Why do fruits and vegetables help lower blood pressure?

Emilia Klapp
Nutrition & Dietetics

For one thing, they’re very low in sodium. Foods high in sodium make the heart work harder. By contrast, a piece of fruit contains about 0 to 5 mg of sodium. That means if you eat four pieces of fruit daily, you ingest only 20 mg of sodium. Vegetables contain about 1 to 70 mg. An average portion of vegetables contains about 10 mg of sodium.      

In addition to being low in sodium, which means the heart doesn’t have to work as hard, they are high in potassium, a mineral that plays a key role in heart function and muscle contractions. Potassium works with sodium to regulate the body’s water balance. A diet low in sodium and high in potassium lowers blood pressure, which reduces the risk of stroke. Fruits and vegetables also provide substantial amounts of magnesium and calcium, two minerals essential for heart health and lower blood pressure. Plus, they contain antioxidants, compounds that prevent or repair damage caused to the arteries.

Continue Learning about Hypertension

Hypertension

Hypertension

Clinically known as hypertension, high blood pressure can cause a host of problems if left untreated. The most common type of cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure causes our hearts to work harder by forcing blood to push ag...

ainst the walls of our arteries at an elevated level. Hypertension is the leading cause of strokes and heart attack. It also increases your risk of having heart and kidney failure and hardening of the arteries, a condition called atherosclerosis.
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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.