Hypertension, Red Wine and Resveratrol – What’s the Link?

red wine and hypertensionIt has been documented that the French nation enjoy better health all around and lower rates of high blood pressure and coronary disease than many other nations. This is partly due to their healthy diet. However it’s also due to their habit of drinking red wine on a daily basis. So what’s the link between lower rates of hypertension and red wine?

Red wine contains an antioxidant called resveratrol. Like other antioxidants resveratrol helps prevent hardening of the arteries and your blood platelets from clumping together.

Blood platelets are those things that enables your blood to clot – which is important if you cut yourself. But clots forming inside your circulatory system is not healthy and is the prime cause of strokes.

Resveratrol (and other similar compounds found in red wine) also helps stimulate nitric oxide production in your body. Nitric oxide is a vasodilator which means it helps your blood vessels relax and widen, which in turn reduces hypertension.

In other words, red wine helps keep your blood system in good health.

In case you wondered, resveratrol isn’t just found in red wine. It comes from the skin of the grapes. (This is why red wine contains more resveratrol than white wine. Red wine is fermented while the skins of the grapes are still on, while white wine is fermented after the skins have been removed.) You can get resveratrol simply from drinking grape juice but resveratrol isn’t water soluble. The alcohol in in wine extracts the resveratrol more efficiently and assists the absorption of it into your body.

So have a glass or two every day!

 

Hypertension and red wine – but what kind of red wine?

hypertension and red wine

Photo by Heather Katsoulis on flickr.com

As far as I know, there’s no particular type of red wine which is best for hypertension. However, darker red wines tend to have higher resveratrol content. Say a Malbec, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, or Pinot noir (my favourite).

I have to admit that before learning of the beneficial qualities of red wine I was not a big drinker of wine. Now I buy a bottle or two a week and have learned a few lessons on buying wine.

First, don’t be fooled by price alone. Expensive wine is not necessarily the best wine and cheap red wine is not necessarily the worst. On the contrary, some of the cheaper red wines seem to have the most pleasant taste.

On aย  TV program this spring, wine tasting experts had to taste and rank various popular red wines on the market – blind (they weren’t allowed to see what brand of wine they were tasting). They all agreed on the best tasting wine. And it turned out to be one of the cheapest! So much for price as an indication of quality!

To get a great tasting red wine I would suggest you experiment with various types. Make a list of what you drink – the good, bad and ugly – so you know what to pick and what to avoid.

 

What if I don’t like red wine?

If red wine really isn’t your cup of tea, you can get resveratrol in plenty of other foods and drinks too. Red grapes and grape juice are the obvious ones. However, any of the red, blue and purple coloured fruits (especially berries) tend to contain resveratrol and other powerful antioxidants. You can even mix your red wine with a little red grape juice and/or throw in some berries to make it all a bit more fruity. Frozen berries and juice mixed with red wine make a lovely cooling sangria in the summer.

There’s also some evidence that just the alcohol in alcoholic drinks is beneficial for the heart and blood pressure – in moderate amounts of course ๐Ÿ˜‰ See also our post on alcohol and blood pressure for the details: alcohol and high blood pressure

 

Beyond red wine – other pleasurable ways to reduce hypertension

If you’re serious about lowering your blood pressure, there’s a lot more you can do than just drinking a wee bit of wine. For a start there are many many foods and drinks which are beneficial for high blood pressure. These include fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, grains, herbs, spices, teas, juices, and yes, alcoholic drinks. And certain kinds of chocolate. Lowering your blood pressure naturally really doesn’t have to be about self-denial.

You just have to know which of the good things in life are genuinely good for your health – and you’ll be surprised by how many of them are. We (my partner Alison and I) have summarised them in our new book which contains everything you need to know about lowering your blood pressure without medications. Have a look at it here:

Lower Your Blood Pressure Naturally โ€“ The Complete 9 Step Guide

lower your blood pressure naturally with diet, exercise and relaxation - and garlicItโ€™s packed with tasty tips on how you can adjust your diet to lower your blood pressure. It also includes different kinds of exercise you can do to bring your blood pressure down. Some of these you can even do while sitting down watching TV. And it gives tips on how to easily integrate these into your daily life โ€“ the point being (again) that you donโ€™t have to suffer to lower your blood pressure naturally โ€“ you can enjoy it ๐Ÿ™‚

As well as diet and exercise, another major cause of high blood pressure is stress. So the book also contains a range of techniques you can use to lower your stress levels and just generally relax more.

Sounds good?

Click on the link above for more details and a free sample.

Can I Lower My Blood Pressure With Beetroot Juice?

Beetroot juice for high blood pressure?

lower blood pressure with beet juiceBeetroot juice. Not the first thing you think of when pondering how to quench your thirst. Probably also not the first thing you think of when wondering how to lower your blood pressure. Yet medical studies are showing that drinking beet juice for lower blood pressure could be a very good idea.

 

Beet juice for lower blood pressure: the evidence

Several recent studies have found that drinking beet (or beetroot) juice lowers blood pressure.

For example, researchers at Queen Mary University in London (UK) conducted a couple of studies with men and women with high blood pressure. The most recent study involved 64 men and women with high blood pressure. Half of them were given one cup (about 250ml or 8 ounces) of beet juice a day for four weeks while the other half got a placebo drink.

