Finding it challenging to manage high blood pressure levels? Worry no more! Diet modifications are one of the easiest ways to manage high blood pressure. While you know about BP-lowering foods such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, let’s find out about what to drink to lower blood pressure. Read on to know more.
What is High Blood Pressure?
Blood pressure is the force exerted by the blood flowing in your blood vessels against its walls. Your blood pressure can vary depending on two factors, the amount of blood pumped by your heart and the resistance offered by your blood vessels.
High blood pressure or hypertension is a condition where your blood pressure is constantly higher than normal (above 140/90 mm Hg). Hypertension can occur as a result of a combination of factors such as advancing age, genetics, being overweight, and health conditions such as heart or kidney disorders. It can also result from the use of certain medications such as birth control pills, decongestants, and over-the-counter pain relievers.
High blood pressure may go undetected as it usually does not exhibit symptoms until your blood pressure reaches very high levels.
Some common symptoms of high BP that you can look out for include:
- Throbbing headache
- Shortness of breath
- Lightheadedness or dizziness
- Problems with vision or blood spots in the eye
- Nose bleeds
- Facial flushing
Can Drinks Lower Your Blood Pressure?
If high blood pressure goes unchecked, it can lead to various complications such as heart diseases and stroke. The management of high blood pressure starts with making lifestyle changes which include opting for a healthy diet plan and staying physically active.
Just like how some foods help control your blood pressure, certain drinks are also found to be favourable for lowering your blood pressure levels. These drinks can lower your blood pressure levels and keep them in the healthy range, owing to the compounds present in the fruits or vegetables from which these drinks are prepared. The compounds act on blood pressure levels through various mechanisms.
In this article, let’s take a deep dive into 8 different types of drinks that can help lower your blood pressure.
BP Drinks: Know the Best Drinks to Lower Blood Pressure
Here are 8 drinks that will help you manage high blood pressure:
1. Pomegranate Juice
Pomegranates are a rich source of nutrients such as folate, vitamin K, vitamin E, vitamin B6, and potassium. They have high fibre content and are also rich in antioxidants. Antioxidants are compounds that protect your body from the damage caused by harmful free radicals.
Pomegranate also helps lower the levels of Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme (ACE), which plays a role in elevating your blood pressure through vasoconstriction (shrinking your blood vessels). These factors make pomegranate a heart-healthy fruit and its juice the perfect BP-lowering drink. You can have one to two glasses (up to around 300 ml) of pomegranate juice per day.
2. Beet Juice
Beets are packed with antioxidants that help fight cell damage and reduce the risk of heart diseases. They are also high in beneficial plant compounds that help reduce inflammation in the body.
Beetroot contains high levels of dietary nitrates (NO3), which are converted into active nitrite (NO2) and nitric oxide (NO) in the body. Nitric oxide plays a role in relaxing and dilating your blood vessels and thus brings down your blood pressure. You can have up to three glasses (approximately 400 ml) of beet juice per day.
3. Tomato Juice
Tomatoes are rich in vitamins and antioxidants. They also have a high potassium content, which helps negate the effects of excess sodium in your body. Sodium causes water retention that increases your blood volume and thus leads to an increase in blood pressure.
The diuretic properties in tomatoes help your body expel excess sodium in the body through urine. You can have one to two glasses of tomato juice per day.
4. Prune Juice
Eating prunes and drinking its juice has been shown to be beneficial for those with high blood pressure. Prunes are rich in potassium, which is helpful in controlling your blood pressure level. The more potassium you consume, the more your body will expel excessive sodium through urine. Potassium also helps ease the tension in the walls of your blood vessels, thus improving blood flow and lowering your blood pressure.
Prunes are also rich in antioxidants that minimise the effect of harmful free radicals in the body. Remember that prunes have a laxative effect, so introduce them slowly to your diet and watch your portion size. You can have up to two glasses of prune juice per day.
5. Berry Juice
Berries such as blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, and cranberries are rich in polyphenols that are beneficial for lowering your blood pressure and in boosting heart health. Dietary polyphenols help enhance the level of plasma antioxidants that lower the effect of free radicals and reduce any damage due to oxidative stress.
Polyphenols also improve the endothelial synthesis of nitric oxide, which helps in relaxing your blood vessels and lowering your blood pressure. Therefore, consuming the juice of any of these berries regularly is effective in maintaining healthy blood pressure levels. You can have one to two glasses of berry juice per day.
6. Lemon Water
Consuming lemon water regularly can help you tackle high blood pressure. Citrus fruits such as lemon are high in vitamin C that can act as a diuretic. It helps remove excess sodium from the body through urine, which helps relax your blood vessels and thus lowers your blood pressure.
Lemon also has flavonoids, which help reduce your blood pressure levels. You can have up to three glasses of lemon water in a day.
7. Low-Fat or Skimmed Milk
Drinking a glass of low-fat or skimmed (non-fat) milk is known to keep your blood pressure in control. Whole milk or full-fat milk is high in saturated fats, which can increase the risk of developing high cholesterol levels. High levels of cholesterol in the blood can cause blockages in the arteries and interrupt blood flow. This can lead to an increase in your blood pressure due to the resistance offered by the blood vessels.
