What foods should you be eating if you have high blood pressure? Or rather, what do you need to eat to immediately lower your blood pressure? Well, if you have high blood pressure and your readings don’t seem to improve despite medications and other natural remedies you undertake, there could just be one single thing you’re not doing.
And that one thing is not eating the right food. The one simple thing you need to do to naturally and immediately lower your blood pressure is to eat nitrate-rich foods.
Well, as simple as it sounds, it is really not that simple. You may want to ask what are nitrate rich foods? Or rather what are nitrates? And how do they lower blood pressure?
Before we proceed, let me reiterate that I battled high blood pressure for 2 years before I discovered the alkaline vegan lifestyle. I was able to successfully reverse high blood pressure and have achieved regular normal blood pressure since then.
So, when it comes to dieting and what foods to eat, I’ll practically reveal my experiences along with research I was able to carry out over the course of my journey.
What foods lower high blood pressure?
Whether you have high blood pressure or not, there are special kinds of foods you should be eating and even more so, eating REGULARLY. However, if you have high blood pressure, it becomes even more imperative to consume these foods as much as and as regularly as you can.
The thing is, you may already know these foods or even already consuming them. The good news is that the foods that have been proven through research to naturally lower blood pressure are nitrate-rich foods. But what are nitrate-rich foods and why do they matter? How does nitrate foods help lower blood pressure? We’ll find out next.
What are Nitrate-rich foods?
Nitrate foods, or nitrate-rich foods are foods that contain high amounts of nitrates, a chemical compound that is found in plants and animals. Nitrate-rich foods include most greens and vegetables as well as animal products, however, a caution here as there is a distinction between both sources.
As further explained in subsequent sections, to lower high blood pressure, you should be eating only plant-based nitrate-rich foods.
Dr. Sebi Food List to Lower High Blood Pressure Naturally
Although, Dr. Sebi did not particularly specify nitrate-rich foods, he was able to include many leafy greens that are nitrate-rich and great for controlling blood pressure. And with his “One disease theory” that states that all disease is one and come from a breakdown of the mucus membrane, foods that will generally detox the cells, heal the damage done and revitalize or restore the energy lost by the presence of that disease were proven to be natural plant-based alkaline foods.
According to Dr. Sebi:
Based on this theory, most of the foods listed on the nutritional guide are great for high blood pressure except for very minor exceptions. As a rule, many greens and leafy vegetables listed on the guide are rich in nitrates and so, also good for lowering high blood pressure.
On the other hand, most of the grains and some of the nuts, even though alkaline plant-based, may not be that great – since they may be quite inflammatory.
So, when trying to heal from high blood pressure, it is usually recommended to avoid grains and nuts until blood pressure normalizes. But if you have normal blood pressure readings, all grains and nuts listed on the nutritional guide are perfectly good for consumption, however, incorporate more nitrate-rich leafy greens into your daily eating habits.
What Food Sources are Rich in Nitrates?
Foods rich in nitrates can either be animal-based or plant-based. But it does not stop there. While animal-based sources are also rich in Nitrates, the route of metabolism that makes it beneficial for lowering high blood pressure is not the same for both. How and why is this so?
Firstly, animal based sources of nitrates contain potentially harmful chemicals alongside the nitrates. And so when the nitrates are metabolized, heme – an iron-rich compound and other proteins found in animal products convert the nitrites (produced from nitrates) to a harmful end product – called nitrosamines. These nitrosamines are dangerous and may potentially become carcinogenic. Several studies have shown that animal-based products like processed meat are linked to certain kinds of cancers. This is not far-fetched as the route of metabolism animal-based nitrates take potentially creates harmful end products.
Plant-based sources on the other hand are broken down to nitric oxide – the beneficial and vital chemical that lowers blood pressure. So, if you want to be eating foods rich in nitrates, it only makes sense to eat only nitrate-rich plant-based foods that will be beneficial to your health. You should avoid the ones that may cause harm.
Plant-based sources of nitrates include leafy greens and vegetables.
What are the Nitrate-rich foods You Should be Eating?
What nitrate-rich foods should you be eating and which of them are approved by Dr. Sebi? Generally, you should be eating only plant-based nitrate foods in the first place.
