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Can Food Lower Blood Pressure?

(WGEM) -- About 108 million Americans struggle with high blood pressure. It’s a problem that can raise your risk for heart attack, stroke, and other serious medical conditions.

The good news is you can lower your blood pressure with some simple diet changes. Find out what foods to choose.

Nearly half of adults in the U.S. have high blood pressure.

Estimates show at least one in three Americans should be on blood pressure meds.

Daniel Munoz, MD, a cardiologist at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, said, “Medications can be tough to take. They can be complicated to take, particularly the more medications somebody is prescribed.”

But you can fight this common health threat with what you eat! First: include foods rich in Vitamin C like bell peppers, cherries, and grapefruit. One study found people with high blood pressure who ate foods high in Vitamin C reduced their readings by five millimeters of mercury. Salmon and flaxseed contain omega-threes which have been shown to lessen inflammation and lower blood pressure. Dark chocolate is rich in flavonoids that have blood pressure lowering effects. Tomatoes contain lycopene, which has been linked to reductions in blood pressure. Also, despite their bad rap, eggs, have been shown to lower both blood pressure and cholesterol in recent studies. Just remember not having high blood pressure can lead to overall better health.

“A dramatic improvement and benefit for preventing cardiovascular disease, heart attack and stroke,” stated Mark Supiano, MD, a geriatrics investigator at the University of Utah Health.

The American Heart Association recently lowered their definitions of high blood pressure. They used to define it as 140 over 90, but now a blood pressure reading is considered high if it’s 130 over 80 or above.

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Don Dwyer

Don Dwyer is a Morning Anchor/Reporter at WGEM.

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