According to research, high blood pressure (or hypertension) is one of the most common and preventable risk factors for heart disease. And, it’s estimated that over one billion people globally are affected by it.

Eating a nutritious, balanced diet is recommended for everyone, and can be particularly beneficial for people with high blood pressure – including those taking any blood pressure-lowering medications. This is because eating nutrient-rich foods – especially those high in vitamins and minerals like potassium and magnesium – can help to promote healthy blood pressure.

With this in mind, we’ve put together a list of 14 of the best blood pressure-lowering foods to add to your diet.

1. Citrus fruit

Citrus fruit

Citrus fruits, such as grapefruit, lemons, and oranges, are loaded with vitamins, minerals, and plant compounds (flavonoids) that can help to reduce high blood pressure and keep your heart healthy.

This five-month study found that walking and drinking lemon juice daily led to reductions in systolic blood pressure (the force at which the heart pumps blood around the body). Researchers believe these effects were due to the citric acid and flavonoid content of lemons.

Other studies have found that drinking grapefruit and orange juice can have a similar effect on blood pressure. That being said, grapefruit can sometimes interfere with common blood pressure and cholesterol-lowering medications, so it’s important to speak to your doctor before adding grapefruit to your diet.

For ideas on how to start eating more citrus fruits, you might find Food Lover’s Market’s article on this helpful.

2. Swiss chard

Swiss chard

Swiss chard is packed full of blood pressure-regulating nutrients.

This study found that for every 0.6g increase of dietary potassium per day, there was a 1.0mmHg decrease in systolic blood pressure, and a 0.52mmHg decrease in diastolic blood pressure (the pressure in the blood vessels between heartbeats). Just one cup (145g) of Swiss chard offers 792mg of potassium, which is 17% of your daily potassium needs.

Swiss chard is also rich in magnesium, which is needed for healthy blood pressure. This is because magnesium helps to prevent blood vessels from constricting. 145g of Swiss chard contains 30% of your daily magnesium needs.

To add more Swiss chard to your diet, why not try one of these delicious recipes with Swiss chard from This Healthy Table? Smoothies, stews, and pastas – there’s a bit of everything here.

3. Pumpkin seeds

Pumpkin seeds

Though little, pumpkin seeds pack a real punch when it comes to blood pressure-regulating nutrients.

Pumpkin seeds contain high amounts of potassium, magnesium, and arginine. Arginine is an amino acid needed for the production of nitric oxide, which helps to relax blood vessels and lower blood pressure.

Science has also identified pumpkin seed oil as an effective natural remedy for high blood pressure. For example, in this study, women who were supplemented with 3g of pumpkin seed oil each day for six weeks experienced significant reductions in systolic blood pressure, compared with a placebo group.

Check out these pumpkin seed recipes from BBC Good Food for some ideas. From salads and spice mixes, to cookie and flapjack recipes, pumpkin seeds are pretty versatile.

4. Amaranth


Amaranth is an ancient grain that was originally eaten by the Aztecs in central Mexico – but these days it’s making its way into all sorts of dishes.

Eating a diet rich in whole grains like amaranth may lower your risk of developing high blood pressure. For example, this scientific review found that eating an extra 30g of whole grains per day was linked with an 8% reduction in the risk of developing high blood pressure.

Amaranth is a whole grain that’s worth prioritising because it’s particularly high in magnesium. Just one cup of cooked amaranth (246g) provides 38% of your daily magnesium requirement.

If you’re not sure how to add more amaranth to your diet, check out these must-try amaranth recipes from OOLA. Amaranth makes a great substitute for various ingredients like rice, quinoa, and baking goods.

5. Tomatoes


Tomatoes are rich in various nutrients, including potassium and lycopene – a carotenoid pigment.

Lycopene has consistently been linked to good heart health, and this scientific review found that eating foods high in lycopene – such as tomatoes – may help to reduce risk factors for heart disease, like high blood pressure.

The good news is that these benefits stretch across lots of tomato products too, including sun-dried tomatoes and tomato purée. However, it’s important to check the sugar content of some of these products and to eat them in moderation.

Why not try making one of these healthy tomato recipes from BBC Good Food? There’s everything from risotto to omelettes and creamy pastas.

6. Berries


Berries are linked with many impressive health benefits and have been shown to help reduce high blood pressure. This is largely due to their antioxidant content, which includes anthocyanins (the pigments that give berries their colour).

Studies have revealed that anthocyanins can increase nitric oxide production and reduce the production of molecules that restrict blood vessels. Overall, these effects contribute to healthier blood pressure levels.

Raspberries, blueberries, strawberries, cloudberries, and chokeberries are just a few of the berries that research has linked with lowering blood pressure.

Another great thing about berries is that they’re very versatile. For example, you can use them as breakfast toppings, add them to smoothies and salads, or enjoy them as a snack by themselves.

Take a look at this list of over 50 healthy berry recipes from Simply Quinoa for more ideas. You’ll also find information on how to grow blueberries in our list of 8 superfoods that you can grow from home.

7. Chia and flaxseeds

Chia and flaxseeds

Chia seeds and flaxseeds may be tiny, but they’re bursting with nutrients like magnesium, potassium, and fibre, which are essential for regulating healthy blood pressure.

