How to Lower Blood Pressure With Food

Everyone can dutifully recite ‘watch the salt’ when it comes to blood pressure management, but few people can name actual foods that can help you both live longer and lower blood pressure when you eat them, although quite a few have excellent research behind their beneficial qualities.

Most diets/nutrition research conclusions talk about what to eat, and only a few talk about when to eat. A new study published in the Am Journal of Cardiology, reminds us that skipping breakfast can lead to poorer heart health. Particularly if you already have heart disease.

Generally diets that are high in fruits and vegetables and non-fat dairy products are associated with the least heart disease and thus the best blood pressure. However some foods and nutrients will actually lower blood pressure The DASH trial looked at various nutritional strategies besides just the lowering of sodium and the increasing of potassium, and in this study calcium in the diet was shown to lower blood pressure. This means that the addition of calcium supplements can lower blood pressure.

Gynos always advise consultation as too much calcium can cause other medical problems. Fiber lowers blood pressure, especially if it comes in the form of oats, so if you are planning a great breakfast for your blood pressure: eat oatmeal.

For lunch consider a shake with amino acids: taurine and arginine are the two that have been shown to lower blood pressure the most. By dinner: this is easy: red wine and something flavored with garlic, for us it may be our favorite pasta dish, if you keep your portion in moderation, or sub out spaghetti squash, it’s even better for your blood pressure.

Fasting mimicking diets also lower blood pressure. The best data comes from the L-Nutra Prolon 5 day modified fast we eat at Women’s Health Practice. The recommendation is once a month for 3 months, and then 3 times a year. Not only blood pressure is lower, there are other health benefits.

Generally having stretches of calorie deficit can help lower your blood pressure.

And a gyno tip: actually measure your blood pressure at home now and then, just to fact check that your health strategies are working! And if you want to measure another metric of heart health look at your heart rate variability. Track it at least three times a day, and bring it in for us to review.

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Suzanne Trupin, MD, Board Certified Obstetrician and Gynecologist and owner of Women's Health Practice, Hada Cosmetic Medicine, and Hatha Yoga and Fitness

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