Skimmed milk and low-fat milk have been processed to remove most of the saturated fat, which is bad for your heart. Thus, skimmed and low-fat milk provides heart-healthy nutrients such as calcium, vitamin D, magnesium, and potassium, which lower blood pressure levels and reduce the risk of heart diseases. You can have up to two glasses of low-fat or skimmed milk in a day.
8. Hibiscus Tea
Hibiscus tea is made from the dried parts of the hibiscus plant and is deep red in colour. This herbal tea is rich in antioxidants that help prevent damage from harmful free radicals in the body. Hibiscus tea is rich in anthocyanins and polyphenols, which are good for your heart and help lower blood pressure levels.
Regular consumption of hibiscus tea relaxes your blood vessels and improves circulation. It can thus help lower your blood pressure levels. You can consume up to three glasses of hibiscus tea in a day.
What Drinks to Avoid with High Blood Pressure?
If you have high BP levels, it is advisable to avoid:
- Caffeinated Beverages: The consumption of caffeinated beverages such as tea or coffee can cause a dramatic but temporary rise in your blood pressure levels. Though this change only lasts for a few hours, consuming caffeinated beverages in large amounts or consistently over a period of time can lead to high blood pressure levels.
- Alcohol: Drinking too much alcohol can raise your blood pressure to unhealthy levels. Alcohol increases blood levels of the hormone renin and thus disturbs the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system, which regulates blood pressure levels. Alcohol also reduces vasopressin levels and increases cortisol levels. All of these mechanisms contribute to alcohol affecting your blood pressure levels.
Other Tips to Lower Blood Pressure
Adopting these lifestyle strategies can help you lower high blood pressure.
- Limit your sodium intake: Limiting your sodium intake to 1500 mg a day can help you maintain healthy blood pressure levels.
- Have a healthy diet: Make sure to have a diet that is low in fat and rich in fibre, proteins, and other essential nutrients.
- Increase your physical activity: Try to get at least 30 minutes of mild to moderate physical activity a day.
- Maintain a healthy weight: Regular exercise, staying active, and a balanced diet will help you maintain a healthy weight and lower the risk of high blood pressure.
- Get enough sleep: Try to get at least 7 to 8 hours of good quality sleep every night. This helps your body relax and recover.
- Manage stress: Adopting stress-relieving activities such as yoga or meditation will help you manage stress better.
- Quit smoking: Long term smoking can cause a considerable increase in the risk of hypertension and therefore it is necessary to quit smoking in order to control your blood pressure.
- Limit alcohol consumption: Restricting alcohol consumption can help you control your blood pressure levels and lower the risk of heart diseases.
Don’t Have Time To Read?
- High blood pressure or hypertension is a condition where your blood pressure is constantly higher than normal (above 140/90 mm Hg).
- Some high BP symptoms that you can look out for include throbbing headaches, dizziness, shortness of breath, problems with vision, tiredness, etc.
- The management of high blood pressure starts with making lifestyle changes which include opting for a healthy diet plan and staying physically active. Apart from food, certain drinks can also help you maintain healthy blood pressure levels.
- Drinks that help you lower blood pressure levels include tomato juice, beet juice, prune juice, berry juice, lemon water, skimmed milk, and hibiscus tea.
- Drinks that you should avoid in case of high blood pressure include caffeinated beverages such as tea or coffee and alcoholic drinks.
- Stay physically active, maintain a healthy weight, follow a balanced diet, quit smoking, limit alcohol consumption, and manage stress to keep your blood pressure levels under control.
- Use the Phable Care App to consult India’s leading cardiologists, order medicines, book lab tests, integrate BP monitors and other devices to get real-time remote care from the comfort of your home. Also, check out our Hypertension Management Program which provides 360º care. Let’s treat low/high blood pressure problems together.
To bring down your blood pressure quickly, you can lie down and take deep breaths. This can lower your blood pressure temporarily. If your blood pressure has suddenly shot up causing symptoms such as shortness of breath or dizziness, make sure to get immediate medical attention.
Yes! Citrus fruits such as lemon are high in vitamin C that can act as a diuretic. It helps remove excess sodium from the body through urine, which helps relax your blood vessels. Lemon also has flavonoids, which help lower your blood pressure levels. Thus, lemon water can help bring down your blood pressure.
There is not enough evidence to suggest that drinking hot water can help lower your blood pressure levels.
Yes! Slow and deep breathing can activate the parasympathetic nervous system, which decreases your heart rate and dilates the blood vessels, reducing your blood pressure. Deep breathing increases the oxygen supply in the body, thereby improving circulation and regulating your blood pressure levels. However, do not use deep breathing as a substitute for blood pressure medication.
Yes. Green tea is rich in polyphenolic compounds like flavonoids and catechins, which have antioxidant properties. One particular polyphenol, called epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), has been shown to be associated with the relaxation of the smooth muscle that lines your blood vessels, leading to the dilation of your arteries. This eases the resistance to blood flow that is exerted by your arteries, resulting in lowered blood pressure levels.