In this study, people with high blood pressure who were supplemented with 35g of chia seed flour each day experienced reductions in blood pressure whether they were on medication or not, compared with a placebo group.

There’s also evidence in this scientific review that eating flaxseeds may help to lower blood pressure – particularly when eaten in their whole seed form for 12 weeks or more.

If you want to add more chia and flaxseeds to your diet, why not try making this chia and flaxseed pudding from Health Motivation? Or, for something savoury, these flaxseed and chia crackers with thyme and parmesan might tickle your tastebuds.

Our articles, 7 health benefits of chia seeds and different ways to use them and 8 health benefits of flaxseed and how to add it to your diet, also have more ideas.

8. Spinach


Spinach is high in nitrates, antioxidants, potassium, magnesium, and calcium – which makes it a great choice for people with high blood pressure.

In this study, people who consumed 500ml of a high-nitrate spinach soup every day for seven days experienced reductions in both systolic and diastolic blood pressure levels, compared with those who ate low-nitrate asparagus soup.

In addition, the spinach soup also reduced arterial stiffness, which can help to lower blood pressure and boost heart health.

Olive has some mouthwatering spinach recipes for you to try, including spinach and ricotta pasta, healthy omelettes, and spinach masala.

9. Beetroot


Beetroot and beetroot greens have impressive nutritional values and adding them to your diet may encourage healthy blood pressure levels.

They contain nitrates, which contribute to the relaxation of blood vessels. In this study, people with high blood pressure found that consuming 250ml of beetroot juice and 250g of cooked beetroot significantly lowered blood pressure – particularly beetroot juice.

That being said, other studies have suggested that beetroot’s effect on blood pressure may not make a significant difference on long-term blood pressure control.

But, either way, beetroot is highly nutritious and brings various health benefits. To add more to your diet, why not try one of these beetroot recipes from BBC Good Food? You’ll find vibrant salads and even beetroot brownies.

10. Greek yoghurt

Greek yoghurt

Greek yoghurt is packed full of healthy nutrients like calcium and potassium, which are involved in blood pressure regulation.

In this scientific review, eating three servings of dairy daily was linked with a 13% decreased risk of high blood pressure; while a 200g increase in intake per day was linked with a 5% decreased risk of high blood pressure.

Why not try one of these Greek yoghurt recipes from BBC Good Food? Or, Eat This, Not That has a good list of 15 savoury ideas to eat Greek yoghurt, including pasta sauces, taco toppings, and dressings.

11. Carrots


Crunchy and sweet, carrots are a popular veg. They’re high in phenolic compounds like chlorogenic, caffeic acids, and p-coumaric which have been shown to reduce inflammation and relax blood vessels – two factors which may help to lower blood pressure.

Carrots are extremely versatile and can be enjoyed cooked or raw. However, research has revealed that eating them raw may be more effective at reducing high blood pressure. For example, in this study of over 2,000 adults aged 40-59, a significant link was drawn between intake of raw carrots and lower blood pressure levels.

Another study found that daily intake of fresh carrot juice over three months led to reductions in systolic blood pressure.

Taste of Home has a great list of 25 healthy carrot recipes, which includes veggie burgers, soups, and carrot French fries.

12. Pistachios


Pistachios are highly nutritious and have been linked with steady blood pressure levels.

For example, this study highlights how, of the nuts, pistachios have the highest levels of potassium, which is important in controlling blood pressure.

To add more pistachios to your diet, why not try one of these pistachio recipes from BBC Good Food? You’ll find everything from mouthwatering cakes to dark chocolate pistachio porridge.

13. Fatty fish

Fatty fish

Many of us know that fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, and sardines are a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, which offer significant health benefits.

Research has revealed that by fighting inflammation and lowering levels of compounds like oxylipins that can constrict blood vessels, omega-3s may contribute to lower blood pressure levels.

For example, in this study of over 2,000 healthy people, those who had the highest levels of omega-3 in their blood had significantly lower blood pressure. As a result, an increased omega-3 intake has been linked with a reduced risk of hypertension.

With these 84 healthy fish recipes from Taste of Home, you won’t be stuck for ideas. Alternatively, if you’re not a fan of fish, there are plenty of other delicious sources of omega-3, like nuts and seeds. You’ll find more information in our article; Omega-3: What is it and why do we need it?

14. Broccoli


Containing generous amounts of protein, fibre, vitamin C, K, and potassium, broccoli offers many health benefits.

For example, research shows that its flavonoid antioxidant content may help to lower blood pressure by boosting blood vessel function and increasing levels of nitric acids in the body.

In this study, people who ate four or more servings of broccoli each week had a lower risk of high blood pressure, compared with those who ate it once a month or less.

Examples of ways you could add more broccoli to your diet include making pesto, a traybake, or a stir-fry. Check out these delicious healthy broccoli recipes from Self for more ideas.

Final thoughts…

High blood pressure is a risk factor for various health conditions, including heart disease.

Therefore, taking steps to either lower or maintain your blood pressure at a healthy level is one of the best things you can do for your health. And the good news is that there are plenty of delicious foods that can help.

For more health and diet tips, head over to the diet and nutrition section of our website where you’ll find everything from healthy heart foods to essential vitamin guides.

What blood pressure-lowering foods do you eat? Will you be adding any of the foods on our list to your diet? We’d be interested to hear from you in the comments below.