Those drinking the beet juice had their blood pressure lowered by an average of 8/4 mmHg (systolic/diastolic). It was also found that their blood vessels were able to dilate (expand) more readily and became less stiff compared to the other 32 people in the study who just got the placebo drink.

Rresearchers at the Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute in Melbourne, Australia found a cup of beetroot juice lowered systolic blood pressure by 4-5 mmHg in healthy men within a few hours of their drinking it. So drinking beet juice regularly may be good for preventing high blood pressure developing as well as for reducing high blood pressure once you have it.

 

How are beets good for blood pressure?

Beets, or beetroots, are full of naturally occurring nitrates which are converted by your body into nitric oxide. Nitric oxide is well known to lower blood pressure in a couple of different ways. Firstly, it relaxes the smooth muscle which lines the walls of your blood vessels. This allows the cavity in your blood vessels to expand, enabling blood to flow more easily.

Nitric oxide also seems to help control inflammation in the blood vessels, inhibiting the release of platelets (which enable clotting) and thus reducing the tendency of your blood to thicken and clot, again with the effect of improving blood flow.

(Obscure fact: Nitric oxide was named “molecule of the year” in 1992.)

The size of the blood pressure-lowering effect of beetroot is similar to that of blood pressure medications. And, unlike blood pressure drugs, drinking beet juice isn’t known to have difficult side-effects!

As Dr Ahluwalia, lead author of the London study, said, “This research has proven that a daily inorganic nitrate dose can be as effective as medical intervention in reducing blood pressure and the best part is we can get it from beetroot and other leafy green vegetables.โ€

 

Other good things in beets

beetroot juice lowers blood pressureBeets also contain “betaine” – a nutrient which helps protect cells from stress and toxins (e.g., caused by pollution) and which reduces inflammation (inflammation is now thought to be a key factor in high blood pressure, and indeed many common modern diseases).

Beetroots are also rich in vitamin C and other antioxidants (like those which give them their deep colour) and potassium – all of which are helpful in lowering blood pressure.

 

Other benefits of beets

Because of all these goodies, drinking beetroot juice regularly will boost your immune system and may also help limit some cancers. Drinking beet juice also seems to boost stamina during exercise, with one study finding folk who drank beetroot juice before exercising were able to keep going about 16% longer.

 

How much beet juice to lower blood pressure?

The researchers point out that more studies are needed into beet juice for lower blood pressure to discover how long-term these effects can be.

In the studies mentioned above, the blood pressure-lowering effect of the beet juice was the strongest a few hours after drinking it, but seemed to linger for up to a day, when people just had a single drink.

In the London study where they drank beet juice daily for four weeks the beneficial effects seem to wear off about two weeks after the study ended.

So it looks like need to keep drinking beetroot juice, or eating beets, regularly to keep up the beneficial effects on blood pressure. However, you don’t need to drink a huge amount of beetroot juice – a little often should do it.

Indeed, commenting on an earlier study, Dr Ahluwalia said โ€œWe were surprised by how little nitrate was needed to see such a large effect […] This study shows that, compared to individuals with healthy blood pressure, much less nitrate is needed to produce the kinds of decreases in blood pressure that might provide clinical benefits in people who need to lower their blood pressure.”

 

Where can I get beetroot juice for lower blood pressure?

Beet juice isnโ€™t mainstream yet โ€“ though its healthy properties are becoming more widely known โ€“ so you’re best bet is to look in health food stores and high-end supermarkets.

Beet juice on its own is quite strong – it’s an acquired taste, you could say. So you can mix it with a little apple or orange juice to sweeten it a little.

You can also make your own – if you have (or get) a juicer or blender. A classic juice recipe is to blend beetroots with root ginger, carrots and apples. It’s unbelievably good for you and with enough of a zing to perk you up!

If you’re interested in making juices and smoothies, there’s more info in our article here: juices and smoothies for lower blood pressure

Or you can always buy it on Amazon as a last resort: Organic beet juice (amazon.com)

Do I have to drink beet juice? Can’t I just eat beets/beetroots?

beet juice for lower blood pressureNo you don’t have to drink beet juice for lower blood pressure. You can get the same beet benefits by eating beetroot and/or by eating other foods which are rich in nitrates, such as leafy greens like kale, cabbage, spinach, lettuce, and leeks, string beans, carrots…

The amount of nitrate in the beetroot juice in the London study was about the same amount as that contained in two beetroots or a big bowl of lettuce.

 

Some ideas for eating beetroots/beets for lower blood pressure

Raw beets in salad

Raw beets are really good grated up in salads, with just a little olive oil, a dash of apple cider vinegar and herbs.

Slow-roasted vegetables

Or slow roast some beet(roots) along with other root vegetables for a delicious winter warmer. Some nutrients are lost in the cooking process but nitrates isn’t one of them, so cooked beetroots will give you as many nitrates as raw beets, though heating beetroots will mean you’ll lose some of their vitamin C and antioxidants.

Eat the beet greens

And eat the greens too – the beetroot leaves – as these are possibly even more nutritious than the beet roots. They’re nice sauteed gently with other leafy greens like spinach or chard (a tip from Dr Mercola – more info here: cooking beet greens).

Beetroot soup

Or make borscht – a delicious Russian beet soup.

 

One last thing – don’t be alarmed when you go to the toilet and everything’s pink… that’s just the beets coming through.