But according to Dr. Sebi’s advice, not all plant-based foods are natural or even healthy. And that’s because many of the foods, although plant-derived, may be hybridized, GMO, processed and hence potentially as dangerous as animal-based derivatives. That is why we stick to the approved list of foods on the Dr. Sebi’s nutritional guide.
So, the nitrate rich foods you should be eating to naturally lower and reverse high blood pressure are nitrate-rich foods found in leafy greens and vegetables listed on the nutritional guide.
Below is a list of the best nitrate-rich foods listed on the Dr. Sebi Nutritional Guide and their nutritional facts.
Nitrate Content of Plant-based Alkaline Foods
|Nitrate-rich Food||Mean Conc. mg/100g||Serving Size|
|Arugula||480||2 Cups leaves|
|Rhubarb||280||1 Cup, diced|
|Amaranth||266||2 Cup leaves|
|197||2 Cups leaves|
|Swiss Chard||151||2 Cups leaves|
|Radish||73||1 Cup, diced|
|Kale||26||2 Cups Leaves|
|Green beans||29||1 Cup|
|Cabbage||22||1 Cup, chopped|
|Cucumber||15||1 Cup, chopped|
|Onions||6.0||1/2 Cup, diced|
|Chili pepper||5.2||1 tsp|
|Asparagus||2.4||2 Cups leaves|
|Artichoke||2.1||2 Cups leaves|
|Parsnip||1.6||2 Cups leaves|
|Water Cress||1.2||2 Cups leaves|
|Brussels sprouts||0.1||2 Cups leaves|
The EFSA Journal (2008) 689, 1–79.
*Herbs had high median nitrate concentrations, however, it is insignificant since the volume consumed will only be small. As a result, it is not
included in the adjusted table for best nitrate-rich foods below.
Adjusted Table for Best Nitrate-rich foods
Below is a list of the best nitrate-rich foods listed on the Dr. Sebi Nutritional Guide and their nutritional facts.
|Nitrate-rich Food||Serving Size||Serving
Size Nitrate concentration in mg
|Arugula||2 Cups leaves||480|
|Rhubarb||1 Cup, diced||358|
|Amaranth||2 Cup leaves||266|
|Lettuce (except iceberg)||2 Cups leaves||197|
|Swiss Chard||2 Cups leaves||151|
|Radish||1 Cup, diced||73|
You can learn more on the nitrate content of foods in this publication and in this journal. You can also see this video to learn more.
Lettuce (except Iceberg)
There are different types of lettuce and their health benefits vary with the nutrient they contain. The health benefits vary depending on the type of lettuce you use, with Iceberg being the least beneficial. Lettuce is high in nitrates including vitamins A, C, and K, and minerals.
Health benefits of lettuce include:
- Lowers blood pressure
Lettuce is a rich source of dietary nitrate which converts to nitric oxide in the body. Regular intake of lettuce can help lower blood pressure, slow down cognitive decline and other neurological disorders.
- Improved sleep
Lettuce extract is recommended to those who would like to improve the quality of their sleep naturally.
- Reduced inflammation
In folk medicine, lettuce is used as a natural remedy for inflammation and arthritic pains. In case you wonder, it is the vitamin content of lettuce that fights inflammation.
- Improves heart health
Of all the lettuce varieties, the Romain lettuce is the best source of nitrates and folate that can prevent damage to the heart. Being also high in vitamin C, lettuce can strengthen arteries as well as prevent heart attack.
Leafy alkaline greens like Arugula are probably one of the best sources of nitrates. Arugula especially contains up to 480 mg nitrates per cup of shredded amount.
Arugula is has numerous names and is also called Garden rocket, Rucola, Salad rocket, Roquette, and Colewort. Although, arugula is popularly cultivated as a vegetable, it also exists in the wild.
Arugula contains vitamins such as A, E, C, K and small amounts of B vitamins. It is also loaded with minerals such as calcium, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, and sodium, as well as antioxidants, carotenoids and phytochemicals.
The high amounts of antioxidants helps your body fight inflammation that can be associated with hypertension.
The B-complex vitamins aids metabolism which indirectly impacts hormonal regulation that is associated with elevated blood pressure.
Arugula also aids in mineral absorption which is key to managing blood pressure control. Since some cases of elevated blood pressure are caused by a deficiency in key minerals and vitamins like Magnesium and Vitamins D and K, arugula doesn’t inhibit the absorption of minerals, like the way some other foods do.
