- Almost 50% of the adult U.S. population have high blood pressure,
- High blood pressure is one of the most common causes contributing to deaths in the U.S.,
- High blood pressure significantly increases your risk of stroke and heart disease.
High blood pressure is one of the most prevalent health concerns. But it’s certainly not a healthy condition. Hence, it’s almost natural for people with this condition to wish for a normal blood pressure reading.
If you are someone struggling with this health concern, this post is for you. Here we share how a plant-based diet can play a significant role in lowering your blood pressure so you can enjoy a healthy life. Let’s get started.
Plant-Based Diet Reduces/Eliminates the Consumption of Red Meat
When you switch to a plant-based diet, your consumption of red meat decreases and that brings in several advantages.
A higher intake of red meat is directly associated with higher blood pressure as well as an increased risk of cardiovascular diseases. There is a correlation between the iron content in red meat that can increase your blood pressure. Moreover, while fresh red meat has lower sodium content, processed red meat is a rich source of sodium which contributes to an increase in your blood pressure.
As you replace your intake of red meat with a plant-based diet, you end up with lower sodium levels in the blood that contribute to reducing your blood pressure. Moreover, unlike the iron content in meat, the iron that’s present in fruits and vegetables does not lead to increased blood pressure. However, it is sufficient to meet your daily iron requirements.
Plant-Based Diet is Rich in Potassium
Another reason why a plant-based diet contributes to lowering your blood pressure is that a plant-based diet is rich in potassium. Foods that contain high amounts of potassium are critical in managing your blood pressure. The more potassium you take in, the more sodium your body loses. Since sodium is one of the major contributors to increased blood pressure, when you consume fruits and vegetables that are rich in potassium, your body naturally loses sodium. Hence, you end up with lower blood pressure.
Some of the fruits and vegetables that are rich in potassium include the following
- Cooked broccoli,
- Sweet potatoes,
- Mushrooms and
Plant-Based Diet is Free of Cholesterol
There is a close link between cholesterol and high blood pressure. When you have higher blood cholesterol levels, your arteries become narrowed and hardened. Hence your heart needs to make an extra effort to pump blood through narrowed arteries. As a result, your blood pressure can increase significantly.
But when you switch to a plant-based diet, it can help you lower your blood pressure as well as reduces your blood cholesterol levels. When your blood cholesterol level goes down, your blood pressure automatically falls in the normal range. Moreover, fruits, vegetables, and other plant-based foods have zero cholesterol so, with a plant-based diet, there is absolutely no risk of increasing your blood cholesterol levels.
Some of the fruits and vegetables that can contribute to reducing your cholesterol levels are
- Berries, and
- Citrus fruits.
Plant-Based Diet is Loaded with Fiber
Dietary fiber is essential in maintaining balance inside the human body. It improves your digestive health, but fiber plays a critical role in maintaining and improving your cardiac health. Soluble fiber that comes from a plant-based diet, helps lower your blood cholesterol levels. Specifically, dietary fiber help lower your low-density lipoprotein (LDL), which is primarily the bad cholesterol for your heart and health.
When the blood cholesterol levels decrease, it has a positive impact on your blood pressure and your overall cardiac health.
Plant-Based Diet Have an Anti-Inflammatory Effect
Lastly, but most importantly, a plant-based diet can have an anti-inflammatory effect on your body. Inflammation is associated with higher blood pressure and an increased risk of several health conditions including rheumatoid arthritis, cardiac health conditions, and even cancer.
A plant-based diet is rich in antioxidants which are nature’s fighting mechanism against inflammation. When you consume enough antioxidants in your diet, it has an anti-inflammatory effect which improves your cardiac health as well as lowers your blood pressure.
Plant-Based Foods to Include in Your Diet
Now that you know how a plant-based diet can lower your blood pressure, you should also know which plant-based foods are best to lower your blood pressure naturally. Some of the foods that can help you maintain a normal reading include
- Dark Leafy Greens – such as kale, spinach, and arugula. They are powerful plant-based foods that are rich in potassium and can help you lower your blood pressure.
- All Berries – Raspberries, strawberries, cherries, and blackberries are natural superfoods that are loaded with powerful antioxidants and can play an integral role in reducing inflammation.
- Beetroots – A great source of nitric oxide, the use of beetroots can help widen your blood vessels and improve blood flow.
- Pomegranates – Another exceptional source of antioxidants that can reduce inflammation in your arteries, improve cholesterol, and may contribute to a decrease in cholesterol build-up in your blood vessels.
- Oatmeal – Plant-based diet doesn’t have to be all about fruits and veggies. Add in some oats that are loaded with fiber and are low in fats.
- Seeds – The mini powerhouse that can lower your blood pressure and improve the level of healthy fats in your blood.
- Whole grains – Loaded with fiber and nature’s goodness, whole grains are a must addition to your diet as they help maintain a healthy gut and a healthy heart.
- Legumes and beans – Just like whole grains, legumes and beans are packed with nature’s best nutrients that have a positive effect on your blood pressure.
- Nuts – Consuming few nuts every day can have a positive effect on your entire body but they are particularly helpful in reducing
In all, a plant-based diet can significantly lower your blood pressure. So why not take charge of your health and switch to a plant-based diet for a healthier life.