5 Delicious Drinks That Can Help Lower Your Blood Pressure
Stable blood pressure is key for good health. As you age, you begin to learn about healthy diets and regular exercise, and how they can help your body. Unfortunately, your blood pressure is affected by many different factors, and some of them may be out of your control. Stress, age, and genetics can all drive your blood pressure up, even when you are doing what you can to keep it down.
Eating well and moving your body are the building blocks for health, but if age or genes require you to find an extra boost, consider adding one of these five drinks to your regular routine to help lower your blood pressure and boost heart health.
1. Low-fat Milk
High blood pressure has been scientifically linked to calcium intake. People who have calcium deficiency are more likely to have high blood pressure, and those who get enough daily calcium often have low blood pressure levels. Drinking low-fat milk is important for people with high blood pressure because low-fat milk has more calcium than whole milk. Low-fat milk also has the perfect amount of fat for absorbing that calcium.
Serve up three glasses of low-fat milk (or another low fat dairy product) per day to help lower blood pressure.
2. Pomegranate Juice
High blood pressure can be affected by ACE, or angiotensin-converting-enzymes. Having too much ACE can constrict your blood vessels and raise your blood pressure. Pomegranates are full of natural ACE inhibitors which prevent those enzymes from doing damage to your circulatory system. The juice of pomegranate acts like the medications doctors prescribe for high blood pressure, but it tastes quite a bit sweeter.
Pomegranate juice is an exotic way to lower your blood pressure. But if it is too tart for your taste, consider adding it to another drink. Pour some in a smoothie with raspberries, and add a banana for extra potassium. Alternatively, add it to a cup of water to create a delicious flavored water. Regardless of how you decide to enjoy it, pomegranate juice is able to lower systolic blood pressure by as much as 30 percent.
3. Beet Juice
Beetroot is a word that sounds so healthy that it sounds more like punishment than nourishment. But beets are useful for lowering blood pressure. Studies have shown that even a single glass a day can reduce your blood pressure. Beets have high levels of naturally-occurring nitrate. The body converts dietary nitrate into nitric oxide, which dilates and relaxes your blood vessels.
There is no need to force down a glass of straight beetroot juice if beets are not your favorite vegetable. Check out recipes for adding this heart-healthy juice to a concoction of other delicious ingredients. Drinking your way to heart health can taste good!
4. Hibiscus Tea
Tea has a huge number of health properties to support your entire body. Hibiscus tea, or tea brewed from hibiscus flowers, has special properties that work as natural ACE inhibitors, just like pomegranate juice does. One study showed that people who drink this beautifully colored tea had a seven-point drop in their blood pressure. It may sound small, but even minor changes that can be maintained reduce the negative effects of high blood pressure like heart attacks and stroke.
You can find hibiscus tea in the tea section of a supermarket or in a local health food store. Look for a high-quality tea that does not include additives. Start by swapping out a cup of black tea for hibiscus, and aim to drink three cups a day for best results. If you like the color, but not the taste of hibiscus tea, look out for other herbal tea blends. Many American herbal tea blends contain hibiscus.
5. Cranberry Juice
Cranberry juice, a liquid mostly reserved for cocktails and kidney stones, is another thirst-quenching drink that promotes heart health. This juice has the ability to prevent blood vessel damage and reduce the damage already in the works to help lower your blood pressure. Antioxidants found in cranberry juice can also help increase blood flow by dilating your blood vessels, which is exactly what your body needs if you have high blood pressure.
Some studies say that you need two cups a day to minimize heart disease and blood pressure risks, but others say there is no minimum amount required for optimal effects. Just be wary of the juice you buy. Some brands might include extra sugar or other additives that might work against its more beneficial properties.
All of these drinks include amazing, naturally-occurring properties that benefit not only your heart, but your whole body. Consider adding one or more of these delicious, thirst-quenching refreshments into your daily life. Enjoy a glass full of something that keeps you happy and healthy.