There are many risk factors for high blood pressure that people have no control over: it can be affected by things like age, race, gender and family history. There are, however, many lifestyle changes a person can control that decreases the risk for high blood pressure and consequently for serious issues like heart attacks or strokes. Consuming any of the 6 drinks listed below can be part of a heart-healthy lifestyle.
While lack of calcium in the body has been linked repeatedly to elevated blood pressure, it is also true that adequate calcium intake can go a long way to lowering it. However, it is important to include low-fat milk in the diet: it is calcium-rich but will not introduce heart-damaging saturated fats into the body.
Beets are excellent for lowering blood pressure and for heart health in general. For one thing, they are rich in both folate and potassium which help to regulate blood pressure. It also contain nitrate, which is converted to nitrite in the body and relaxes the blood vessels, causing them to open wider and lower the blood pressure naturally.
Hibiscus is good for the heart because it is rich in phytochemicals, plant-based compounds that act in a way similar to prescription blood pressure medications in the body. One study, in fact, found that this tea is as effective as the popular drug catapril at keeping blood pressure at a healthy level.
Research is shown that, once in the body, pomegranate juice acts very similarly to ACE inhibitors, one popular class of anti-hypertensive drug. It acts through preventing the constriction of blood vessels which is one major cause of high blood pressure. It has been shown to not only lower blood pressure but also harmful LDL cholesterol levels.
Cranberry juice is another excellent choice for a heart-healthy drink: it is a source of potent antioxidants and also can greatly reduce inflammation both around the heart and throughout the body. It is especially good for protecting the delicate lining of the cardiac blood vessels, thus reducing the risk of cardiac disease and preventing unhealthy blood pressure levels.
This one might get overlooked, but drinking water remains one of the most effective ways to help prevent heart disease. When hydration is adequate, blood flow is smooth and efficient and circulation is better throughout the body. Dehydration can cause blood vessels to constrict, however, and this is a major risk factor for high blood pressure as well as heart attacks and strokes.
These six beverages can contribute greatly to lower blood pressure levels and to overall cardiac health. In addition, many of their hydrating, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties can contribute to overall health as well.
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