Hypertension is often called “the silent killer” because it does not usually cause symptoms.
While there is no cure for hypertension, it can be controlled by incorporating healthy habits, including a good diet. But when we talk about diet we are not only referring to food. Learn about drinks here that can help you control blood pressure levels.
What is hypertension?
Blood pressure is the force exerted by blood on the walls of blood vessels or arteries. It can be measured in millimeters of mercury (mmHg) taking into account the activity of the heart: systolic (pumping) and diastolic (resting) pressure.
Normal levels are considered when the systolic pressure is below 130 mmHg and the diastolic pressure is below 85 mmHg.
If the blood pressure monitor indicates that the above measurements are consistently exceeded, hypertension may have developed. This condition can:
- Alter the way the heart works.
- Increase the risk of stroke.
- Cause kidney and eye damage.
- Difficulty blood circulation.
- Cause arterial narrowing.
Drinks against hypertension
One of the first steps to take to control blood pressure levels is to eat a healthy diet. In addition to food, there are many drinks that can help prevent hypertension:
You can keep your blood pressure levels under control by drinking cranberry juice regularly. This is because it is a food rich in anthocyanins, compounds with antioxidant properties that work as cardioprotectors.
If you go for ready-made cranberry juice, make sure it’s a sugar-free option.
Although prune juice is popularly known for its benefits on the digestive system, especially in treating constipation, experts say that it is a good drink to protect cardiovascular health.
Different studies found that those who consume or drink prune juice regularly have better blood pressure levels than those who do not. The researchers explain that this may be because it is a fruit rich in potassium.
Spirulina is an algae that was named “best nutritional supplement of the millennium” by the United Nations, thanks to the fact that it provides essential nutrients and has many health properties.
- Which is more important, high or low pressure?
Among these benefits is to reduce hypertension thanks to it increases the levels of nitric oxide, a compound that promotes vasodilation and promotes blood circulation.
Although it is an algae, the most common way to get it is in powder, which makes it easy to add it to your diet by combining it with your favorite juices or smoothies.
The high content of antioxidants and polyphenols in pomegranate make it a great ally for heart health, as it improves blood flow to the heart and helps eliminate “bad” cholesterol from the body.
There are also beneficial effects in the control of high blood pressure, and in the prevention of heart attacks.
You can prepare pomegranate juice by combining it with lemon or orange, and strawberries.
Drinking milk, as well as consuming its derivatives, can reduce the risk of hypertension, thanks to its richness in potassium and magnesium. However, the researchers caution that these effects can be seen when low-fat or fat-free options are consumed.
The apple is rich in quercetin, a flavonol that acts on an enzyme related to the regulation of blood pressure. Therefore, its juice is associated with better blood circulation and a lower risk of narrowing of the blood vessels.
Raw or cooked beet juice is associated with better blood pressure levels. This is because it is rich in dietary nitrates, a compound known to have blood pressure lowering effects.
Studies have found that the benefits of drinking this juice are greater than the effects of nitrates alone, indicating that other compounds beneficial for heart health may be found in beets.
There is evidence that watermelon has a compound called cucurbocitrin, which helps dilate blood capillaries and improves kidney function. In addition, it is rich in potassium, a natural vasodilator.
These properties promote blood circulation and reduce the risk of hypertension. You can take advantage of it by drinking its juice or preparing watermelon water, mixing it with water and lemon.
There is scientific evidence to suggest that drinking a glass of tomato juice a day can strengthen heart health. According to the researchers, this drink improves systolic and diastolic blood pressure, as well as cholesterol levels.
- What drinks can increase blood pressure
This is possible thanks to the fact that tomatoes are rich in potassium, a mineral that acts as a vasodilator, and lycopene, a compound with antioxidant properties.
You can take advantage of grapefruit juice to take care of the heart, thanks to the fact that it is rich in potassium and antioxidants, which promote the relaxation of the arteries and blood vessels, and improve blood supply. This allows for greater oxygenation of the brain and a reduction in the risk of hypertension.
You can combine this juice with other beneficial foods, such as mint or ginger.
Black and green tea
There are studies that were in charge of comparing the effects of black and green tea consumption on blood pressure. While the researchers reported that long-term intake of both types of tea lowered both systolic and diastolic blood pressure, the most significant results were seen among those who opted for green.
In addition to including the previously developed drinks in your diet, you can reduce the risk of hypertension by incorporating the following healthy habits:
- Exercise– Making physical activity part of your daily routine can be as effective in lowering blood pressure as some medications. While experts recommend 150 minutes a week, any exercise, like walking to shop, is a good start.
- keep a healthy weight– Being overweight or obese forces the heart to work harder to pump blood throughout the body.
- No SmokingLong-term tobacco use can harden the arteries, increasing the risk of high blood pressure.
- Reduce stressChronic stress can contribute to high blood pressure.
- Follow the DASH diet: this is a diet that was specially designed to prevent and treat hypertension. It focuses on including foods rich in essential vitamins and minerals, through the consumption of fruits, vegetables, cereals and legumes, while reducing the intake of alcohol, sugars and sodium.
Until significant scientific evidence from human trials is available, people interested in using herbal therapies and supplements should exercise extreme caution.
Do not abandon or modify your medications or treatments, first talk to your doctor about the potential effects of alternative or complementary therapies.
Remember, the medicinal properties of herbs and supplements can also interact with prescription drugs, other herbs and supplements, and even alter your diet.
Sources consulted: American Heart Association, Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database, US National Library of Medicine, Mayo Clinic, National Institute for Complementary and Alternative Medicine.