How to use super nutrients to manage your blood pressure

October 9, 2015

Whether or not you follow the DASH Diet to the letter, there are certain foods and nutrients you should be sure to keep in — or kick out of — your diet. Simply choosing dishes that contain these nutrients will give you a tremendous boost up (or down, if we're talking about blood pressure). And because no one heads out for a romantic dinner hoping for a great dish of magnesium and potassium, we've listed super food sources for these nutrients below:

How to use super nutrients to manage your blood pressure


Diets high in this mineral tend to be lower in sodium. If you follow the DASH Diet, you're going to get plenty of potassium in your diet. If you don't, you might consider taking a potassium supplement or a multivitamin with extra potassium.

• Super foods: bananas, orange juice, spinach, chard, mustard greens, zucchini, button mushrooms.


Potassium and magnesium are often found together in food. However, if you don't eat enough vegetables and fruits, you might want to consider taking a magnesium supplement.

• Super foods: whole grains, chard, spinach, sea vegetables, basil, dill, squash. Avoid overcooking to prevent mineral loss.


Numerous studies suggest that high intake of dietary calcium contributes to lower blood pressure; dietary calcium has twice the benefits of calcium supplements.

• Super foods: low-fat or fat-free milk, cheese, yogurt.

Vitamin C

This powerful antioxidant helps support the body's production of nitric oxide (critical to normal functioning of blood vessels), which lowers your risk of hypertension.

• Super foods: chili peppers, parsley, broccoli, bell peppers, strawberries, oranges, lemon juice, papayas, cauliflower, kale, mustard greens, Brussels sprouts.


Fibre is a powerhouse when it comes to health, reducing your risk of colon cancer, heart disease, hypertension and even helping you lose weight. Researchers suspect that fibre improves your body's ability to use insulin and thus process glucose, both of which have a direct impact on blood pressure. Also, phytochemicals and antioxidants in whole grains (a great source of fibre) may contribute to a beneficial effect on blood pressure.

• Super foods: whole grains, fruits, vegetables; oat cereal.


Protein contains two amino acids important to blood vessel health: l-arginine, a precursor of nitric oxide that dilates blood vessels and lowers blood pressure, and taurine, which seems to control levels of the stress hormone epinephrine.

• Super foods: eggs, poultry, tofu, fish; lean pork, beef, lamb.

Omega-3 fatty acids

Found primarily in fish, this form of fat is like a winning lottery ticket for your heart, improving electrical activity and reducing risk of heart disease, stroke and heart attack.

• Super foods: mackerel, anchovies, salmon, tuna, herring.


Traditionally used as a blood pressure treatment in Asian medicine, its key nutrient helps artery muscles dilate and reduces stress hormones in the blood.

  • Bonus: celery packs a whopping 8 g of fibre in each large stalk.


A savoury substitute for salt, as little as one clove a day can significantly reduce your overall blood pressure.

  • You can expect to see improvement in as little as three months.

Coenzyme Q10

This is another important antioxidant critical for overall heart health. Several recent studies suggest that part of its benefit may stem from its effects on hypertension. Although we can get CoQ10 from food, people taking cholesterol-lowering statin drugs and those with diabetes may benefit from taking supplements with this antioxidant.

• Super foods: fresh sardines, mackerel, beef, pork, eggs; spinach, broccoli, peanuts, wheat germ, whole grains.

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