Eat This Food to Lower Your Blood Pressure

Move over ACE inhibitors, beta blockers and calcium channel blockers. There’s an exciting new research-proven way to lower high blood pressure.

New research in the Journal of the American Heart Association found that eating more walnuts can significantly lower high blood pressure. In the study, researchers found that the combination of adding more walnuts while also reducing saturated fats, was an effective way to reduce high blood pressure.

Walnuts are excellent sources of heart-healthy Omega 3 fatty acids as well as other heart-healing compounds known as polyphenols. Just one quarter cup of walnuts contains 2700 mg of Omega 3s, which is more than most other foods that contain these powerful, anti-inflammatory and healing fats.

Walnuts also contain plentiful amounts of vitamin E; however, unlike most foods that contain this valuable nutrient, walnuts are unique in that their vitamin E content is in the form of gamma-tocopherol, rather than alpha-tocopherol, which is superior for heart and blood vessel health. Additionally, research in the medical journal Circulation found that Omega 3 fatty acids like those found in walnuts can even help to heal the heart and reverse some of the damage caused by a heart attack.

High blood pressure, or hypertension as it is known in the medical community, affects almost one-third of Americans. The condition involves excessive amounts of force exerted on the arteries as blood is pumped through, potentially damaging the blood vessels and organs.

Blood pressure has two measurements, known as systolic and diastolic pressure. Systolic measures the maximum pressure exerted in the arteries as the heart contracts while diastolic measures the minimum pressure in the blood vessels between heart contractions. Systolic pressure is considered normal if it is between 90 and 120 while diastolic pressure should be between 60 and 80.

 

Side-Effects of Common Blood Pressure Medications

Some of the most common side-effects of blood pressure medications include:

ACE Inhibitors: a dry cough, excessive reductions in blood pressure, headaches, dizziness, fainting and reduced kidney function.

Beta Blockers: dizziness, weakness, fatigue, fainting, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, chest pain.

Calcium Channel Blockers: swelling of the ankles and extremities, flushing, dizziness, heartburn and nausea.

Blood pressure medications should not be stopped suddenly or without your doctor’s approval, as doing so can sometimes result in heart attacks.

 

How to Reap the Benefits of Walnuts for High Blood Pressure

It’s important to add walnuts to your diet while also reducing the amount of saturated fat in your diet to help reduce high blood pressure. Saturated fat is found in most animal foods such as beef, pork, processed meats, bacon, sausage, cheese and other dairy products, to name a few.

Many people have told me over the years that they can’t stand the taste of walnuts. However, most people have only ever eaten the bitter, rancid walnuts found in most grocery stores, not fresh walnuts found in the refrigerator section of health food stores. Fresh walnuts have a sweet flavor and buttery texture that is nothing like their rancid counterparts. Before you write-off walnuts, be sure to try fresh, refrigerated ones.

Fresh, raw walnuts make a great addition to salads, atop yogurt or bowl of fruit, chopped and added to quinoa or rice salads, or chopped and added to previously-cooked vegetable dishes. You can add a handful of walnuts to smoothies or even make a fermented cheese from them by soaking a cup of walnuts in half a cup of water, along with the contents of a capsule of probiotics, and leave them overnight to culture (Check out my book The Cultured Cook to learn more). Then, blend them with any flavor additions until it forms a smooth cheese. And, of course you can just snack on a handful of walnuts on their own or tossed in a little walnut oil and spices, or eat them alongside dried fruit.

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Dr. Michelle Schoffro Cook, PhD, DNM shares her food growing, cooking, preserving, and other food self-sufficiency adventures at FoodHouseProject.com. She is the publisher of the free e-newsletter World’s Healthiest News and an international best-selling and 20-time published book author whose works include: The Cultured Cook: Delicious Fermented Foods with Probiotics to Knock Out Inflammation, Boost Gut Health, Lose Weight & Extend Your Life. Follow her work.

 

83 comments

Ganaisha Calvin
Ganaisha Calvin12 days ago

my grandmother used to eat walnuts all the time!

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Teresa W
Teresa W13 days ago

Yum!

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Sheila D
Sheila D15 days ago

Good to know. Thanks for sharing.

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hELEN hEARFIELD
hELEN hEARFIELD15 days ago

tyfs

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Marija M
Marija M15 days ago

Interesting, tks.

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Marija M
Marija M15 days ago

tks very much for posting.

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Teresa W
Teresa W15 days ago

thank you

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Angeles Madrazo
Angeles Madrazo15 days ago

Good info. Thank you

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Christine Stewart

I 100% agree with the need to find a good source of very fresh walnuts- they are so delicious! The nasty ones that sit in a bag on the shelf for months are bitter. Trader Joe's walnuts are in bags at room temperature- but I find they are always fresh and tasty.

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Maggie D
Maggie D15 days ago

Thank you for the information about fresh walnuts from the fridge.

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