 

More ways to lower your blood pressure naturally

Eating or drinking beets is one thing you can do to help lower your blood pressure naturally, but if you’re blood pressure is high, then you’re probably going to need to do a bit more.

There are many many delicious things you can eat more of to bring down your blood pressure and improve your health in general, and there’s also a lot you can do activity-wise, from different kinds of exercise to techniques to reduce stress and relax more.

It’s not hard to make any of these changes, but it can be a bit overwhelming knowing where to start, which is why we’ve put together a book: Lower Your Blood Pressure Naturally – The Complete 9 Step Guide.

high blood pressure - the genetic linkAs the title states, it’s a step-by-step guide to lowering your blood pressure naturally, through making simple changes in what you eat and drink, how you go about your day, and how you unwind and relax (and if you don’t, then it’s time to start).

You can do each step at your own pace – one a week, one a month – or use it as a handbook to dip in and out of – whatever suits.

It’s a fully up-to-date and thoroughly comprehensive guide, giving you everything you need to know about reducing blood pressure without drugs in a straightforward easy-to-follow format.

Click on the picture for more details, and you’ll also be able to download a free sample.

And good luck with it all!

 

Post by Alison.

Image credits: Schadenfreude Iola, Food Thinkers, UGA College of Ag & Environment all via Flickr.com

 

Some references:

https://www.qmul.ac.uk/media/news/items/smd/146262.html

https://www.webmd.com/hypertension-high-blood-pressure/news/20121212/beetroot-juice-blood-pressure

https://newsroom.heart.org/news/drinking-cup-of-beetroot-juice-daily-may-help-lower-blood-pressure

https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2014/01/25/beets-health-benefits.aspx

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23231777

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nitric_oxide

https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/Press_releases/2003/10_17_03.html

Juices and Smoothies for Lowering High Blood Pressure

juices and smoothies for lowering high blood pressureJuices and smoothies get a lot of press these days, and juice and smoothie bars seem to be springing up everywhere. Certainly where I live, there now seems to be one in every shopping centre and health food store.

Juices and smoothies are often touted as the super-solutions for all kinds of things, from weight issues to curing cancer, and they definitely give you a good vitamin boost – but how good are juices and smoothies for lowering high blood pressure?

Well, on the whole pretty good. But like all things, to some extent it depends.

 

Juices: Nutrients Versus Sugars

Juices can be helpful for lowering high blood pressure because they contain concentrated nutrients and can be high in antioxidants, which help lower blood pressure in various ways. However, fruit juices also contain concentrated sugars, and getting too much sugar is very bad for blood pressure (I’ll do a post on this soon).

So juices made with more vegetables than fruits are better for you, as vegetables are naturally lower in sugar. The more different ingredients in the juice, the greater variety of nutrients you’ll get.

If you really like purely fruit juices, then go for it, but you’re probably best to keep them to just one or two a day, as even the healthiest freshest fruit juice gives you a hefty sugar kick.

 

Smoothies: Full of Fibre

Smoothies are a better bet than juices for lower blood pressure simply because smoothies are made by blending foods rather than squeezing out just their juice. So by having smoothies, you get most of the fibre of the fruits and vegetables.

This is important for two reasons. Firstly, many fruits and vegetables contain a soluble fibre, which is particularly good for blood pressure and lowering cholesterol (it’s the same fibre found in oats that gives them their heart-healthy benefits).

And secondly, getting the fibre helps balance the digestion of the sugars in the foods – especially with fruits. The presence of fibre means the sugars get absorbed more slowly and steadily, causing less of the spike in blood sugar which is so bad for blood pressure (again, more in a post to come).

 

Juices, Smoothies and Shakes for Lower Blood Pressure

All in all, freshly-made juices and smoothies are a good way to get a whack of nutrients into your system quickly, and to keep you cool and hydrated in hot weather, during exercise or when you’re on the go generally.

Putting vegetables in them is also a good way to get more raw vegetables into your system, especially if you don’t eat many raw vegetables in salads or salsas.

And if you use the best ingredients for lower blood pressure, then juices and smoothies for lowering high blood pressure are a good addition to your diet.

Go for smoothies rather than juices when you can though, as that way you’re getting all the good fibre and less of a sugar-hit.

And go for freshly-made juices and smoothies rather than ready-made ones when possible. This is because many nutrients – especially vitamin C – break down over time, and due to exposure to heat and light. So if you buy fruit juice that’s been sitting on the supermarket shelf for a while, then it might not contain that much vitamin C any more.

However, if you have juices and smoothies that are made on the spot, then you’re guaranteed to be getting all their nutrients, and that’s best for your blood pressure.

Ready-made juices also often contain added sugars and other additives. Even ‘healthy’ vegetable drinks like V8 contain sodium and ‘natural flavorings’ which is often a euphemism for MSG (MSG is really bad for your blood pressure by the way).

The best option of course is to make smoothies yourself. That way, not only are they ultra fresh and full of maximum nutrients, but you can also figure out your favourite combinations of healthy and tasty ingredients.

 

Make Your Own Juices and Smoothies for Lowering High Blood Pressure

Smoothies

Making smoothies is easier than making juices as all you need is a decent blender. Just chop the fruits and vegetables into chunks and chuck them in the blender. Leave the peel on when you can, as many of the best plant nutrients are found in or just under the skin – the colour pigments like anthocyanins and lycopene (see our post of red foods LINK) are concentrated in the skin, as well as many antioxidants.

