It may seem too good to be true, but simply drinking everyday beverages like water, milk, tea, certain fruit and vegetable juices or even red wine can help lower your blood pressure. Why bother with those little blood pressure lowering tablets when we can achieve the same thing with refreshing drinks? But hold it right there, we’re not medical experts, the keyword here is ‘help’ to lower blood pressure. (If you’re on medications to lower your blood pressure, always seek the advice of your doctor before changing your drugs routine.)
Hypertension, or high blood pressure, affects nearly one in every three Americans with 30 percent of cases attributed to obesity. Although two of the biggest risk factors, age and genetics, are something you can do very little about, you can change your lifestyle and diet to reduce the risks of high blood pressure. What you eat and drink every day can have a major influence on your blood pressure.
Here’s the kicker.
Even water could be classed as the best drink to lower blood pressure! It’s not a miracle cure that will instantly fix your hypertension, but this simple drink treats a great list of ailments that will help to decrease blood pressure. Let’s take a look at some of the other drinks which will help lower your blood pressure, many of which you’re probably already drinking.
Why Is It so Important to Lower Blood Pressure?
First the scary statistics…In 2013, there were more than 360,000 deaths related to, or with, high blood pressure as a contributory cause. That’s nearly 1000 deaths a day. Further statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that seven out of every 10 people suffering their first heart attack also suffered from high blood pressure.
Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is the condition when blood travels through your body’s blood vessels with more force than is considered healthy. High blood pressure can damage artery and blood vessel walls over time and have many damaging effects on the body. The major risks include a stroke, heart attack or chronic heart failure but can also include kidney damage or failure and even a brain aneurysm.
So what can we do?
As we already stated, there are some factors which affect your blood pressure we have very little control over. You can’t change your inherited genes or how much you age, but you can make positive changes in your diet. One of the key elements in lower blood pressure is a healthy diet high in magnesium and potassium, low in sodium (dreaded salt!), rich in antioxidants and features a high quantity of fresh fruit and vegetables. Which brings us nicely to drinks.
Which Drinks are Good for Lower Blood Pressure?
We can get nearly all of the essential minerals and nutrients from many drinks, some that include fruit and vegetables, to lower blood pressure. Even simple drinks like water and low fat milk will help to lower your blood pressure. Although there are certain drinks that should be avoided, including alcohol and caffeinated beverages like cola or coffee, which in high levels may cause high blood pressure.
Fresh juices have the benefit of being raw, with none of the nutrients or minerals lost through a cooking process. Juices that can lower blood pressure include beet juice, celery juice, pomegranate juice and cranberry juice. Grape juice, in the form of red wine, is also said to be beneficial for lower blood pressure, but only in moderation (damn!).
The benefits of herbal, caffeine-free, teas have long been known for their powers to reduce cholesterol but did you also know they can help reduce blood pressure too? Teas like hibiscus tea, chamomile and green teas have been used for hundreds, if not thousands of years, to help lower blood pressure. Other drinks that lower blood pressure include anything with apple cider vinegar in, coconut water and simply milk.
Let’s look in more detail at a few:
Starting with the most simple of drinks, water, which accounts for 85 percent of the liquid content of blood. When you don’t drink enough water, your blood gets thicker and reduces the blood flow which can lead to higher blood pressure. Drinking more water is one of the simplest ways to thin thickened blood and lower blood pressure,
Water is also able to flush out many of the toxins and wastes in your blood, including removing excess sodium which may be raising your blood pressure. General medical advice recommends drinking eight glasses of water a day, although a more simplified guide would be to drink half your body weight in ounces each day. For example if you weigh 160 pounds you should aim to drink at least 80 ounces of water a day.
Closely related to the h20 we regularly drink is the clear liquid found inside young, green coconuts that are harvested at just five to seven months of age. Coconut water can give any other water a run for its money in the race to be the best drink to lower blood pressure.
The West Indian Medical Journal published a study in 2005 that analysed the effects of consuming coconut water on hypertensive patients for a period of two weeks. Blood pressure was significantly lower in those who drank the coconut water compared to a control group just drinking plain water. The high potassium content which helps counteract the effects of sodium in the body is the most likely reason coconut water is such a good drink for lowering blood pressure.
Beetroot with its high antioxidant content including vitamins C and E, carotenes and phenolic acids reduces blood pressure. An inorganic nitrate found in beet juice is converted to nitric oxide in the body which relaxes and dilates the blood vessels, reducing blood pressure as a result. A meta-analysis of 16 studies by the Journal of Nutrition found that inorganic nitrate and beet juice supplementation was associated with a significant reduction in blood pressure.
