high in potassium can easily provide the recommended daily intake. Potassium is naturally found in fresh vegetables and research indicates that it should be acquired through diet rather than use a supplement. A potassium deficiency causes overall weakness, fatigue, difficulty concentrating, and lack of coordination.

Calcium
People with a low calcium intake also seem to be at increased risk for hypertension. The recommended daily intake (RDI) of calcium is 1,000 mg per day.

Vitamin C and Vitamin E
Vitamin C is also referred to as ascorbic acid. It is essential for normal body functioning, by enhancing skin vitality and playing a role in healing wounds. Vitamin C is present in various vegetables and in fruit juice juices, or taken in supplement form. A healthy dose of vitamin C each day may decrease the risk of cancer. Vitamin C enhances iron adsorption and regenerates other antioxidants, such as vitamin E. Both vitamin C and vitamin E are antioxidants, believed to reduce high blood pressure.

Folic acid
Folic acid is a B-complex vitamin found naturally in leafy green vegetables. Folate is a B vitamin necessary for formation of red blood cells. It is believed to help lower high blood pressure in some cases. Green leafy vegetables and legumes (beans) are the best natural sources of folic acid. Those same leafy greens are thought to slow down the progression of macular degeneration (MD).

Minerals Contained in Vegetables

Sodium
mg/100mg
Potassium
mg/100mg
Calcium
mg/100mg

Magnesium
mg/100mg

Artichoke
47
353
53
22
Asparagus
200
200
15
10
Broccoli
12
340
100
18
Brussels sprout
3
382
30
20
Cabbage
10
300
75
12
Carrot
35
218
29
7
Cauliflower
8
250
15
12
Chicory
29
287
41
11
Corn
1
250
11
45
Cucumber
5
124
14
10
Green Capsicum (Pepper)
5
200
15
11
Leek
5
250
60
10
Mushroom
250
150
20
6
Olive
2250
91
61
22
Onion
10
200
30
9
Peas
220
126
29
13
Potato
2
450
6
22
Pumpkin
8
350
20
10
Radish
25
250
30
11
Red Capsicum (Pepper)
6
250
15
11
Spinach
25
400
125
48
Tomato
11
397
32
23
Zucchini
1
200
30
6

* Some of the best options are highlighted, but as you can see there are plenty choices when it comes to finding something you like.

** Obviously there are several non-vegetables on the list, but they tend to be commonly added to vegetable dishes. ie. tomatoes, mushrooms and olives. Olives can be particularly high in salt, depending entirely on how they are processed and then prepared.

Vitamins Contained in Vegetables

Vit A
mg/100mg
Folate
mg/100mg
Vit C
mg/100mg
Artichoke
0.008
0.05
Asparagus
0
0.056
10
Broccoli
0.2
93
Brussels sprout
0.031
0.087
80
Cabbage
0.01
0.069
40
Carrot
0.6
0.016
10
Cauliflower
0.001
0.044
40
Chicory
0.17
0.05
Corn
0.007
0.034
Cucumber
0.034
0.005
Green Capsicum (Pepper)
0.022
0.055
80.4
Leek
0.094
Mushroom
0
0.032
Olive
0.049
Onion
0.001
0.01
Peas
0.3
0.022
Potato
0
0.023
40
Pumpkin
0.025
0.007
Radish
0.002
0.028
Red Capsicum (Pepper)
0.2
0.055
90
Spinach
0.24
0.1
40
Tomato
0.088
0.008
40
Zucchini
0.061
0.038

Note: due to their inclusion in so many vegetable dishes, tomatoes and olives are included in these tables.

There are just so many medicinal qualities to be found in vegetables that it is impossible for me to cover them all here.

Recommended Daily Intake (RDI) – Vitamins & Minerals

A guide to the recommended daily intake of each vitamin and mineral for an average adult, in good health. Even lower sodium levels are recommended by various health agencies.

VITAMINS
RDI
Biotin (B-complex)
.03 mg
Folate (B-complex)
0.4 mg
Vitamin A
0.6 mg
Vitamin B1 (thiamin)
1.4 mg
Vitamin B2 (riboflavin)
1.6 mg
Vitamin B3 (niacin)
18 mg
Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid)
6 mg
Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine)
2 mg
Vitamin B12 (cobalamine)
.006 mg
Vitamin C (ascorbic acid)
75 mg
Vitamin D (cholecalciferol)
.005 mg
Vitamin E (tocopherol)
10 mg
Vitamin K
.08 mg
MINERALS
RDI
Calcium
1000 mg
Iron
15 mg
Magnesium
350 mg
Phosphorus
1000 mg
Potassium
3500 mg
Sodium
2400 mg
Zinc
15 mg

Some sources suggest that the amount of potassium should at least equal the amount of sodium being consumed.

Herbs that Lower Blood Pressure
Some herbs have active ingredients that bring health benefits.

For high blood pressure:
In the form of an infused tea, try a combination of hawthorn, lime blossom, nettles, and motherwort three times a day.

Blood Pressure Lowering Herbs

Garlic – a very well known flavoring agent has long been known as a great herb for high blood pressure.
Hawthorn – is a special type of herb that increases the flow of blood and helps in reducing high blood pressure. When taking hawthorn, use it in the form of a tea and drink one to two cups a day to treat your high blood pressure.
Lime blossom is another great herb for high blood pressure. Simply take the blossom and infuse it into a tea and drink one cup of the tea each day. You’re sure to notice a difference in your blood pressure within one to two weeks.
Saffron – great for lowering high blood pressure. You can use saffron to season your foods or you can even use it to enhance your tea. Daily use of saffron can make a big difference in your blood pressure levels.
Turmeric – is an antioxidant and improves blood flow, strengthening blood vessels. It’s high in potassium.
Ginkgo Biloba – improves blood circulation and dilates arteries, reducing blood pressure.
Ginger Root – acts to improve blood circulation and relaxes muscles surrounding blood vessels. Olive Leaf- olive leaf extract helps in lowering blood pressure and combats arrhythmia, or irregular heartbeat.

Herbs High in Vitamin C
T
hyme
Parsley

Please Note:
As always, before taking any herbs for high blood pressure you should consult your doctor to see if they will interact with any prescription medications you may already be taking and don’t stop taking blood pressure medications without first discussing it with your doctor. It is very important to find out any drug interactions if any.

How can spices and other ingredients help lower blood pressure?

When added to dishes, tasty spices and herbs often reduce the need to use more salt. Such things as peppers, chilies, garlic, mustard, olive oil lemon, lime, saffron, vinegar and wine are all very effective.

A smart option for anyone is to replace all animal fats with polyunsaturated fats like vegetable oil – ideally use cold-pressed olive oil. This is particularly important for those with high blood pressure and high cholesterol.

Vegetables Lower Blood Pressure
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Originally posted 2016-12-26 07:22:13.

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