Add some liquid – use a little juice or even better to use milk or yoghurt as that way you get more calcium (getting enough calcium is important for lower blood pressure). Alternatives like almond milk and soy milk are also good.

And hold down the button!

You can blend them with a few ice cubes in the summer, if you’re blender can handle ice. And you can add some supplements for extra nutrition too, if you think you need it, although a good balanced smoothie recipe will be healthy enough in itself. You can even add cooked beans for more protein or throw in an egg.

A few other ideas:

bananas are high in potassium and getting enough potassium is crucial in lowering blood pressure – bananas also help thicken your smoothie – or try avocado – full of the best oils for lower blood pressure

– leafy greens are good for lower blood pressure so try blending kale and spinach with celery, ginger and some fruit

berries are fantastic for lowering blood pressure so include these whenever you can

 

Juices

Although citrus fruits can be juiced just by using a lemon squeezer, you’ll need a juicer to effectively extract the juice from most fruits and vegetables. These can be quite expensive and are quite time-consuming to use (another reason to go for smoothies). But you can make truly delicious and brightly zesty juices.

I’ve heard that Champion Juicers are the best. You can get them on Amazon if you can’t find them locally:

Champion Juicer – Amazon.comย ย  / Champion Juicer – Amazon.co.uk

One thing though is that it’s importnat to make juice fresh each day as juice itself will break down, as well as some of its nutrients. If you can’t always make it fresh, then freeze some immediately after making it. You don’t have to waste the pulp either. Keep it for filler in burgers or to use in stews or soups. Or it makes a good addition to the compost heap.

A combo that many recommend, and which I can definitely vouch for, is raw beets, carrots, ginger root, apples, and celery. The ginger gives it a good kick and beets and carrots are surprisingly sweet, with the apples taking the edge of any bitterness. All these vegetables – and apples – are full of nutrients which help lower blood pressure so this combination is a great one to start with.

This is a good trick by the way – if there are healthy ingredients you want to add but don’t love the taste of, then just balance them with others you do like. Although I find myself though, that if I stick with a particular combination, I tend to develop a taste for it anyway.

If you have any juice/smoothie recipes that are good for blood pressure and you want to share, email them to us at admin@highbloodpressurebegone.com or include them in the comments form below – !

 

Lower your blood pressure naturally

You can find out more about on the best fruits and vegetables for lower blood pressure in our new guide: Lower Your Blood Pressure Naturally, along with more recipe ideas for juices and smoothies.

There is actually a large choice of affordable natural ingredients that lower blood pressure, as well as fruits and vegetables. These include spices, herbs, berries, fruits, grains,ย  meats and drinks, all of which are available in local stores.

Of course there are other factors beyond diet (like fitness and stress) that affects your blood pressure. So the best way to lower your blood pressure without drugs is to apply a broader approach – covering all causes and cures with natural home-based remedies.

lower your blood pressure naturallyThe guide contains simple and proven strategies for lowering your blood pressure and keeping it low through easy, effective and enjoyable changes in lifestyle.

These progressive steps are based on the principle that positive incremental change is always best in health matters.

Each chapter will take you further along the road of greater vigour and peace of mind (and a healthy blood pressure).

Click on the link below for more information:

Lower Your Blood Pressure Naturally Guide

 

P.S. This guide shows you how to lower your blood pressure permanently and naturally without side-effects or complications.

Follow each step to get your blood pressure back in balance.

Choose between a wide range of delicious foods that reduce your blood pressure. Include a number of mental and physical exercises in your schedule for both relaxation and invigoration.

Following this guide will reduce, and in time, eliminate your need for blood pressure lowering medications.

This is a guide for good healthy living and will be beneficial for all – even if you don’t currently suffer from high blood pressure.

To download a sample of the guide to your computer right now click here and scroll to the bottom of the page for the download link.

Lower Your Blood Pressure Naturally: Step 1

natural ways to lower blood pressure

This page is a companion to Step 1 of our book – Lower Your Blood Pressure Naturally – The Complete 9 Step Guide – out now for just $27 (ยฃ17)

 

Drink To Your Health

Coconut Water

Coconut water is not only incredibly refreshing but also naturally full of electrolytes to help you maintain or restore a good fluid balance, which is important for healthy blood pressure. And it’s far far far better for you than sweetened soft drinks and sports drinks.

Read more here: coconut water and blood pressure

It’s becoming more popular so you can find coconut water in many supermarkets and grocery stores, and also most health food shops. Or you can buy it online:

Organic young coconut water (amazon.com)

Beet(root) Juice

Studies are showing that beet (or beetroot) juice is excellent for lowering blood pressure. It’s also much lower in sugars than fruit juice, which makes it a healthier refreshing choice. Keeping sugar consumption low is vital for lowering blood pressure.

Read more about it here: Can I lower my blood pressure with beet juice?

Beet juice isn’t mainstream yet – though its healthy properties are becoming more widely known – so you’ll probably only find it in health food stores, or you can buy online:

Organic beet juice (amazon.com)

Teas

Drinking tea has been found to be very good for blood pressure, due to its high antioxidant content. Green tea especially is excellent, and also black tea. Herbal teas are also helpful in lowering blood pressure, especially relaxing teas to calm you down. Hibiscus tea is now also known to have blood pressure-reducing properties.

