If you have high blood pressure, your doctor may recommend that you make certain lifestyle changes, like losing weight and eating a nutritious diet.

Fish oil can be included in your diet and has been proven to help reduce blood pressure. It’s rich in omega-3 fatty acids. It can also reduce inflammation.

Learn more about how this works and the other benefits of adding fish oil to your diet.

What causes high blood pressure?

There are 2 types of high blood pressure: primary and secondary.

Primary high blood pressure has no easily identifiable cause and is something that develops over time. It’s likely related to genetics, physical changes, and certain lifestyle factors, like poor diet or not enough physical activity.

Secondary high blood pressure happens quickly, as opposed to slowly over time. It can be caused by conditions like kidney disease or thyroid problems, or it can be a side effect of certain medications or illegal substances.

How does fish oil lower blood pressure?

Fish oil contains omega-3 fatty acids, which can help lower triglyceride levels and break up other fats within your body. This can result in lower blood pressure and a reduced risk of other cardiovascular problems, such as heart attack or stroke.

 

A study published in the American Journal of Hypertension found that participants who took fish oil supplements saw decreases in their systolic blood pressure (the amount of pressure in your arteries between heartbeats) and diastolic blood pressure (the amount of pressure in your arteries as your heart muscles contract).

Another study found that young adults with higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids had lower levels of systolic blood pressure and diastolic blood pressure than those with lower levels of omega-3s.

Other studies show that fish oil can help with general heart health. Findings from a study published in the journal Circulation Research found that a daily dose of fish oil supplements increased the levels of anti-inflammatory molecules and made platelets less sticky, which is important for preventing blood clots.

Other benefits of fish oil

Experts have also linked fish oil to other benefits that may improve a person’s overall health and well-being. It’s been found to help with:

  • Arthritis
  • Dry eyes
  • Menstrual cramps
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Psoriasis
  • Weight loss

When taken while pregnant, it may also help with early fetal growth and development.

Regardless of its benefits, it’s important to consume it in safe doses based on instructions from a medical professional.

How do I add fish oil to my diet?

Most medical professionals will suggest incorporating fish oil by adding certain foods to your diet.

Fish oil is most typically found in cold-water fish such as salmon, herring, mackerel, sardines, and anchovies. You can also find it in:

  • Flaxseed oil
  • Ground flax seeds
  • Walnuts
  • Canola oil
  • Soybean oil and soybeans
  • Chia seeds
  • Tofu

Certain fortified foods such as some brands of yogurt, juices, milk, and soy drinks may also have omega-3s. You can also find it in supplement form.

Are there any risks to adding fish oil to my diet? 

Taking fish oil in high doses may result in side effects, like:

  • High blood sugar
  • Bad breath
  • Heartburn and acid reflux
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Rash
  • Bleeding gums or nosebleeds 

If you just had surgery, your doctor will also suggest that you avoid taking any fish oil supplements for about 2 weeks.

Fish oil supplements have also been known to have interactions with certain medications and supplements.

If you’re interested in taking fish oil supplements and are currently taking any other medications or supplements, talk with your doctor. They’ll be able to help you find the best way to incorporate fish oil into your diet.

Takeaway 

Fish oil has been known to help lower blood pressure and have many other health benefits. Before taking any supplements, talk with your doctor.