High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is one of the most common health problems people face worldwide. According to one study, sedentary living, pollution, and stress negatively affect a person’s health. Additionally, due to the pandemic, most people have started leading a sedentary lifestyle, a primary concern leading to various cardiovascular diseases. One of those conditions is high blood pressure.
Dietary modifications often play a significant role in combating any health issue. However, owing to our lifestyles and time-consuming recipes, we often ignore making those dietary changes and stick to unhealthy eating. Therefore, including some healthy drinks in your diet can seamlessly help lower your blood pressure. These easy to prepare drinks positively affect your health and combat blood pressure issues.
High Blood Pressure Range and Causes
Blood Pressure is the force or impact of your blood pushing against the artery. Every time your heart beats, it pumps blood into your arteries. A normal blood pressure range is 120/80mmHg or less. When it exceeds a normal range, the condition is called high blood pressure.
High blood pressure or hypertension is a condition where the long-term force of blood against your artery walls is high. In that case, your pressure is higher than 140/90mmHg. Such high pressure can lead to heart issues like stroke. In addition, it also causes sugar level spikes. Furthermore, if your blood pressure goes above the range of 180/120mmHg, it is a severe case of high blood pressure and requires immediate medical intervention. Although there are no significant symptoms of high blood pressure, long term hypertension can increase the risk of chronic conditions like heart failure, stroke and kidney diseases.
Several factors, including weight gain or eating foods high in sodium or chronic conditions such as diabetes, high cholesterol, hormone problem, or family history, are the major causes of high blood pressure. However, there are several ways to regulate or lower blood pressure levels in your body. The best way to do it is through dietary regulations.
Essential Nutrients to Control Blood Pressure
A balanced diet can efficiently combat most health issues. Therefore, consuming a balanced diet that comprises essential nutrients is crucial. These nutrients help combat several health conditions. For example, foods rich in potassium, magnesium, folate, vitamin C etc., help lower your blood pressure.
Potassium-rich foods are best for blood pressure. As per a study, foods high in potassium reduce kidney pressure by flushing extra sodium out of your system via urine. Excess sodium is one of the major causes of high blood pressure. Potassium also helps maintain fluid and electrolyte balance in the body, which helps control blood pressure. These foods include bananas, beans, lentils, potatoes, dried fruits (raisins, apricots), spinach, broccoli, avocado etc.
Magnesium is vital for many bodily functions, including regulating blood pressure. According to one study, magnesium supplements help lower blood pressure by increasing nitric oxide production. Nitric oxide is a signalling molecule that aids in the relaxation of blood vessels and helps lower blood pressure levels. Some magnesium-rich foods are pumpkin seeds, almonds, spinach, cashews, peanuts, fatty fish, lima beans and kale.
Folic acid, or folate, is a B-complex vitamin. A study demonstrates the role of folate in reducing and preventing blood pressure spikes. It suggests that folic acid helps reduce the risk of high blood pressure by relaxing blood vessels and improving blood flow. Furthermore, higher folate intake in adolescence helps protect them against this condition in later stages of life. Some folate-rich foods include oranges, berries, broccoli, leafy green vegetables, papayas, grapes and cantaloupe.
Several studies prove the role of vitamin C as a diuretic. A diuretic makes the kidneys flush more sodium and water from the body through urine. That relaxes the blood vessels and lowers blood pressure. In addition, vitamin C has several other benefits as an antioxidant, which helps reduce oxidative stress in your body. Some healthy foods rich in vitamin C are lemon, orange, kiwi, pepper, strawberries, blackcurrant, brussels sprouts, broccoli etc.
L-Arginine is an amino acid supplement that helps blood vessels function better. As a result, it improves blood flow and lowers blood pressure. A meta-analysis further proves that oral L-arginine supplementation significantly reduces systolic and diastolic BP. Foods rich in L-arginine include pumpkin seeds, peanuts, spirulina, dairy and lentils.