More information here:
Tea and blood pressure
Hibiscus and blood pressure

Tea and Herbal Tea Suppliers

The companies listed below sell a good range of teas โ€“ mostly herbal teas but also black and green teas.

As well as looking for teas containing a specific herb, you can find great blends designed for specific purposes โ€“ bedtime and sleep teas, relaxing teas, detox teas, anything you want.

Celestial Seasonings teas (amazon.com)

Heath and Heather teas (amazon.com)

Yogi teas (amazon.com)

Yogi teas sell great green, black and rooibos teas as well as doing fantastic chai teas and a lovely ginger and lemon tea.

HIBISCUS TEA

Hibiscus tea can be a bit trickier to find, although it does feature as an ingredient in a variety of herbal tea blends. Some good quality teas can be bought online, or you can buy loose hibiscus to make your own tea blends, with the delicious recipe ideas in Step 1, or invent your own.

Celestial Seasonings’ Red Zinger tea contains hibiscus.

Loose dried hibiscus:

Organic dried hibiscus (amazon.com)

So drink up… to your health!

 

If there are other websites, resources or products you’ve found useful and you think would be useful to others, please email them to us and we’ll include them:
admin@highbloodpressurebegone.com

 

NOTE: We’ve supplied Amazon links to those products that may be a little trickier to find, as Amazon is popular and convenient to use. However, Amazon aren’t known to be the most ethical company (we do not endorse them ourselves) so we recommend buying your healthy products in your local shops if you can!

Can Hisbiscus tea help lower blood pressure?

Did you know that drinking the the equivalent of 3 cups of Hibiscus tea a day can significantly lower blood pressure by an amount comparable to the effects of prescription hypertension medication?

History of Medicinal Hibiscus Use

African and Asian traditional medicinal systems have long used hibiscus in the treatment of high blood pressure. However modern western awareness of the beneficial effects for blood pressure of drinking hibiscus tea began in the 90’s, when studies in Iran showed that drinking one large cup of either hibiscus or black tea per day resulted in a decrease in blood pressure, with this effect being 10% stronger in those who drank the hibiscus.

 

can hibiscus tea help lower blood pressureCan Hibiscus tea help lower blood pressure? Recent Hibiscus Research

Then in 2004 and 2007, researchers in Mexico discovered that drinking a large cup of hibiscus tea (using 10g dried hibiscus) had the same blood pressure reducing effects as taking the drug captopril (25mg twice a day): an 11% drop at the end of 4 weeks. The 2007 study followed up using the drug lisinopril, and found a 12% reduction with the hibiscus compared to 15% with the drug.

A 2008 study at a Boston University in the US with people with pre- or mild hypertension, showed drinking 3 cups a day for six weeks resulted in lower blood pressure. On average, participants saw reductions of 7 points in their systolic blood pressure, compared to just a 1 point drop in those given hibiscus-flavoured placebo drinks. The effects were almost doubled in those with the highest initial blood pressure (over 129mmHg).

The effect seems particularly strong in high blood pressure sufferers with diabetes – another 2008 study found systolic blood pressure reduced by an average of 22 points after 4 weeks!

More research needs to be done to see if hibiscus is as effective for those who are strongly hypertensive.

 

Effects of Drinking Hibiscus Tea

Researchers pointed out that, even if that effect seems small, it can make a significant difference to blood pressure when sustained, and lower the risk of suffering stroke and coronary heart disease. They still emphasise the importance of drinking hibiscus as part of a holistically healthy diet, however – so drinking hibiscus tea alone won’t be enough, especially if you have to seriously drop your blood pressure, but it can certainly make a difference.

The means by which hibiscus reduces blood pressure is still being investigated. However the main effect is believed to be due to the anthocyanins it contains. These inhibit the action of angiotensin-converting enzymes, meaning it slows the release of hormones which constrict blood vessels (just like ACE inhibitor drugs).

Hibiscus also has antioxidant effects, and boosts the immune system. Doesn’t sound like a bad thing to be drinking does it?

And since the effect is similar to what you can expect by taking most blood pressure medications. So would you rather take drugs or drink hibiscus tea?

So far no noticeable side effects have emerged. Apparently Nigerians drink an average of 25 cups of hibiscus drinks a day, with no obvious negative effects.

However, if you’re already taking blood pressure medication, check with your doctor before quaffing the hibiscus. You may no longer need the medication…

 

What’s in Hibiscus?

Hibiscus comes from the Hibiscus sabdariffa plant, also known as roselle or rosella. In the Caribbean area, it’s known as sorrel or red sorrel, and in the US and Mexico it’s sometimes known, and sold, as Flor de Jamaica, or just Jamaica.

Hibiscus tea is made from the sepals (calyces) of the plant (these are often mistakenly referred to as the flower). Hibiscus drinks have long been popular in Central and Latin America, Africa and Asia. In the English-speaking Caribbean, a hot christmas drink is made with fresh hibiscus and spices, and Egyptian weddings are traditionally celebrated with toasts of hibiscus tea.

 

Hibiscus Tea and other Hibiscus drinks

Hibiscus tea is easier to find than you might think, as many herbal tea blends incorporate hibiscus – a clue is if it’s red in colour. The taste of hibiscus alone is pretty tart – quite like cranberry – so most hibiscus-based teas add other flavours to complement it.

Red Zinger by Celestial Seasonings has been a popular herbal tea for decades, with its main ingredient being hibiscus. Cooling peppermint and tangy orange and lemon-balm as also added for a lively flavour, and Celestial Seasonings teas are available in many grocery stores and health food shops.

