If you are dealing with or at risk of high blood pressure, you put your body at risk for further complications such as heart and kidney problems, stroke, and even vision problems. While there’s a chance your hypertension could be genetic, there’s also a good chance your diet plays a major factor.
Fortunately, just as your eating and drinking habits can lead to high blood pressure, changing them can lower it. We spoke to Lyssie Lakatos, RDN, CDN, CFTand Tammy Lakatos Shame, RDN, CDN, CFTauthors of Veggie cure from the Nutrition Twins and members of our Medical Expert Board, to highlight the drinking habits to follow if you have high blood pressure. Read on, and for more on how to eat healthily, check out the 8 Worst Eating Habits If You Have High Blood Pressure, Dietitians Say.
According to the Nutrition Twins, this smoothie is packed with powerful phenolic antioxidants—antioxidants that react with a variety of free radicals and can help lower blood pressure.
“The effect of cherry juice is so potent that it is comparable to blood pressure lowering drugs,” says The Nutrition Twins. “One study showed that when men with high blood pressure drank cherry juice, their blood pressure dropped by 7%.”
The Nutrition Twins also suggest that you can also pour a little cherry juice into your yogurt or oatmeal for added flavor and to reap the blood pressure-lowering benefits.
“You can significantly lower your blood pressure in 12 weeks by drinking green tea,” says The Nutrition Twins. “While it’s difficult to determine how much tea is needed, research shows you can lower your systolic blood pressure by 2.6 mm Hg and diastolic blood pressure by 2.2 mm Hg, and it appears that three to four cups of tea per day can day are enough.”
While it may seem like a lot of intake per day, the Nutrition Twins advise that it’s easier than you think. This is because the teacups are smaller than drinking glasses and are closer to four to six ounces in size. Therefore, you would only drink about 12 to 16 ounces. They also suggest that you can also swap your Frappuccino snack for a matcha latte to get your green tea fix.
Research published in the Nutrition Magazine shows that beet juice has an important effect on blood pressure. This is due to their nitrates, which the body converts into nitric oxide.
“Nitric oxide relaxes and widens blood vessels, which lowers blood pressure,” explains The Nutrition Twins. “This can provide additional benefits to your workout, as beet juice helps dilate blood vessels, increases blood flow to muscles during exercise and reduces the amount of oxygen the muscles need because they can work more efficiently and move faster.
However, for lasting benefits, the Nutrition Twins recommend that you continue to drink the beetroot juice and make it a part of your routine.
“Leaf greens like kale, spinach, and lettuce are rich in blood pressure-regulating nutrients, potassium, and magnesium,” says The Nutrition Twins.
According to the Nutrition Twins, potassium helps the kidneys excrete salt, which in turn lowers blood pressure. The leafy greens also contain nitrates. If you can squeeze about one cup of it into your smoothie, research suggests you can see real benefits.
For ways to incorporate leafy greens into a smoothie, try the Nutrition Twins Metabolism Boosting Morning Green Smoothie, which contains both the desired vegetables and green tea for a double blood pressure lowering effect.
This is different for both men and women. If you are a woman, the limit is one alcoholic drink per day. If you’re a man, it’s two a day.
“This is good news for many; if you used to drink a lot more, you can lower your blood pressure by as much as 4 mm Hg by drinking moderately,” says The Nutrition Twins.
According to the Nutrition Twins, one drink equals 5 ounces of wine, 12 ounces of beer, or 1.5 ounces of 80-proof liquor.
However, they caution to be careful not to drink more than this, as it can have the opposite effect and increase blood pressure. They also note that if you’re not already drinking, don’t start; the blood pressure-lowering effects occur after weaning from heavy drinking to moderate drinking.
Kayla Garritano is a staff writer for Eat This, Not That! She graduated from Hofstra University, where she majored in Journalism and a double minor in Marketing and Creative Writing. read more