8 Best Drinks to Lower Blood Pressure
You can consume foods rich in several ways. However, the most straightforward way to do so is by consuming some delicious drinks that contain these essential nutrients. The best beverages that you can consume to lower blood pressure levels are:
Tomato juice is high in vitamins, potassium, and antioxidants, making it beneficial to overall heart health. It also contains lycopene, a nutrient that can help lower your cholesterol, prevent skin damage, and lower your blood pressure.
According to one study, drinking one cup of unsalted tomato juice per day improved both systolic and diastolic blood pressure and LDL cholesterol in participants with risk factors for heart disease, including blood pressure.
The nutritional value for 100 ml of tomato Juice is:
- Calories: 70 kCal
- Carbohydrates: 3.53 g
- Dietary fibre: 0.4 g
- Fats: 0.4 g
- Protein: 0.85 g
- Calcium: 200 mg
- Iron: 0.39 mg
Fresh Tomato Juice Recipe
Preparation time: 15 minutes
- Ripe Tomatoes, cored and chopped: 6
- Carrots, peeled and chopped: 2
- Celery stick, chopped: 1
- Ground Black Pepper: 1/4 teaspoon
- Ice Cubes: 2 (optional)
- Process the tomatoes, carrots, and celery in the juice extractor.
- Add black pepper to the extracted juice and thoroughly mix.
- Pour juice over ice cubes in chilled serving glasses.
- Serve for immediate consumption.
Beetroot juice is a rich source of potassium, vitamin A, vitamin B9, iron, and other antioxidants. It is also high in nitrates and secondary metabolites, which the body converts to nitric oxide. These compounds help to promote healthy blood pressure levels and play an essential role in controlling blood vessel damage. As a result, it can lower the risk of heart disease and stroke.
According to research, people who drank about 1 cup (250 ml) of the juice every day for four weeks had an average drop in blood pressure of 8/4 millimetres of mercury (mm Hg). In addition, many people’s blood pressures returned to normal due to this change.
The nutritional value for 100 ml of Beetroot Juice is:
- Calories: 32 kCal
- Carbohydrates: 9.56 g
- Dietary fibre: 2.8 g
- Fats: 0.17 g
- Protein: 1.61 g
- Calcium: 16 mg
- Iron: 0.8 mg
Beetroot Juice Recipe
Preparation time: 10 minutes
- Red Beetroot: 1
- Large Apple: 1
- Celery stalks: 2
- Lemon or Lime: 1/2
- Ginger, peeled: 1/2-inch small piece
- Peel and cut beetroot, apple and celery into long slices.
- Turn on the juicer and place a glass or container under the nozzle.
- Except for the lemon, juice all of the ingredients (beetroot, apple, celery, ginger) in a juicer
- Squeeze half a lemon into the prepared juice and thoroughly mix. Serve right away in a chilled serving glass.
Pomegranates have numerous health benefits due to their high antioxidant content. ACE is an enzyme that raises blood pressure by producing angiotensin II, a protein that causes blood vessels to constrict. Like medications used to treat hypertension and heart failure, Pomegranate juice functions as a natural ACE inhibitor.
According to a study, drinking pomegranate juice can help lower both systolic and diastolic blood pressure.
The nutritional value for 100 ml of Pomegranate Juice is:
- Calories: 54 kCal
- Carbohydrates: 13 g
- Dietary fibre: 0.1 g
- Fats: 0.29 g
- Protein: 0.15 g
- Calcium: 11 mg
- Iron: 0.1 mg
Pomegranate Juice Recipe
Preparation time: 15 minutes
- Pomegranates: 2
- Black Salt (optional): 1 pinch
- Slice off the top part of the pomegranate and cut each into four pieces.
- Keep the pomegranates immersed in water and remove the pomegranate seeds (arils) with your fingers. The seeds sink to the bottom, and the white pith rises to the top.
- Combine the pomegranate arils in a blender, grinder, or mixer jar. Mix thoroughly.
- Place a juice strainer over a pan or bowl. Fill the strainer halfway with pomegranate juice.