You can buy them online too:

Dried hibiscus is also available at most health food shops, so you can make your own herbal blends. You can also buy dried hibiscus online:

You can also grow your own – it can grow in most US climates – it’s the sepals/calyces you use, not actually the flowers themselves (although many sources and suppliers often erroneously use the term ‘flower’). More info on growing hibiscus here: how to grow hibiscus

 

Hibiscus Drink Recipes

To make one cup of plain hibiscus tea, steep 1-5 tsps of dried hibiscus (4 or 5 if it’s in bigger pieces, less if it’s powdered or finely chopped) in boiling water for over 5 minutes. (The Boston studies used 1.25g of dried hibiscus calyces steeped in 8oz boiling water for six minutes, drunk 3 times a day.)

Try boiling it with ginger, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg like they do in Central America and the Caribbean. Or flavour hibiscus tea with mint and ginger, in West African fashion.

Hibiscus also makes an extremely refreshing cool summer drink.

Try making “italian tea” by adding lemon and a little sugar to cooled hibiscus tea. Or blend with a low-sugar organic lemonade.

*

Herbal teas in general are good for you, and any herbal tea that’s relaxing is also good for your sleep and your stress-levels – which in turn are good for your blood pressure. So try out more herbal teas. You can buy some of the best quality tea brands online:

Sit back and enjoy ๐Ÿ™‚

 

Lower your blood pressure naturally

In addition to hibiscus there is actually a large choice of affordable natural ingredients that lower blood pressure. Many of these spices, herbs, berries, fruits, grains, vegetables, meats and drinks are available in local stores.

Of course there are other factors beyond diet (like fitness and stress) that affects your blood pressure. So the best way to lower your blood pressure without drugs is to apply a broader approach – covering all causes and cures with natural home-based remedies.

lower your blood pressure naturallyThe guide contains simple and proven strategies for lowering your blood pressure and keeping it low through easy, effective and enjoyable changes in lifestyle.

These progressive steps are based on the principle that positive incremental change is always best in health matters.

Each chapter will take you further along the road of greater vigour and peace of mind (and a healthy blood pressure).

Click on the link below for more information:

Lower Your Blood Pressure Naturally Guide

 

P.S. This guide shows you how to lower your blood pressure permanently and naturally without side-effects or complications.

Follow each step to get your blood pressure back in balance.

Choose between a wide range of delicious foods that reduce your blood pressure. Include a number of mental and physical exercises in your schedule for both relaxation and invigoration.

Following this guide will reduce, and in time, eliminate your need for blood pressure lowering medications.

This is a guide for good healthy living and will be beneficial for all – even if you don’t currently suffer from high blood pressure.

To download a sample of the guide to your computer right now click here and scroll to the bottom of the page for the download link.

Tea, caffeine and blood pressure – good or bad?

A history of tea drinking

Tea has a long history, with the Chinese drinking it for thousands of years, originally for medicinal purposes. According to one Chinese myth, tea was discovered when the Emperor was drinking water that had just been boiled, and a few leaves blew into his bowl, surprising him with their pleasant taste….tea and high blood pressure

Old traditions, modern studies

In China, drinking tea has traditionally been associated with lower blood pressure, and studies have now shown that drinking even just half a cup of green or Oolong tea a day reduces the risk of developing high blood pressure.

Australian and Iranian studies have shown that black tea can help lower blood pressure. And it’s fairly well established that drinking a couple of cups of tea a day lessens your risk of heart attack and stroke.

This is because tea contains a lot of antioxidants called polyphenols – and specifically, flavonoids – which have numerous health benefits for the cardiovascular system and metabolism.

These antioxidants help the heart and circulatory system, lowering cholesterol levels and protecting against artherosclerosis. The flavonoids in tea also seem to protect against some kinds of cancers.

The levels of antioxidants in black and green tea are even higher than those in many antioxidant-rich fruit and vegetables, and tea contains different types of antioxidants.

For example, a cup of green tea is estimated to contain 10 – 40 mg of polyphenols, which is more than a serving of an antioxidant-rich food like broccoli.

So as well as eating plenty of the good fruit and veg, drinking a few cups of tea a day will help ensure you’re getting a good, and wide-ranging, dose of antioxidants. Good for you all around!

 

Types of Tea – Black, Green and Oolong

All tea comes from the same plant – Camellia Sinensis – an evergreen bush native to China and India.The different ways the leaves are processed results in the different types of tea, with their different colours, flavours and properties.

Green tea is heat-treated before fermentation occurs, while black tea is left to ferment, to develop its dark colour and stronger flavour. Oolong tea – known as red tea in China – is between the two.

The longer the tea is fermented, the higher its caffeine content and the lower its polyphenol content. So black tea contains 2-3 times the caffeine of green tea, and green tea has the highest level of polyphenols.

Caffeine does raise blood pressure, so be careful of drinking a lot of black tea if your daily caffeine levels are already substantial or if you notice you’re sensitive to the effects of caffeine.

Switch to Oolong or green, which stimulate you more steadily. Decaffeinated tea is also available, and still contains all the polyphenols, and white tea – less popular due to its weak flavour – contains hardly any caffeine.

 

Tea and high blood pressure

So, while drinking any of these teas can help you reach and maintain a healthy blood pressure, green tea is the best bet – more antioxidants, less caffeine – and a bright refreshing taste that clears the mind and palate.