Rhubarb are high in nutrients including the vital Vitamin K1 (helpful for cardiovascular health), Vitamins C, manganese, and potassium. The stalks are the sole part of this plant that are completely safe to eat.
Its health benefits include;
- Aid digestion
- Promote heart health
- Improve bone health
- Improve blood circulation
- Help lower blood sugar
- Help with hormone balance
- Lower cholesterol levels
In America and Europe, rhubarb is employed as food while in Asia, the roots are used as medicine.
If you want to consume it as a vegetable, you can chop and cook or roast it. You can also mince rhubarb and use it as a garnish for salads or soups.
Rhubarb can also be used to make desserts such as cakes, rhubarb pie, tarts, or make into juices, smoothies, soups, or sauces.
Rhubarb is high in ethanedioic acid, a potentially toxic compound if consumed in large quantities. However, it is safe to eat the stalks. But if the plant is exposed to extreme cold conditions, the toxins may penetrate the stalk. So, you should store rhubarb in warm spaces.
Due to its high fiber content, one cup of cooked rhubarb will boost your digestion and ensure you have regular bowel movements. However, if eaten in larger amounts, it can have a laxative effect.
Amaranth is is an awesome plant that is not only high in nitrates, but also gluten-free. It is also a medicinal plant and in folk medicine, it is often used to treat high cholesterol.
Amaranth is very rich in nutrients and micronutrients and has anti-inflammatory and cholesterol-lowering properties. Some of the ways you can benefit from this pant include:
– Adding it to smoothies to boost the protein content
– Healthy gluten-free replacement for pasta, rice, and couscous
– You can sprout it, which makes it easier to digest
– Adding to stews and soups for extra thickening
– Smart and healthy breakfast cereal, by stirring in fruit, and non-dairy vegan milk
How does animal-based Nitrate foods impact your health?
To understand how dangerous animal sources of nitrate foods are, you will need to understand how it is broken down and utilized in the body when you eat it.
When you chew nitrate foods in your mouth, your saliva mixes with it and the enzymes it contains helps break down the nitrates to a more activated form called nitrites. From your mouth, the food goes right down into the stomach where the nitrites are further converted.
Now the difference between the animal-based nitrites and the plant-based nitrites come from the distinctive pathways they take when they get to the stomach for further metabolism
While animal-based nitrites in the stomach are converted to nitrosamines, a dangerous and potentially carcinogenic chemical, plant-based nitrites are broken down to nitric oxide, the beneficial chemical that lowers blood pressure.
Animal-based nitrates become converted to harmful nitrosamines because of the presence of heme and other proteins found in red meat and other animal foods. Plant-based nitrites are broken down to the beneficial nitric oxide because of the presence of antioxidants, polyphenols and vitamin C found in leafy greens and vegetables.
Most of the processed animal foods with the highest amount of added nitrates include cured meats, Bacon, Ham, Hot dogs and deli meat.
How does Nitrate-rich Foods Lower High Blood Pressure?
Why does this whole nitrate thing even matter? Well, foods high in nitrates have been proven to lower high blood pressure naturally. Nitrates are able to lower high blood pressure when they are converted to nitic oxide in the stomach and transported in the bloodstream. Nitric oxide lowers blood pressure in the following ways:
Nitric Oxide from Nitrates Help Relax the Blood Vessels
Nitric oxide metabolized from plant sources help the blood vessels to relax. This in turn makes the vessels less stiff or prone to stiffness.
When vessels are relaxed, blood flow is less impeded, and the consequent result is a lowered blood pressure.
Nitric Oxide Prevents Stickiness of the Blood
Nitric oxide stops the aggregation of a particular kind of cells present in the blood called platelets. When platelets aggregate together in the blood, it makes your blood “sticky”. And when it is sticky, blood flows slower and lesser. When blood flows less, it can make the pressure in the vessels to build up overtime leading to high blood pressure.
So, nitric oxide acts as a blood thinner…essentially in the same way some of your blood pressure medications do.
