Q. From about 1985 till about 2005, my blood pressure ran about 150/90 and I needed antihypertensive medications. In 2003 I planted several citrus trees, including two pink grapefruits.
When they started to bear fruit, I ate lots of grapefruit and made gallons of juice (which I froze). I enjoyed the juice as the harvest faded.
The past several years my blood pressure has been about 130/75. Two doctors told me to keep up the grapefruit routine and cut back on the meds! I feel wonderful.
A. Both animal and human research suggests that grapefruit may indeed have an impact on blood vessel flexibility and lower blood pressure (Phytotherapy Research, July, 2009; Metabolism, Jul. 2012). Other foods that can help lower blood pressure include beets, green leafy vegetables and dark chocolate.
To learn more about natural ways to control hypertension readers may wish to consult our Guide to Blood Pressure Treatment. People who take blood pressure or cholesterol medications must be cautious about grapefruit, though. It can interact with dozens of drugs to make them more dangerous. There is detailed information in our Guide to Grapefruit Interactions.
Israeli researchers have found that red grapefruit not only lowers blood pressure but also cholesterol and triglycerides (American Journal of Hypertension, Oct. 2005; Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, March 8, 2006). We talked with Dr. David Bailey, the scientist who first discovered grapefruit-drug interactions several months ago.