Less caffeine also makes green tea more hydrating, which is also good for blood pressure.

And green tea contains catechins which stimulate the metabolism, helping the body burn fat. Since excess weight is also a factor in high blood pressure, green tea is good if you’re trying to lose weight.

So, try drinking at least 2-3 cups a day of green tea. Good for the body, good for the mind:).

 

Lower Your Blood Pressure Naturally (for Life)

Drinking more tea is one step along the path to lower blood pressure, however there’s a lot more you can do to lower your blood pressure naturally.

There are a whole variety of ways you can adjust what you eat and drink and your lifestyle more generally, including ways to be more active and less stressed.

lower your blood pressure naturallyThis might sound daunting, especially if you’re just starting out on this route to better blood pressure but actually these changes can be incorporated quite easily into your everyday life.

The question is knowing what to do and figuring out how and when to do it. So to make it simple, we’ve put together a complete guide to lowering your blood pressure naturally:

Lower Your Blood Pressure Naturally – The Complete 9 Step Guide

The guide is laid out in 9 straightforward steps. You just follow the advice for each step – take it a week at a time or a month at a time, whatever suits you – and you’ll be on your way to lower blood pressure and better health in general.

Not only is the guide easy to follow but it’s also fun to follow, with lots of tasty food and drink suggestions, and useful tips and insights on lifestyle changes. Little things that – put together – can make a big difference.

Lowering your blood pressure naturally doesn’t have to be hard!

For more information and/or to get a free sample, click here:

Lower Your Blood Pressure Naturally – The Complete 9 Step Guide

Alcohol and High Blood Pressure

Moderate alcohol consumption?

alcohol and high blood pressureMedical research into alcohol and high blood pressure has shown that moderate alcohol consumption is linked to lower risk of heart and cardiovascular problems.

How? Well, it seems that alcohol helps to increase the type of cholesterol that’s good for you and your blood pressure (high density lipoprotein) while protecting your arteries from damage from ‘bad’ (low density lipoprotein) cholesterol. Alcohol may also help high blood pressure by reducing blood clot formation.

 

Red red wine…

Red wine in particular has long been thought to be good for the heart and circulation. The antioxidants that red wine contains, especially polyphenols like resveratrol, protect the lining of blood vessels in the heart and increase nitric oxide in the body which relaxes blood vessels, promoting good blood flow.

Drinking small amounts of red wine has often been recommended to help lower blood pressure because of both the antioxidants in the wine and the effects of the alcohol.

However, confusingly, a recent study in Barcelona on alcohol and high blood pressure suggested the alcohol in red wine may weaken the beneficial effects of wine’s polyphenols.

In the alcohol and high blood pressure study, men had lower blood pressure after drinking non-alcoholic red wine for four weeks, but there was only a tiny decrease after drinking the normal red wine for four weeks. The polyphenols in the red wine increased the levels of nitric oxide in the body, which relaxes blood vessels, but the researchers think the alcohol weakened this effect.

 

What’s the best kind of booze?

This doesn’t mean you have to switch to non-alcoholic red wine only. This is only one study, and research into alcohol and high blood pressure is still ongoing – there are no clear-cut conclusions yet!

We know that red wine does contain good anti-oxidants, so it’s still good to drink a glass now and then, to contribute to a healthy cardiovascular system and lower blood pressure. And of course, it’s understood that alcohol itself has definite benefits, so if you don’t like red wine, drinking any alcohol – in moderate amounts – may be helpful.

However, drinking non-alcoholic red wine is a great idea if you’re very sensitive to the effects of alcohol, or if you want to drink red wine without increasing your alcohol intake. You get all the benefits and none of the risks!

Water and wine

You can also mix water into red wine. Not only does this taste good and make the wine last longer, it has an ancient history, going back to the Greeks. In many Mediterranean and Eastern European countries, people dilute wine with water, especially for drinking with meals.

Another way to dilute wine is to add fruit juice to wine. Berry juices are great with red wine, and chuck in some frozen berries in the summer to make a delicious sangria. Berries are currently considered a ‘superfood’, being full of antioxidants, so you’ll be doing your blood pressure an extra favour, as well as adding extra flavour ๐Ÿ˜‰

 

Alcohol and high blood pressure: everything in moderation

Mixing water and wine also features on the Temperance card of the Tarot. It’s the very symbol of moderation, which is what we repeatedly hear about drinking alcohol! It’s important though, because there is a clear link between alcohol and high blood pressure in that drinking a lot of alcohol is likely to raise your blood pressure, by various means, as well as having the other detrimental effects on your health.

The daily alcohol allowances given by health authorities vary by country, with lower recommended limits in the US than the UK. Draw your own conclusions… (The allowance is generally higher for men because they’re usually larger than women and have more of an stomach enzyme that metabolises alcohol.)

The US talks in terms of standard drinks and the UK in terms of units of alcohol but they are roughly comparable:

One unit (UK) or drink (US) =
12 ounces or 1/2 a pint of beer/lager/cider,
5 ounces or 1 medium glass of wine,
1.5 ounces or 1 shot of spirits/liquor
(more details below)

The US government recommends no more than 1-2 drinks/units a day for men, 1 a day for women; while the UK’s NHS recommends a more generous limit of 3-4 for men and 2-3 for women.

