High Blood Pressure: Nutrition Tips - Topic Overview
Potassium, calcium, and magnesium
Not eating enough foods containing
magnesium may contribute to
high blood pressure.
To get enough of these nutrients, eat a balanced diet that contains plenty of fresh fruits,
vegetables, dairy foods, and whole grains. Most people do not need to take dietary supplements to get enough potassium, calcium, and magnesium.
Good sources of potassium
All fresh fruits and
vegetables and meats are good sources of potassium. Examples include the
- Bananas, cantaloupe, oranges, and orange
- Raw or cooked spinach, lima beans, zucchini, broccoli,
carrots, cauliflower, and artichokes
(cooked dried beans and peas) such as pinto beans, chickpeas (garbanzo beans), and
- Nuts and seeds
Good sources of calcium
- Low-fat dairy products (yogurt, skim milk,
Good sources of magnesium
- Legumes (cooked dried beans and peas), seeds,
- Milk and yogurt
- Brown rice
- Bananas and
- Leafy green vegetables
The safest way to ensure good
nutrition is through a balanced, varied diet instead of through nutritional
Very large amounts of any of these minerals taken in the form of a
supplement can cause problems, including possible death. See your doctor before
taking large quantities of any supplement.
What does not lower blood pressure?
Fish and fish oil
Fish or fish oil supplements do not lower blood pressure. But eating fish can help lower your risk for heart disease.
You can eat fish as part of the DASH diet. Fish is part of heart-healthy eating. The American Heart Association suggests eating at least two servings of fish a week. Oily fish, which contain omega-3 fatty acids, are best for your heart. These fish include tuna, salmon, mackerel, lake trout, herring, and sardines.
Garlic and onions
Although eating garlic and onions has been recommended to
reduce blood pressure, evidence shows that only very small decreases in blood
pressure may result.