If you have high blood pressure, you understand how important maintaining low blood pressure reading is, and one way to achieve this is through a healthy diet. A diet focusing on low sodium, vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, and legumes is fundamental for lowering blood pressure. But what about drinks? Are there drinks to lower blood pressure?
Find out more in this article.
See also Natural Ways to Reduce Blood Pressure and Foods That Increase Blood Flow.
What is High Blood Pressure?
High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is a condition in which the force of your blood against your arterial walls is high enough that it may eventually cause health problems, such as heart disease.
High blood pressure can be caused by many things, including obesity, smoking, drinking too much alcohol, a family history of high blood pressure, and stress.
While you can’t always control what causes high blood pressure, there are things you can do to lower your risk. These include eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, and managing stress.
What are the Benefits of Lowering Blood Pressure?
If you have high blood pressure, any little effort to bring it down can improve your overall physical and mental well-being, which will keep you motivated and wanting to do more.
Common benefits you may experience by lowering blood pressure include:
1. Lowering blood pressure can reduce your risk of stroke
Stroke is often referred to as a brain attack, and it occurs when there’s insufficient oxygen and nutrient delivery to the brain through proper circulation.
This can happen when there’s a blockage in the blood supply to the brain (ischemic stroke)or when a blood vessel in the brain ruptures and bleeds (hemorrhagic stroke), again causing a disruption in the blood supply.
When your blood pressure is high, your heart is pumping harder than it should, which can cause the blood vessels supplying the brain to rupture and bleed.
In some cases, the high pressure can damage the arterial walls creating conditions in which they can clog easily, causing a blockage.
According to the American Heart Association, high blood pressure increases the risk of developing a stroke by 25-50%, while reducing it can lower the risk of developing a new or recurrent stroke.
Another study found that reducing diastolic (the lower number)blood pressure by 5 mmHg reduced the risk of developing stroke by 34%.
2. Lowering blood pressure can lower your risk of heart disease
Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, and having high blood pressure greatly increases your risk.
This is because high blood pressure causes damage to the blood vessels carrying blood to the heart by making them less elastic, which lowers the flow of blood and thus oxygen supply to the heart leading to heart disease.
Additionally, the increased workload from high blood pressure causes the heart to overwork, which may cause it to enlarge, and as a result, unable to effectively pump blood throughout the body.
One study found that reducing systolic (the upper reading) blood pressure by 10mmhg reduced the risk of coronary heart disease by 17% and heart failure by 28%.
3. Lowering blood pressure can improve cognitive functions
High blood pressure can damage the delicate tissue in the brain, which may result in issues with memory, thinking, and learning. Lowering blood pressure can improve brain function by promoting proper blood flow to the brain. This can help deliver oxygen and other nutrients while minimizing cell damage.
This can even reduce the risk of cognitive decline in older adults.
4. Lowering blood pressure can reduce your risk of kidney disease
Your kidneys are important organs that help filter waste, toxins, and other harmful substances from the blood. They also remove excess fluid from the body and promote electrolyte balance, both of which can help maintain normal homeostasis.
However, if the blood pressure is high, the blood vessels in the kidneys can constrict and narrow, which reduces blood flow and impairs the normal functioning of the kidneys. With time, this may lead to kidney disease.
Drinks to Lower Blood Pressure
Herbal teas that lower blood pressure
1. Hibiscus tea
Hibiscus tea is a refreshing and flavorful tea made from the hibiscus flower. It has a tart flavor and can be enjoyed hot or cold.
Hibiscus tea is rich in antioxidants and has many health benefits, including lowering blood pressure, boosting immunity, and aiding digestion.
Several studies have found that hibiscus can help lower both systolic and diastolic blood pressures.
One review of 5 studies found that supplementing with hibiscus tea on 225 participants resulted in reduced systolic and diastolic blood pressure levels by an average of 7.58 mmHg and 3.53 mmHg, respectively.
Another study done on patients with stage 1 hypertension found that drinking hibiscus tea twice daily for a month, in addition to other lifestyle modifications, reduced both systolic and diastolic blood pressure.
2. Lemon balm tea
Lemon balm(Melissa officinalis) is a herb from the mint family. Its leaves have a refreshing citrusy flavor with a hint of mint, and it’s often used to flavor food and in medicinal preparations. Lemon balm tea is made from dried lemon balm leaves. It has traditionally been used to treat stress, anxiety, insomnia, and menstrual cramps. In modern research, lemon balm has also been shown to lower blood pressure
Although there’s little research on lemon balm tea for lowering blood pressure, one double-blind controlled clinical trial conducted on hypertensive patients found that taking a lemon balm capsule three times a day for four weeks significantly reduced both systolic and diastolic blood pressure.
Besides, its ability to improve stress, anxiety, and a lack of sleep can also contribute to reduced blood pressure levels.
While this is a great breakthrough for those with hypertension, those on blood pressure medication may need to exercise some caution, as lemon balm can interact with these medications.
3. Hawthorne tea
Hawthorne tea is a herbal drink made from dried hawthorn leaves or berries.
It has been used to lower high blood pressure, reduce cholesterol, and lower the risk of heart disease.
According to research, hawthorn is rich in compounds known as procyanidins, which have been shown to dilate and relax blood vessels, thus causing blood pressure to drop.
A systemic review found that hawthorn could reduce high blood pressure in people with mild hypertension without causing any side effects.
4. Chamomile tea
Chamomile tea is brewed using the dried flowers of the Chamomile plant.
