Worried about high blood pressure? Try adding these heart-healthy drinks to your diet. Combined with regular exercise and a smart eating plan, they can help prevent and control hypertension. Here's how.
1. Low-fat or Nonfat Milk
Raise your glass to milk: it's high in phosphorus, potassium and calcium—three nutrients associated with healthy blood pressure—and it's fortified with vitamin D, a vitamin that promotes healthy blood pressure. According to a study in the British Journal of Nutrition, swapping out full-fat dairy for low-fat versions may also help lower blood pressure. That's because full-fat dairy contains significant amounts of palmitic acid, which can block signals that relax blood vessels, allowing blood to flow freely. Arteries that stay tight and constricted may lead to elevated blood pressure, the study authors explain.
2. Hibiscus Tea
Drinking hibiscus tea can significantly lower blood pressure, particularly when it is slightly elevated, according to a study in the Journal of Nutrition. Researchers say hibiscus tea has anthocyanins and other antioxidants that may help blood vessels resist damage that can cause them to narrow. Many herbal tea blends contain hibiscus, which brews up bright red and delivers a tart flavor. According to the study authors, you have to drink quite a bit: they recommend three cups a day. To get the full benefits, steep for six minutes before sipping it hot or cold.
3. Pomegranate Juice
If you're worried about your blood pressure, it's time you said hello to this sweet ruby-red fruit. Loaded with potassium and other heart-healthy nutrients, pomegranate juice has three times the antioxidant activity of green tea or red wine. It's no surprise, then, that a 2017 review of clinically sound studies found that regularly drinking pomegranate juice can significantly reduce blood pressure. In one of the studies, drinking pomegranate juice improved systolic blood pressure (the higher number in a blood pressure reading) regardless of how many weeks participants drank it.
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