Skip to main content

Support The Physicians Committee’s $300,000 Matching Gift Challenge

Your year-end gift to PCRM will be DOUBLED! Help fund research and spread our message of preventive medicine and ethical research.

Donate Now

High Blood Pressure

Lower Blood Pressure with a Plant-Based Diet

A plant-based diet can reduce blood pressure and lower the risk for heart disease.

High blood pressure, or hypertension, wreaks havoc on the heart and kidneys. It’s also linked to heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. Carrying excess weight tends to raise the risk of developing high blood pressure, as the heart must work harder to pump blood around the body. 

Controlling your blood pressure is very important, and treatment often involves taking medication. However, eating a healthy plant-based diet can bring your blood pressure down. It may even reduce your need for medication.

People who follow a plant-based diet typically have lower blood pressure than those who consume animal products. In fact, the authors of a 2014 meta-analysis reviewed 39 studies and found that when compared to those who eat meat, vegetarians tend to have lower blood pressure.

Why? Fruits and vegetables are rich in potassium, which helps lower blood pressure. Plant products are also generally low in fat and sodium and are free of cholesterol. Avoiding meat, dairy products, and added fats also reduces the blood’s viscosity (or “thickness”), which makes the blood easier to pump. This also brings down blood pressure.

How to Reduce Blood Pressure

Kickstart Intensive: A Nutrition Immersion for Your Health

Join Dr. Barnard and Physicians Committee experts in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 11-12, and get all the tools you’ll need to kickstart your plant-based diet.