Blood pressure

Ways to lower blood pressure and high blood pressure complications

acetyl-L-carnitine, more, more, more

aircraft noise is a blood pressure hazard

limit alcohol, more, more
an alkaline (plant-based) diet


aloe vera juice

alpha-Lipoic acid and acetyl-L-carnitine

angelica, more

apple cider vinegar, more



antioxidants for those with peripheral artery disease
avoid arterial stiffness – see the Stroke post for arterial stiffness information
aspirin at night

astaxanthin, more, more


beans (pulses)

sprouted soybean

beet juice, more, more, more, more, more, more

beet root powder is available, and is less messy

berries, more, more, more, more, more, more

contain pterostilbene which is an anthocyanin
but don’t eat them in yogurt

Dark chocolate and berries control blood pressure via gut bacteria.

minimize exposure to bis-phenol A
black cumin seeds
black tea

control blood sugar, more, more
slow, deep breathing

brown seaweed (Undaria pinnatifida)

vitamin C, more, more, best from diet, not pills


calcium, more, more, more

kale and other leafy greens are a rich source
too much supplementation at one time mildly increases blood pressure

see the Osteoporosis post for more on calcium (best to spread out doses)

calorie restriction, more, more, more

a low-carb diet

low-glycemic carbohydrates

cannabis, more, more, or not – more than a bit might be hazardous




celery, more

celery seed, more, more (not expensive, I add it to my herbs-and-spices tea)

chamomile – in rats

chia seeds

chlorella, more, morecinnamon  (liver caution)
a robust circadian oscillation – see the Longevity post

Works via circadian clock genes.
eating mostly early in the day shown by a study of 12,708 participants, ages 18 to 76

citrus, more

Co-Q10, more, more (or idebenone (more) (conflicts with calorie restriction)

cocoa, more, more, more, more, more, more

but not (sugar and fat containing) chocolate

coconut water


dark chocolate, more, more, more, more, more, more, more, more, more

cordyceps, more, more


This systematic review of 11 studies comprising 734 participants showed that consuming curcumin/turmeric may improve systolic blood pressure when administered in long duration.
not vitamin D supplements

DASH diet – or not – it stops short of the most effective intervention: a vegan diet
dental diligence (good oral health)
natural diuretics

drumstick tree (Moringa oleifera) – it stops short of the most effective: vegan diet
vitamin E, more (get it from foods – not supplements – see the Quacks and Snake Oil post)

egg whites (I won’t touch this due to the ultra high content of methionine – see long-term cognition and longevity sections)
Endothelial dysfunction (impaired vasodilation) may precede high blood pressure.

See this Heart Health post on endothelial function.

energy drink caution

essential oils, more

exercise, more, more, in short spurts

Regular physical activity makes your heart stronger. A stronger heart can pump more blood with less effort. As a result, the force on your arteries decreases, lowering your blood pressure.

The BP lowering effects of exercise are most pronounced in people with hypertension who engage in endurance exercise with BP decreasing approximately 5–7 mm Hg after an isolated exercise session (acute) or following exercise training (chronic). Moreover, BP is reduced for up to 22 h after an endurance exercise bout (e.g., postexercise hypotension), with the greatest decreases among those with the highest baseline BP.

The proposed mechanisms for the BP lowering effects of exercise include neurohumoral, vascular, and structural adaptations. Decreases in catecholamines and total peripheral resistance, improved insulin sensitivity, and alterations in vasodilators and vasoconstrictors are some of the postulated explanations for the antihypertensive effects of exercise.

Include resistance training.

