A vegan diet can help reduce blood pressure
Changing your diet is an effective way to lower your blood pressure and there is robust evidence to show that a vegan diet can help to do that. Many studies, including the EPIC‑Oxford study, found that vegans have lower levels of high blood pressure than meat-eaters, fish-eaters and vegetarians. Vegan diets probably work via a combination of factors, including the beneficial effects of fibre, vitamins A, C and E, antioxidants, polyunsaturated fats and minerals – phosphorus, calcium, magnesium and potassium, in particular.
Moving from animal to plant‑based foods can also alter the gut microbiota, decreasing production of toxic metabolites. So-called nutraceuticals, such as beetroot juice, magnesium, vitamin C, catechin‑rich beverages (green tea) or soya isoflavones may also help.
Another review, looking at fifteen studies with over 800 participants, also found that vegetarian diets significantly lowered blood pressure – a vegan diet was even more effective.
Strilchuk L, Cincione RI, Fogacci F et al. 2020. Dietary interventions in blood pressure lowering: current evidence in 2020. Kardiologia Pollska. 78 (7-8) 659-666.
Lee KW, Loh HC, Ching SM et al. 2020. Effects of vegetarian diets on blood pressure lowering: A systematic review with meta-analysis and trial sequential analysis. Nutrients. 12 (6) 1604.