Which vegetables lower your blood pressure? This is a question that many people ask who want to see if they can control their blood pressure through diet before they start taking medication.
Your diet impacts your health in many ways. When you eat a healthy and nutritious diet you will feel better, look better and have better overall health. You probably knew that already — but did you know that eating vegetables can help lower your blood pressure? High blood pressure is a problem for many Americans and growing and eating vegetables is one way you can help lower your blood pressure naturally. Many of these delicious vegetables are easy to grow and will make a great addition to your garden.
Spinach, kale, collard greens, arugula, cabbage and broccoli are all considered part of the leafy greens family. This group of vegetables is nutrition-packed and high in both vitamin A and iron. Sugar can raise your blood sugar levels, but these vegetables have very little, so they are a great heart-healthy choice. They also contain natural nitrates which can help to relax your blood vessels, reducing the strain on your heart and lowering your blood pressure. Learn more about how they lower blood pressure at WebMD.
Leafy greens are a great choice for the home gardener. They are relatively easy to grow and will taste delicious in salads, as side dishes and in sandwiches. Plant them in the early spring as soon the soil can be worked. In many regions you can also grow a second fall crop. They grow well in container gardens and only require a few inches of soil beneath them, so they are an ideal choice for planting trays. See our article on How to Grow Spinach to learn more.
Sweet potatoes are a great source of fiber, antioxidants and vitamin A. But it’s the magnesium that helps with blood pressure. Plant them early since they will need a long growing season to reach maturity. Sweet potatoes thrive in warm temperatures, so if you are in a warm environment, this might be a great blood-pressure-lowering choice for your garden. Learn more about the benefits at Reader’s Digest.
Green peas are packed with fiber and hearth-healthy vitamins. A recent study also shows that a protein from yellow garden peas may help lower blood pressure and reduce kidney strain. Peas are easy to grow and will quickly be ready for a nutritious and delicious harvest. When planting peas be sure to start early (they don’t grow well in warm temperatures) so spring is the best time to grow and harvest them. Learn more at Mercola.com
Beets are very nutritious and contain high levels of folate, manganese and potassium. They will grow in many different climates but they do prefer cooler temperatures. Make sure that once you harvest them you eat the entire plant. The beet root is nutritious, but the greens are as well and are an especially good choice for the heart. Check out How to Grow Beets to learn more. To learn about how they reduce blood pressure, particularly in juice form, visit WebMD.
When chopped or crushed, garlic releases the compound allicin, which can reduce hypertension with no significant side effects, according to at least one study. Learn more by reading this article from Mother Earth News. Or see our article about the nutritional benefits of garlic.
Celery seed has been used as a traditional medicine for thousands of years, and is used in Indian Ayurvedic medicine to treat colds and flu, and as a diuretic. The NY Times even reports about a case where someone ate a quarter pound of celery per day for a week and lowered their blood pressure from 158/96 to 118/82. Eating large amounts of celery is not recommended though, because like many plants or herbs, it can become toxic with extremely high doses.
If you are looking for a great heart-healthy vegetable, winter squash is a wonderful choice. It is filled with beta carotene and fiber. But it is the potassium that helps reduce blood pressure, according to many sources. There are many different varieties to grow in your garden, making this a versatile plant as well. Whether you choose to grow acorn, butternut, spaghetti, golden nugget or pumpkin squash, make sure that you dedicate plenty of space in the garden since squash needs lots of room to grow. You will also need healthy soil and a long growing season.
Lycopene is a powerful antioxidant that is concentrated in the tomato plant. This antioxidant may be able to keep cholesterol from attaching to arteries in the heart which can help keep blood pressure down. They also contain high levels vitamin C, potassium and fiber. CoQ10 might be the mechanism that helps with blood pressure, according to Natural News.
Tomatoes are easy to grow and are a staple in the home garden. Generally it is best to start with seedlings in the spring after the risk of frost has passed. Tomatoes will typically require staking or caging as the plants develop. If you have less space available, consider using a patio variety since this will allow you to grow delicious tomatoes without having to dedicate so much space.
Use your garden to create a healthier diet and lifestyle for you and your family. Each of these vegetables are a great choice for lowering your blood pressure and keeping your heart healthy.
Although berries are not actually a vegetable, they are highly regarded for their high nutritional value. Blueberries and strawberries were shown in a clinical study to help with the reduction of blood pressure. Learn more about the nutritional benefits of strawberries, and blueberries.