A combination of aerobic and weight (resistance) training seems to provide the most heart-healthy benefits.
Pilates significantly improves blood pressure in young, obese women.
Keep insulin resistance low = exercise!
Exercise may be as effective as prescribed drugs.
Cycling and treadmill workstations are better than standing workstations.

intermittent fasting: The weight loss benefits of IF may be mediated by changes in gut bacteria.
high-fat (fast food) diet caution, which may injure via nasty gut bugs.
fennel, more


fiber, more, more, more, more

Dietary fiber lower blood pressure via the kidney smell receptor Olfr78.
soluble and insoluble fiber

fish oil, maybe any Ω-3 fatty acid

Fish oil may work via the SLO1 potassium channel.:
Shown by a study of 324 subjects (20-40 y of age, body mass index 27.5-32.5kg/m(2), from Iceland, Spain, and Ireland.
Shown by a study of healthy young (18-42 years) and older (53-70 years) males.
Shown by a study of 2,036 young, healthy adults.
Shown by a study of 4680 men and women, 40 to 59, in China.
Shown by a metaregression analysis of 90 randomized trials.

Even in small doses, fish oil helps reduce blood pressure in people with elevated levels.This systematic review of 11 studies comprising 734 participants showed that consuming curcumin/turmeric may improve systolic blood pressure when administered in long duration.

flax seed, more, more, more, more

folate (fresh greens)

forest bathing

avoid added fructose, more,(or added sucrose)

Fructose is a key factor in the development of hypertension.
Fructose in fruits is OK due to the fiber.

garlic, more, more, more, more, more, more, but garlic supplements may not work as well

Garlic may be as effective as atenolol.

gazpacho, more


glutamic acid
gotu kola, more

minimize grains, starches, and sugar

eat whole grains – as good as drugs

grape seed extract, more (tastes terrible)


grapes, more, more, also as raisins
Gut microbiota:

Butyrate-producing gut bugs may provide for lower blood pressure.
Butyrate is increased by calorie restriction, resistant starch, and a plant-based diet, also walnuts.

Butyrate is a short chain fatty acid, also increased by exercise.

hawthorne, more

red grapefruit juice

hawthorne berry

hibiscus tea, more, more, more, more, more, more

more effective than a blood pressure drug
but not too much!

hot peppers?, more, more
avoid hyperinsulinemia (high levels of insulin in the blood)

Indian herbs

Anti-hypertensive herbal tea.

intermittent fasting

a low-carb diet *

kiwi, more, more

A healthy lifestyle.

lipoic acid
ultraviolet light


magnesium, more, more, more

This meta-analysis of 22 trials with 23 sets of data (n=1173), with 3 to 24 weeks of follow-up showed decrease in systolic blood pressure of 3-4 mm Hg and diastolic blood pressure of 2-3 mm Hg, which further increased with crossover designed trials and intake >370 mg/day. 
Shown in a study of six participants.

meat consumption caution

meditation, more, more, more

a Mediterranean diet – or not

melatonin, more, more, more, more

minimize nitrates

nattokinase, more
music: Taylor Swift or Vivaldi

nuts, more, more

olive leaf, more, more, more

extra virgin olive oil (or just olives, but watch the salt)

It is the polyphenols in olive oil that brings down blood pressure.


orange juice

oxidative stress → less tetrahydrobiopterin → less nitric oxide → high blood pressure

see oxidative stress in the Longevity post

“paleo” grain and dairy-free) diet, more

parsely (but not too much)

panax ginseng, more, more

a pet, more
phthalates from plastics (bisphenol A, for instance) are bad news

a plantbased (alkaline) diet, more, more, more, more, more

This was shown by the Zuphen study of 702 observations of 272 men,
A plant based diet works in many ways.
Dietary antioxidants
Dietary nitrate from dark green leafy veggies such as spinach
Myriad phytochemicals provide powerful disease prevention.
nuts, soy and viscous fiber beats the DASH diet
may work via improved gut microbiome, nurtured by fiber
blood pressure of 110/70 is best, and should be easy when eating only plants
shown by a study of 72 Yanomami and 83 members of the nearby Yekwana tribe
Shown by a study of 2818 (7.7%) vegans, 5616 (15.3%) lacto-ovo vegetarians, and 28,183 (77.0%) omnivores.
Blood pressure can drop 6% in 12 days.