It has a long history of use as a relaxant and is thought to effectively reduce stress and anxiety. Chamomile tea is often drunk before bedtime as it can promote sleep.
Besides enhancing sleep, this tea can also help lower blood pressure. This is because it can relax the smooth muscles in the walls of your blood vessels, causing blood pressure to drop.
These benefits are due to the different compounds in this plant, including flavonoids, coumarins and terpenoids.
5. Rooibos tea
Also known as red tea, or red bush tea, Rooibos tea is a traditional South African herbal tea made from the leaves of the Aspalathus linearis plant.
It’s naturally caffeine-free and rich in antioxidants such as quercetin and aspalathin, which can improve cardiovascular health, including lowering blood pressure.
Studies show that drinking Rooibos tea could inhibit the angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE), which converts inactive angiotensin I into the active form angiotensin II. Angiotensin II causes blood vessel narrowing, which increases blood pressure. That’s why people with high blood pressure are often given angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors.
Angiotensin is a protein hormone that maintains blood pressure and fluid balance in the body.
In one study, healthy volunteers were given a one-time dose of 400 ml of green, black, or Rooibos tea. Rooibos tea inhibited ACE activity after 30 minutes and 60 minutes of intake.
A different study found that Rooibos tea could even lower cholesterol, a risk factor for high blood pressure and heart disease.
In the study, drinking 6 cups of Rooibos tea every day for 6 weeks reduced LDL (bad) cholesterol and increased HDL (good) cholesterol in overweight individuals at risk of heart disease.
Infused waters that lower blood pressure
6. Chia seed-infused water
Chia seed infused water is simply water containing chia seeds, often known as chia seed in water.
When you add chia seeds to a glass of water, they absorb water up to 12 times their original size. This results in a gelatinous mixture that offers numerous health benefits, including fighting inflammation, controlling blood sugar, supporting bone health, promoting a healthy heart, and lowering blood pressure.
Its blood pressure-lowering benefits are due to the presence of chlorogenic acid in chia. Chlorogenic acid is a phenolic compound that offers antioxidant benefits and can lower blood pressure.
In one systemic review and meta-analysis, a chlorogenic acid supplement significantly lowered both systolic and diastolic blood pressure. However, more human studies should be done to confirm this benefit.
Other important nutrients n fiber include fiber, protein, omega-3 fatty acids, monounsaturated fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals such as manganese, phosphorus, copper, selenium, and iron.
Besides lowering blood pressure and improving cardiovascular health, these nutrients can provide other benefits, including improved mental functions, healthy digestion and boosting metabolism.
7. Mint water
Mint water works by relaxing the smooth muscles in your blood vessels, which allows for better blood flow, thus lowering blood pressure. Additionally, mint is a diuretic, so it helps to reduce retained fluid in your body that can contribute to high blood pressure.
To make mint water, add a few sprigs of fresh mint to a cup of boiling water and let it steep for at least 30 minutes. Allow it to cool, then stir in some ice cubes and enjoy.
Juices that lower blood pressure
8. Beet juice
When it comes to blood pressure, beets are one of the best foods you can eat. That’s because they’re rich in nitrates, which your body converts into nitric oxide. Nitric oxide is a molecule that helps relax and widen your blood vessels, improving blood flow and lowering blood pressure.
9. Tomato juice
Tomato juice is a delicious and healthy way to lower blood pressure. The lycopene in tomatoes is a powerful antioxidant that helps to keep blood vessels healthy and prevent damage. Tomato juice also contains potassium, which helps to regulate blood pressure. Drinking a glass of tomato juice daily can help control your blood pressure and improve your overall health.
10. Prune juice
Prunes are dried plums, and prune juice is a juice made from dehydrated prunes.
Prune juice is rich in potassium, which is a key mineral for maintaining healthy blood pressure levels. Just one cup of prune juice contains about 707 mg of potassium, which is nearly 20% of the recommended daily intake. This makes it an excellent natural option for lowering blood pressure.
In addition to its high potassium content, prune juice also contains magnesium. Magnesium can increase nitric oxide, a signaling molecule that helps relax blood vessels and promote healthy blood flow. Research suggests magnesium may also help reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke risk.
11. Pomegranate juice
Research shows that pomegranate juice can lower blood pressure due to its ability to inhibit angiotensin-converting enzyme activity. This can relax the arteries and increase blood flow.
Pomegranate juice is also high in antioxidants that can help prevent free radical damage, reduce inflammation and improve the overall health of the blood vessels. It can also prevent plaque formation, which can increase your risk of stroke and heart attack.
12. Berry juice
Berry juice is a type of fruit juice made from berries. It can be made from any type of berry, including strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, and blueberries.
Berry juice is a good source of antioxidants such as anthocyanins which can improve blood vessel function and reduce inflammation. In addition, berry juice is a good source of potassium, which can help lower blood pressure by counteracting the effects of sodium.
How to Prevent Stroke: Early Detection and Lifestyle Changes
High blood pressure is a life-threatening condition affecting many people worldwide.
If not controlled, this condition can lead to serious complications such as heart disease and stroke.
Common ways to lower blood pressure include losing weight, exercising, managing stress, and eating a healthy diet. Under a healthy diet, certain natural drinks can also boost your efforts to keep your blood pressure within a healthy range. These may include hibiscus tea, lemon balm tea, prune juice,chia seed in water, and more.
Try incorporating these into your daily life and watch your health transform!
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