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7 Foods that Lower Blood Pressure Naturally Are Also Cancer Fighting Foods in the Mediterranean Diet

Many of the cancer fighting foods found in the Mediterranean diet also work to lower blood pressure naturally. In this article, I’ll discuss the science-based evidence on both diseases and foods you can start incorporating into your diet today!…

Mediterranean diet food list

Mediterranean Diet food list (post updated February 2023)


We have all heard the dire news, 1 in 2 American men and 1 in 3 women will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime. In the United Kingdom, the risk of cancer is the same. However, some regions of the world have populations with a much lower risk of cancer and it appears to be due to the cancer-fighting diet known as the Mediterranean diet.


  1. Learn what the Mediterranean Diet is all about
  2. Get a food list of common Mediterranean Diet foods
  3. Learn how the foods that fight cancer in this diet also help in lowering blood pressure naturally
  4. Learn more about the foods listed here, as they are part of a cancer fighting diet (which is mostly plant-based). Learn why plant-based foods are high fiber foods, and how a high fiber diet helps to prevent breast cancer and colon cancer
  5. If you like this article, then sign up for the early-bird list for my NEW BOOK “Cancer Prevention: Diet and Lifestyle Factors that Reduce Your Risk.” Get a 50% discount off regular price during pre-release + a FREE “5-Day Cancer Fighting Smoothie” book


The countries near and around the Mediterranean Sea are different! They take naps for one (I have no complaints about that), engage in rigorous physical activity, and have active social lives. One can find all these lifestyle traits on the island of Ikaria, Greece. The island sits in the Aegean sea, which is close to the Mediterranean Sea. The people of Ikaria have a 20% lower risk of cancer and a 50% lower incidence of heart disease on the island when compared to the U.S.

Many ask what are the specific foods the island inhabitants eat that lower their risk of these diseases? Well its fruits, vegetables, monounsaturated fats, and very little meat. This plant-based diet is known as the Mediterranean Diet, and it not only lowers the risk of cancer but it also lowers the risk of heart disease. Here’s more info on the diet:

The term MedD [Mediterranean Diet] was coined by Keyes and coworkers after observing significantly lower rates of coronary artery disease [high blood pressure, blocked arteries] in countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea (Cyprus, Greece, and Italy) as compared to The Netherlands, USA, and Finland.”[1]


In a recent study that included American women from Michigan, researchers swapped their S.A.D. (Standard American Diet) foods for the Mediterranean Diet. The foods they ate on the Mediterranean Diet are listed below. The women doubled the amount of fruit and vegetable intake (from 4 servings to over 8 servings a day).

Mediterranean Diet Foods Eaten by Women in the Study [2]:
  • One or more servings a day of leafy green vegetables (e.g., spinach, kale) (learn more about how these foods prevent breast cancer here: breast cancer prevention foods)
  • Inclusion of garlic, onion, or leeks every day
  • 1 tablespoon a day of green herbs (e.g., basil, cilantro, parsley)
  • 1 or more servings a day of red vegetables (e.g., tomatoes)
  • 1 or more servings a day of yellow or orange vegetables (e.g., sweet bell peppers, squash)
  • 1 or more servings a day of vitamin C-rich fruits (e.g., mangos, oranges)
  • 1 or more servings a day of other fruits and vegetables (e.g., artichokes, grapes)
  • 8 – 10 servings a day of monounsaturated fats (e.g., nuts, seeds, olive oil)


Cancer is the dreaded “C” word we all don’t want to hear, yet we keep hearing it! There seems to be no escaping the news of a family member, friend, or associate being diagnosed with this disease. Does it have to be this way?

Researchers did a large review of all the published medical studies (83 to be exact) to determine the incidence of in those that ate a Mediterranean diet. The results showed that the Mediterranean diet significantly lowered the risk of cancer death by 14% (after an analysis of 2.3 million people) [1].

The Mediterranean Diet is truly a cancer fighting diet as it lowers the risk of many common cancers, as described below:  

  1. 18% lower risk of colon cancer
  2. 6% lower incidence of breast cancer
  3. 4% lower incidence of prostate cancer


If your goal is to prevent heart disease (e.g., coronary artery disease, heart failure) or cardiovascular disease [e.g., high triglycerides, hypercholesterolemia (high cholesterol), stroke] then it’s important to learn about the research conducted with the Mediterranean Diet for this disease. There are a lot studies out there, so schedule a complimentary call with me, a Health Coach that is a PhD Scientist focused on health literacy.  Holistic changes, such as swapping diets rather than adding in a few supplements here and there, should be discussed with your healthcare provider prior to switching. 