When a plant-based diet is combined with fried food, sweets, refined grains, red meat and processed meat, benefits are diminished.

pomegranate, more

potassium, more, more, more (bananas, oranges, kiwi, veggies)

potassium citrate

potatoes, especially purple potatoes, more
probiotics, more, more, or not

pycnogenol (grape seed extract is equivalent, and cheaper – and it tastes terrible), more

Qigong, more



reishi mushroom
dietary resveratrol (do not supplement)
rose hips

limit salt

A low-salt diet is supported by a meta-analysis of 34 trials with 3230 participants.
Shown by a study of 411 adults, who were 30 to 60 years of age.
A low-salt diet is supported by American Heart Association.

Most get too much salt from processed food – not the shaker.

salt injures via reduced beta-hydroxybutyrate (βOHB)
Low salt may benefit via beta-hydroxyisovalerate and methionine sulfone.
the FDA was sued about this
use spices instead – the case is conclusive
salt sources – why processed meat has so much salt

all processed food is salt-laden

the sodium-to-potassium ratio is important

potassium may blunt the hypertensive effect of sodium

salt may be addictive!
AMPK may help – see the Longevity post for AMPK activation
a high-salt intake may also injure via atherosclerosis
salt reduction is easy with a vegan diet

enjoy sauna
limit saturated fat intake



black sesame meal

sesame seed, more, more, more, more

sex – especially good for older women

siberian ginseng

sleep, more, more
be slim: Even teenagers can develop high blood pressure due to obesity.
be social
Frequent sugar sweetened beverage intake (and particularly fructose) is linked to hypertension and well-known cardiovascular disease risk factors.


spinach, more

stevia, more, more, but not too much

Sugar, due to the fructose fraction and added calories, may raise blood pressure. It is especially hazardous when combined with a high sodium (salt) intake and high linoleic acid intake.

sunshine, more, more

via nitric oxide (due to blue light) from arginine and in other ways

tai chi, more

taurine, more, more, more, more
green tea

black tea, more, more, more

don’t smoke tobacco (see long-term cognition for help on quitting)

cooked tomatoes (tomatoes are most nutritious when cooked)


keep uric acid level low

see the longevity post

vascular (arterial) stiffness drives pulmonary hypertension

aerobic exercise vs. vascular (arterial) stiffness
intensive resistance training can increase arterial stiffness

vegetarian, more, more (better yet vegan) diet, more

dark green nitrate-rich veggies such as beet root juice

beet root juice can be used acutely

wakame seaweed

watermelon, more, more

weight loss, more, more, more, due to leptin

limit wheat

Yohimbe may cause untreatable high blood pressure.

hypertension meds best before bed

blood pressure meds cause falls, heart failure, even death

Blood pressure meds may not reduce mortality.
Blood pressure meds are also correlated with a higher epigenetic age.
Blood pressure meds may not help heart health.

Being diagnosed may be a source of depression.

measure blood pressure in both arms

Additional information, more, more, more, keep it below 130
This Life Extension post is good, but weighs way too heavily on supplements that they sell.
Dr. Joel Kahn has excellent suggestions here.

Treatment for extremely high blood pressure is here.


Common Stuff that Raises Blood Pressure:

St. John’s wort, ephedra/ma huang, yohimbine and licorice
living near an airport
bisphenol A


stress (duh!) (try mindfulness)

coffee (for three hours), or any caffeine

diet soda

too much alcohol

antidepressants during pregnancy

aspartame (Nutrasweet)
excessive carbohydrates, such as potatoes

energy drinks

fatty foods

too much food

fructose, more, including high fructose corn syrup and fruit juice

sucrose (table sugar) is one half fructose

herpes see the long-term cognition post for how to suppress herpes

hormone replacement therapy


free radicals (be slim)
meat consumption

excessive sitting – moving around a bit for breaks will help

soda whether artificially or sugar sweetened
excess uric acid (see heart health (m-z) for information on lowering uric acid


By Otto

I am a health enthusiast, engineer, and maker.

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