“Hypertension is the leading cause of cardiovascular disease and premature death worldwide”.  It is one of the most important risk factors in the development of kidney disease, stroke, and heart disease. 
The role of diet in the treatment of hypertension is essential in reversing this health condition and maintaining balanced blood pressure levels in the long term. If your healthcare provider has prescribed you blood pressure-lowering medication, making diet adjustments (in combination with the prescribed medication) can help achieve optimal results from the treatment.
In this article, we will look at different foods that can help you manage hypertension!
Let’s get started!
Dietary advice to reduce high blood pressure
According to the MayoClinic, adopting a diet rich in whole grains, fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy foods, and healthy oils (in place of saturated fats) can help lower high blood pressure in hypertensive individuals. 
This diet is also known as the DASH diet (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) and is widely used as part of prescribed treatment for high blood pressure. Moreover, such a diet may prevent the development of high blood pressure in prehypertensive patients. 
So what foods can help you balance your blood pressure?
According to the DASH diet, suggested grain consumption is 6 to 8 servings a day. The recommendation is to focus on the consumption of whole grains rather than refined grains. 
Fruits are a healthy option for people with hypertension, as they are high in fiber, water, micronutrients, and antioxidants. Some high fiber fruits to include in the diet are :
- Apple (with skin)
Although fruits have many healthy attributes, they do contain carbohydrates and natural sugars. If consumed in excess, they may have detrimental impacts on blood sugar control.
Suggested consumption is 2-3 servings of low-fat/zero-fat dairy per day. It is important to choose reduced-fat dairy products, as full-fat dairy contains significant amounts of saturated fat, which can worsen cholesterol and heart disease. 
Fish and poultry without skin are recommended as primary protein sources for people with hypertension. Lean cuts of meat can also be included in the diet, although the consumption of red meat should be limited.
Nuts, seeds, legumes
Nuts, seeds, and legumes are rich sources of dietary fiber. Furthermore, most nuts and seeds contain healthy fats, like Omega-3 fatty acids. Increasing these healthy high-fat foods in your diet will supply your body with nutrients and reduce risk of cardiac disease, cardiac arrest, and stroke. 
Fats and oils
Choosing healthy (unsaturated) oils over saturated ones may help balance your cholesterol profile and blood pressure. Still, the intake of fats should be moderate: 2-3 servings per day. Cooking oils that contain unsaturated fats include:
- Olive oil (extra virgin)
- Canola oil
- Sunflower oil
- Safflower oil
- Sesame oil
Foods rich in potassium
Consuming foods abundant in potassium can help you minimize the negative effects of excess salt consumption related to hypertension. Generally, high sodium (salt) intake is a considerable factor leading to hypertension. Increasing your intake of dietary potassium can help the body get rid of excess sodium and ease the tension in the blood vessels, reducing hypertension. 
- Specific foods rich in potassium include:
- Low-fat and fat-free dairy foods
- Spinach tomatoes
Important thing to mention is that high intake of potassium is not recommended for people with kidney disease or for patients taking certain medications, as it can be harmful. Before increasing the consumption of high potassium foods, speak to your healthcare provider or dietitian.
Herbs and spices
Using fresh or dried herbs and spices when cooking can replace salt by boosting the flavor palette of your dishes.  Examples of herbs spices to use:
- Lemon zest/juice
High blood pressure is a very common and stealthy condition, which many people do not realize they have. The best way to control blood pressure is to consume a healthy diet, which includes prioritizing lean proteins, vegetables, and healthy unsaturated fats.
Additionally, increasing physical activity and attaining a healthy weight are other ways to assist with blood pressure control. Regular physical activity, characterized by 150 minutes a week, can lower blood pressure by 5-8 mm Hg in Hypertensive patients.