High blood pressure can be fatal – a frightening reality for the more than a billion people around the world living with the disease. So wouldn’t it be nice if you could lower your blood pressure simply by drinking the right drinks?
Unfortunately, it’s not quite that simple. No magic tonic reverses high blood pressure (hypertension) one sip at a time. But some drinks can definitely help lower your blood pressure. The cardiologist Dr. In an article from the Cleveland Clinic (USA), Luke Laffin explains which drinks are recommended here.
What to drink to lower blood pressure
High blood pressure is not caused by ONE thing in life. Typically, it comes down to a variety of factors, usually including diet, physical activity and genetics, that cause blood pressure to get into the danger zone.
Adjusting your diet can help you naturally bring your blood pressure into a healthy range. The DASH diet (which stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) is a good starting point for what to put on your plate.
In addition to these recommended foods, the following drinks can be consumed to keep blood pressure within a healthy range:
Root Beet Juice
When it comes to popularity contests, beets don’t fare so well. But beets have numerous health benefits.
Research shows that dietary nitrates in beets have anti-inflammatory effects that may help reduce blood pressure. Nitrates help open (or dilate) blood vessels, reducing the pressure needed to pump blood throughout the body.
“There is some data to suggest that beets might lower blood pressure,” says Dr. Laffin. “But if it helps, then only a little.”
Juices high in potassium
It’s no secret that excess sodium in your diet can increase your blood pressure. But did you know that adding potassium to your diet can lower your blood pressure by lowering sodium levels?
Potassium works with your kidneys to excrete sodium and keep it going. The nutrient also improves your overall vascular health, thereby facilitating blood flow.
“Adding potassium to your diet tends to lower blood pressure,” explains Dr. Laffin. (To put it in numbers, getting the recommended amount of potassium in your diet can lower your blood pressure by about 4 to 5 mmHg.)
Potassium-rich juices include plum juice, carrot juice, pomegranate juice and orange juice. Although grapefruit juice contains a lot of potassium, caution is advised because this juice can interact poorly with some blood pressure medications. Talk to your doctor before thinking about it.
Overall, look for 100% juices and avoid products with added sugar. Don’t overdo it either: Although it’s rich in vitamins and nutrients, it’s also full of calories and natural sugars.
Additionally, watch your potassium consumption if you have kidney disease, as your kidneys may have difficulty processing the nutrient. Kidney disease is often a side effect of high blood pressure.
Low-fat dairy products are an important part of the DASH diet – and skim milk is suitable for this.
One study showed that consuming low-fat dairy products can help lower blood pressure. The potassium in milk is one reason for this.
High levels of vitamin D, phosphorus and calcium in milk can also affect blood pressure.
Making and drinking a cup of tea is relaxing. It’s a type of activity that can relieve stress, which causes blood pressure to skyrocket.
But this is just the beginning. Many teas also contain compounds that reduce inflammation and keep blood vessels open and flexible. With this in mind, it’s easy to see why the drink is an excellent choice for lowering blood pressure.
Hibiscus tea generally gets top marks for its effect on blood pressure. The same goes for chamomile tea.
Drinks that increase blood pressure
Although there is no drink that is guaranteed to lower blood pressure, drinking the following will almost certainly raise your blood pressure:
Alcohol: High blood pressure is one of more than 200 health disorders linked to alcohol consumption. Research shows that people who consume a lot of alcohol but then stop drinking may experience a rapid drop in blood pressure.
Caffeinated Drinks: Although caffeine can help you start your day, it’s not ideal for your blood pressure – especially if you drink one cup of coffee after another. People with high blood pressure who drink two or more cups of regular coffee daily double their risk of dying from a heart attack or stroke, reports the American Heart Association (AHA).
Sugary sodas and drinks: Added sugar can raise blood pressure – and sodas and other sweet drinks have A LOT of added sugar.
Energy drinks: Energy drinks usually contain a lot of caffeine and sugar, neither of which are known to lower blood pressure.
The best ways to lower blood pressure
If your blood pressure is a little too high, the fact that you are looking for ways to lower it is a good sign. Changing how much you pour into a glass and what you put in it can be a small part of the process of lowering your blood pressure. What else you can do:
- Limit sodium intake.
- Adjust your diet.
- Strengthen your fitness.
- Get enough sleep.
- Minimize stress.
“Small changes to your routine can make a big difference,” encourages Dr. Laffin. “Every little bit helps.” Also the choice of drinks. (ad)