Nitric Oxide protects the lining of the Blood Wall Vessel
Nitric oxide plays great role in the preservation of the lining of the blood vessels. It protects the wall of the blood vessels, also called the endothelium. So, it essentially acts as a shield against breakdown of the mucus membrane. When there is no breakdown of the membrane, its natural functions will be preserved and there’ll be no disease.
Nitric Oxide Improves Exercise Performance
So, in as much as it impacts diet, it also impacts athletic performance. Nitric oxide dump is common during some forms of exercises that release nitric oxide into the blood stream. These ultimately helps lower blood pressure significantly.
This is a good reason blood pressure readings are immediately significantly lowered after a bout of exercise or workout. A study published conducted, a drop in blood pressure readings of up to 11 points was noted after a medium to high intensity workout.
7 Strategies to Get the Most Out of Nitrate Foods
So, you may already know these foods, or even already eating quite a lot of them. Despite doing this, you may not notice any difference in your blood pressure readings. Well, the key is that aside incorporating other strategies to lower blood pressure like I did, you may actually be doing it wrongly in ways that deprive you of the maximum benefit that nitrates ought to provide you.
Below are strategies to get the most out of nitrates:
Eat only nitrate-rich foods listed on the nutritional guide
You’ll want to do this so you can benefit from only natural, organic or wildcrafted plant-based foods. The nutritional guide excludes all forms of processed foods, as well as GMOs and hybrid foods.
Eat Nitrate-rich foods regularly and consistently
Make sure you consume the nitrate foods consistently. This is important because it will naturally aid your body to heal. Once healed, you can gradually incorporate other listed foods.
Eat enough of Nitrate foods
Ensure you eat the needed amounts of nitrate-rich foods, so your body is never in short supply of it. According to a study done, you’ll need an average of 2 to 4 servings of nitrate-rich foods per day. So, as a rule, you can eat one or 2 servings of Arugula or kale stir fried, and another one or two servings of green smoothies made from kale, watercress or lettuce daily.
Chew the foods Properly and for longer time
Because the nitrate foods you chew gets mixed up with the saliva before making its way down to your stomach for further digestion, it only makes sense to ensure you chew thoroughly so that the surface area for proper digestion is increased. When you chew food slowly and properly, food is better digested.
Remember, the end goal of consuming nitrate foods is to get the needed nitric oxide so we can get our blood pressure lowered and controlled. So, when we chew our foods properly, there’s a higher chance our saliva mixes properly with the food and it’s digested to nitrites which makes peeps it for further conversion to nitric oxide in the stomach.
So, the longer our food stays in our mouth during chewing, the greater the chance to get more nitric oxide from the nitrate food, and hence, we can get our blood pressure reduced.
Drink only Natural Spring Water
Its safe to say that as much as we need nitrate-rich foods, we will also need only natural, clean and mineral-rich water that will help you breakdown and absorb all the nutrients that you ought to get from nitrate foods.
Natural spring water is the only naturally-occurring water that contains almost the most minerals that your body needs. Remember, it is one thing to consume nutrient-rich foods and another thing for your body to properly absorb the nutrients.
So, in as much as you’d want to consume nitrate-rich foods, endeavor to drink only natural spring water as well and avoid all other forms of drinking water, packaged alkaline water or juices.
Do not take water 30 minutes before and after Eating
Quite a lot of us have a habit of drinking water immediately before, after or even during meals! Water dilutes stomach acid that is needed for proper digestion, so it’s best to avoid doing this as much as possible.
Generally, it is recommended to only drink water at least 2 hours before and after eating.
Limit raw foods at least 4 hours before bedtime
Try to avoid eating late into the night, especially eating raw foods.
How much Nitrate-rich foods do you need to Consume?
A study conducted and published in the journal of Lancet showed that an average of 4 servings of nitrate-rich foods were needed daily to provide any significant results with lowering blood pressure.
Nitrate-rich foods shave been shown in several studies to help lower high blood pressure naturally. I have been able to use this method, in addition to herbal remedies and exercise to successfully reverse high blood pressure.
It doesn’t take much to learn to do this if you are committed to this lifestyle. So, I’ll say because this is what I did for myself, you can also do the same and begin to see results. If you have tried this, let me know in the comments what results you have achieved and what you think.
This is a topic that is close to my heart… Best wishes! Exactly where are your contact details though?
Kerri M. Williams
My contact is right on this blog at the “Contact us” link in the footer and header