- Extract the juice with a spoon, stirring frequently. Press thoroughly to extract all of the juice.
- Serve for immediate consumption.
Not all teas are equal when it comes to blood pressure. However, some tea forms help lower blood pressure. One such tea is hibiscus tea, which contains anthocyanins and other antioxidants that allows blood vessels to resist damage that causes them to narrow. Hibiscus, which brews bright red and has a tart flavour, is found in many herbal tea blends. It also acts as a natural ACE inhibitor.
The nutritional value for 100 ml of Hibiscus tea is:
- Calories: 4 kCal
- Carbohydrates: 0 g
- Dietary fibre: 0 g
- Protein: 0 g
- Calcium: 8 mg
- Iron: 0.08 mg
- Folate: 1 µg
Hibiscus Tea Recipe
Preparation time: 20 minutes
- Hibiscus flowers: 8
- Water: 3 cups
- Lime juice: 1 tablespoon
- Honey: As per taste
- Remove the attached calyx, stamen, and yellow seeds.
- Under running water, thoroughly clean the petals and place them in a medium-sized glass bowl.
- Bring 3 cups of water to a rolling boil in a medium-sized saucepan and remove from heat.
- Bring the water to a boil and pour it over the petals.
- Cover the bowl and allow the flowers’ colour to permeate the water. Steep for ten to twelve minutes.
- Using a tea strainer, strain the tea. Mix in the lime juice thoroughly. If desired, at this point, add honey or sugar and stir well.
- Pour the tea over some ice cubes in the serving glasses and serve.
Low-Fat Milk/Skim Milk/Buttermilk
High blood pressure can result from tight and constricted arteries. Full-fat dairy contains high levels of palmitic acid, which inhibits signals that relax blood vessels, allowing blood to flow freely. As a result, people with hypertension should opt for skim milk, which contains only 0.1% fat. It’s also high in phosphorus, potassium, and calcium, three nutrients linked to good blood pressure, and is also fortified with vitamin D, a blood pressure-lowering vitamin.
Low-fat milk is also higher in calcium than full-fat milk, and the small amount of fat in it aids calcium absorption.
The nutritional value for 100 ml of skim milk is:
- Calories: 34 kCal
- Carbohydrates: 4.96 g
- Fats: 0.08 g
- Protein: 3.37 g
- Calcium: 122 mg
- Iron: 0.03 mg
- Folate: 5 µg
Spinach Avocado Smoothie
Spinach avocado smoothie is high in folates, iron, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and other nutrients.
Fat deposits in the blood vessels can cause high blood pressure and block blood flow. Avocados contain niacin and pantothenic acid, both forms of vitamin B. Niacin helps keep fat deposits and plaque formation in the blood vessels.
The nutritional value for one serving of Spinach Avocado Smoothie is:
- Calories: 357kCal
- Carbohydrates: 57.8g
- Cholesterol: 4.9mg
- Dietary fibre: 7.8g
- Fats: 8.2g
- Protein: 17.7g
- Calcium: 554.1mg
- Iron: 2.6mg
- Folate: 93.8mcg
- Magnesium: 133.4mg
Spinach Avocado Smoothie: Recipe
Preparation time: 5 minutes
- Chopped spinach (fresh): 1 cup
- Chopped banana (frozen): 1
- Sliced avocado: ¼ cup
- Plain yoghurt (non-fat): 1 cup
- Water: ½ cup
- Honey: 1 tsp
- Wash all the veggies.
- Combine all the ingredients into a blender
- Blend smoothly
- You can consume it immediately or store it in the refrigerator for the next day.
Strawberry Blueberry Banana Smoothie
The berry combination in this Berry Banana Smoothie provides essential nutrients for healthy hair, skin, and nails, as well as an energy boost that lasts all day. This low-calorie smoothie has a deep purple hue and is one of the most popular combinations available. It also helps to lower blood pressure because of the antioxidants it contains.