The inclusion of red wine on this list may surprise many people, but the good news is that occasional drinking of red wine can help lower your blood pressure. (Wheyhey!) Although too much alcohol is sometimes responsible for multiple organ damage and can actually increase blood pressure, drinking up to 300 milliliters of red wine a day can have beneficial effects on heart health and blood pressure.
The high level of bioactive antioxidant polyphenols including flavonoids, phenolic acids and resveratrol are thought to be responsible for lowering blood pressure. It’s not all good news though, with non-alcoholic red wine shown to be more effective than regular red wine in reducing blood pressure by a study published in the medical journal, Circulation Research.
Alcohol can in general weaken antioxidant activity, therefore making non-alcoholic red wine to be much more effective at reducing your blood pressure. The nitric oxide found in both non-alcoholic and traditional red wine relaxes the blood vessel walls which allows for a greater blood flow. Although a little alcohol has been shown to reduce blood pressure slightly, experts argue that the benefits are very small and not worth taking up drinking for.
Cranberry, Pomegranate and Celery Juices
One of the best ways, and easiest, to get the most benefit of raw fruit and vegetables is in a juice. Although the three juices above aren’t traditionally found in many people’s fridges, they are some of the best juices to help lower blood pressure. Adding any of these juices to your diet should see your blood pressure significantly drop, with many nutritionists recommending the consumption of them.
Cranberry juice is high in antioxidants that will help reduce blood pressure by increasing the blood flow, reducing inflammation and the high vitamin C content dilating blood vessels. Pomegranate juice works in much the same way with high levels of antioxidants but celery also adds blood pressure lowering nutrients into the mix. Nutrients like calcium and potassium combine with antioxidants, vitamin A and vitamin C to make celery juice one of the best drinks to lower blood pressure.
Celery seed potentially regulates your blood pressure by improving the blood circulation and lowering inflammation with its methanolic, aqueous-thanolic and hexanic extracts. Simply put five to 10 stalks of celery in your juicer or blender to make a refreshing drink which also helps to lower your blood pressure.
The following Youtube video looks at some of the other fruits and vegetables you can juice to help lower your blood pressure.
Potassium and calcium, two of the nutrients found in abundance in low or non-fat milk, often fortified with vitamin D, are known to promote healthy blood pressure. A study in the British Journal of Nutrition reported that substituting low-fat dairy, especially milk, for full-fat versions could help lower blood pressure. Full-fat dairy products contain large amounts of palmitic acid which block the signals that relax the blood vessels, therefore elevating blood pressure.
Hibiscus and Other Herbal Teas
Hibiscus has long been used to lower blood pressure and has even been steeped as a tea for a refreshing drink. Hibiscus and a species of hibiscus known as rosella are both known to help lower blood pressure. The drink karkade, often consumed in Middle Eastern countries and Africa, is a refreshing summer drink that will also help combat the high blood pressure often associated with more hot and arid climates.
Bioactive phytochemicals, similar to antioxidants are found in hibiscus tea and work as natural ACE inhibitors making it a powerful blood pressure lowering drink. A 2010 study published by The Journal of Nutrition found that drinking hibiscus tea lowers the blood pressure in both prehypertensive and mildly hypertensive adults. A type of flavonoid also found in blueberries is thought to be responsible along with other antioxidants in hibiscus tea that prevents damage to blood vessels.
Other teas which are good for helping to lower your blood pressure include green tea, oolong tea and even the traditional cuppa from over the pond, black tea. Green tea and oolong both contain antioxidants that help to reduce your blood pressure, with oolong tea being shown to reduce hypertension by as much as 46 percent with just two and a half cups a day. Black tea not only helps to reduce your blood pressure by 10 percent at night but can help limit fluctuations of blood pressure throughout the day too.
Best Drink to Lower Blood Pressure
Although you’ll already have many of the drinks in your household (we’re not going to review milk and water), there are many drinks specifically marketed to help lower your blood pressure. We’ve looked at some of the more popular drinks available to bring you a brief review of what could be the best drink to help lower blood pressure for you.
Although there are many natural ways you can help to lower your blood pressure, there are many convenient products backed by scientific research that can do the same job. With the powerful antioxidants that work as ACE inhibitors and a refreshingly tart taste, the Tealyra Pure Hibiscus Tea is, in our opinion, the best drink to lower blood pressure you can easily find and buy today. You may see many hibiscus teas at your local stores, but you can’t always be assured they’re made from whole hibiscus flowers, may have sugar added and sometimes leave a bitter taste.