Even those diagnosed with heart disease, such as a group of French men with a prior heart attack (myocardial infarction) who switched to a Mediterranean diet, have a 50% lower risk of a recurrent cardiovascular event [3].


The following food list are common ingredients in a Mediterranean Diet and have science-based evidence for lowering blood pressure naturally and lowering high cholesterol. They are also Mediterranean Diet foods for weight loss, as you’ll read below. (NOTE: this information is not intended to treat, cure or diagnosis disease and your should consult your healthcare provider prior to making any changes in your diet or prescription medication)

  1. Hibiscus Tea lowers blood pressure: In Nigerians with high blood pressure (mild to moderate), hibiscus lowered blood pressure. Approximately 16 ounces of hibiscus tea was consumed on a daily basis (Niger J Clin Pract. 2015;18:762)
  2. Cranberries lower blood pressure and glucose: Drinking 480 milliliters of cranberry juice (non-sweetened) every day for 8 weeks lowered blood pressure, triglyceride levels, C-reactive protein (a marker of stress), and blood glucose (J Nutr. 2015;145:1185)
  3. Spirulina lowers blood pressure, high cholesterol, and triglycerides: Researchers gave 4.5 grams of spirulina daily to 36 healthy men and women, aged 18 – 65 years, for a total of 6 weeks. The researchers noted the following [4]:Total cholesterol dropped 10%Total triglycerides dropped 28%HDL (good cholesterol) levels increased by 15%, and LDL (bad cholesterol) significantly decreasedSystolic and diastolic blood pressure was significantly reduced at the end of the 6 week period
  4. Garlic lowers blood pressure: Many studies confirm that garlic reduces blood pressure in patients with uncontrolled hypertension (Eur J Clin Nutr. 2013;67:64) and reduces cholesterol (Vegetables, Fruits, and Herbs in Health Promotion. 2001. CRC Press)
  5. Beans: Overweight women who ate chickpeas (82 grams/day), brown beans (82 grams/day), and barley (58 grams/day) for 4 weeks reduced cholesterol and blood pressure. (Br J Nutri. 2014. 111:706; https://www.ars.usda.gov/news-events/news/research-news/2007/eating-beans-helps-lower-cholesterol/)
  6. Green Leafy Vegetables: These vegetables, in addition to other foods on the Mediterranean diet list lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of heart disease (BMC Medicine. 2013. 11:207)
  7. Vitamin D reduces arterial stiffness: High doses of vitamin D (4,000 IU per day) decreased stiffness of the arteries in African-Americans aged 13 – 45. All study participants were overweight or obese. The amount taken was approximately 6 times higher than the 600 IU per day that is recommended by health authorities (https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0188424)

To Your Best Health!

Dee Grace, PhD


Hi! I am Dr. Dee Grace, Ph.D. Scientist and Health Coach.  Call me Or schedule a complimentary call here. And Sign up today for THE CANCER DETOX PREVENTION course if you want to learn science-based ways to prevent cancer. You’ll get 24 cancer-fighting strategies, a 60-page e-book, 4 audiobooks, and 2 personalized health coaching calls.


  1. Schwingshackl L, Schwedhelm C, Galbete C, Hoffmann G. Adherence to Mediterranean Diet and risk of cancer: an updated systemic review and meta-analysis. Nutrients. 2017; 9;1063.
  2. Djuric Z, et al. Design of a Mediterranean exchange list diet implemented by telephone counseling. J Acad Nut Diet. 2008;108:205902065
  3. Kris-Etherton  P, et al. Nutrition Committee Population Science Committee and Clinical Science Committee of the American Heart Association.  AHA Science Advisory: Lyon Diet Heart Study: benefits of a Mediterranean-style, National Cholesterol Education Program/American Heart Association Step I Dietary Pattern on Cardiovascular Disease.  Circulation. 2001;103(13):1823-1825
  4. Deng R, Chow T. Hypolipidemic, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory activities of microalgae Spirulina. Cardiovasc Ther. 201;28:e33-e45

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