The nutritional value for one serving of Strawberry Blueberry Banana Smoothie is:
- Calories: 335kCal
- Carbohydrates: 45.8g
- Protein: 6.8g
- Iron: 2.5mg
- Fat: 16.9g
- Folate: 58.1mcg
- Calcium: 114.9mg
- Vitamin C: 41% of DV
Strawberry Blueberry Banana Smoothie: Recipe
Preparation time: 2-3 minutes
- Strawberries (frozen): ½ cup
- Blueberries (frozen): ½ cup
- Banana (small, ripe): 1
- Milk: ¾ cup
- Cinnamon: 1 tsp
- Freeze the fruits beforehand
- Add all the ingredients except milk and blend smoothly
- Then, add milk and cinnamon and blend until you get desired consistency
- Serve the smoothie
Drinking plenty of water is one of the healthiest, cheapest, and most effective ways to lower blood pressure.
Chronic dehydration can lead to the following problems:
- First, due to the reduced water content in the blood, the blood becomes thicker or viscous.
- It causes the kidney to release renin, an enzyme that helps control your blood pressure. The body retains sodium and water to compensate for the low fluid volume. Blood pressure may rise if this response sustains.
- It also induces the release of the hormone vasopressin in the brain, leading the blood vessels to constrict and the body to retain sodium.
It is essential to hydrate yourself if you want to lower blood pressure. Many of us know about the eight-glass-a-day rule. However, even if you don’t follow it, you can follow a straightforward method. First, divide your body weight in half for a more personalised approach. That will help you define the minimum amount of water you should drink per day. For example, a 68 kgs person should aim for at least 2.21 l of water per day to avoid irregular blood pressure.
As blood-pressure-lowering drinks contain minerals (such as potassium), you should consult your doctor before consuming them, especially if you have other underlying health conditions, such as kidney disease.
In addition to eating a heart-healthy diet, certain drinks help lower your blood pressure. For example, several types of fruit and vegetable juices, skim milk, and hibiscus tea helps control blood pressure without causing any side effects. In addition, other lifestyle changes, such as increasing physical activity and taking medications, can significantly assist in bringing your blood pressure levels back to a normal range.
If you’re worried about your blood pressure, talk to your doctor about the best ways to keep your blood pressure and heart health in check.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q. Do bananas lower blood pressure quickly?
A. Yes, bananas are among the best fruits for lowering blood pressure. Bananas contain potassium, which aids in blood flow and reduces stress on the heart and kidneys. They are also high in fibre, vitamin A, B9, and C and help maintain fluid and electrolyte balance in the body, which also aids in blood pressure control.
Q. Which fruit is good in high BP?
A. Citrus fruits have a good blood pressure-lowering effect. Grapefruit, oranges, kiwi, and lemons are excellent examples. They’re high in vitamins, minerals, and plant compounds that help keep your heart healthy by lowering risk factors for heart disease like high blood pressure.
Q. Do energy drinks increase blood pressure?
A. Yes, according to one study, caffeinated energy drinks alter the electrical activity of the heart and raise blood pressure, potentially causing unintended adverse health effects in those who consume them.
Q. Does malt drinks lower blood pressure?
A. No, instead malted drinks, especially those with alcoholic content, can cause increased blood pressure. The frequency of use may determine this. Regular or binge drinkers of alcoholic beverages may exhibit high blood pressure and other cardiac conditions.
Q. Will drinking water decrease blood pressure?
A. Yes, no other beverage beats it when it comes to blood pressure health. Drinking water and staying hydrated allows the heart to pump efficiently, allowing blood to flow freely throughout the body.
Q. Do hot drinks raise blood pressure?
A. According to a study, more than 4 cups of hot drinks like tea or coffee increase systolic and diastolic blood pressure. Hence, it is best to consume them in moderation.
Q. What should be avoided in high BP?
A. You should avoid foods high in salt, saturated and trans fat along with alcohol. Eating them raises LDL (bad) cholesterol levels while decreasing HDL (good) cholesterol levels, increasing the risk of hypertension. In severe cases, they can also lead to heart attacks and stroke.