Some people are more sensitive to the effects of alcohol than others, so you need to judge for yourself what’s a healthy amount to be drinking.

But too much alcohol is worse for your blood pressure than too little, so best to stay on the lower side.

For a general guideline, one drink a day is a good and safe amount, a couple of drinks on special occasions.
Or, of course, more if you mix it.

Cheers to that!

UNITS OF ALCOHOL IN DIFFERENT DRINKS:

wine:
small glass (125ml) – 1.5 units
medium glass (175ml) – 2.1 units
large glass (250ml) – 3 units

lager/beer/cider:
pint of low strength (3.6% ABV) – 2 units
pint of high strength (5.2% ABV) – 3 units
bottle (330ml, 5% ABV) – 1.7 units
can (440ml, 4.5% ABV) – 2 units

spirits/liquor:
small shot (25ml, ABV 40%) – 1 unit,
large shot (35ml, ABV 40%) – 1.4 units
(US ounce is 30ml – so 1.2 units)

(information from UK NHS website;ABV = alcohol by volume = total alcohol content divided by volume)

 

Lower Your Blood Pressure Naturally and Holistically

Drinking a few glasses of red wine may well help your high blood pressure but won’t make a big difference on its own. Luckily there’s a lot more you can do to lower your blood pressure naturally!

For a start, there’s a large choice of affordable natural ingredients that lower blood pressure. Many of these spices, herbs, berries, fruits, grains, vegetables, meats and drinks are available in local stores.

lower your blood pressure naturallyOf course there are other factors beyond diet (like fitness and stress) which affect your blood pressure. So the best way to lower your blood pressure without drugs is to apply a broader approach – covering all causes and cures with natural home-based remedies.

This might sound daunting, especially if you’re just starting out on this route to better blood pressure but actually these changes can be incorporated quite easily into your everyday life.

The question is knowing what to do and figuring out how and when to do it. So to make it simple, we’ve put together a complete guide to lowering your blood pressure naturally:

Lower Your Blood Pressure Naturally – The Complete 9 Step Guide

The guide is laid out in 9 straightforward steps. You just follow the advice for each step – take it a week at a time or a month at a time, whatever suits you – and you’ll be on your way to lower blood pressure and better health in general.

Not only is the guide easy to follow but it’s also enjoyable to follow, with lots of tasty food and drink suggestions, and useful tips and insights on lifestyle changes. Little things that – put together – can make a big difference.

Lowering your blood pressure naturally doesn’t have to be hard!

To download a sample of the guide to your computer right now click here and scroll to the bottom of the page for the download link.

(Post by Alison)

Effect of caffeine on blood pressure

effect of caffeine on blood pressureCaffeine raises blood pressure, and this effect is stronger the higher your blood pressure is already. So those with the highest blood pressure are most at risk from the blood pressure increasing effects of caffeine.

Obviously these effects of caffeine on blood pressure aren’t great news if you have high blood pressure yet love your daily caffeine kick, but don’t worry – there are ways you can keep drinking coffee while managing the amount of caffeine you’re getting.

(Image credit: Jason Rowe via flickr.com)

 

Direct effect of caffeine on blood pressure

Caffeine can raise blood pressure through causing blood vessels to contract. It may also block a hormone that keeps arteries wide, and it may also trigger the release of adrenaline which increases blood pressure. Caffeine is also a diuretic, which means that it causes your body to eliminate more fluid than you actually drank. Since dehydration leads to higher blood pressure, caffeine also puts you at risk of higher blood pressure this way too.

You might think that this effect of a cup of coffee, or strong tea or another caffeinated drink, only lasts for an hour or two. However, caffeine can persist in the body for an entire day and keep affecting the body all this time. Caffeine consumed in the morning can affect you even when you go to bed.

And as well as raising blood pressure directly, caffeine can also increase your blood pressure through its other effects on your body too. Although one cup on its own is not a big risk, the effects are cumulative, so cup after cup, day after day, it adds up.

The converse of this is that any reduction you make in your caffeine intake also adds up – even small changes can have big effects in the long-term. So it’s a good idea to cut down your daily intake of caffeine.

 

Indirect Effects of Caffeine on Blood Pressure

Caffeine not only increases blood pressure directly, but it also increases the level of stress experienced physically, and mentally – and, of course, it has long been known that stress contributes to high blood pressure.

Research conducted at Duke University in the US, showed that caffeine increased the levels of stress hormones in the body and amplified people’s perceptions of stress, as well as increasing heart rate and blood pressure.

Habitual coffee drinkers had their response to caffeine measured on two randomly chosen days. On one of these days they were given two capsules containing 250mg of caffeine in the morning and at lunchtime – the equivalent of about four cups of coffee in total. On another day they were given identical placebo capsules at the same times – so that they didn’t know which was which.

On the days when they were given the caffeine capsules, the participants had significantly higher systolic and diastolic blood pressure levels throughout the day – and night, and also higher adrenaline levels (32% higher).

These physiological effects were highest at the points in the day when the participants reported feeling the most psychologically stressed.

In other words, “The caffeine we drink enhances the effects of the stresses we experience, so if we have a stressful job, drinking coffee makes our body respond more to the ordinary stresses we experience,” according to James D. Lane, the research professor leading the study. “The combination of stress and caffeine has a multiplying, or synergistically negative effect.”

So caffeine not only contributes to higher blood pressure directly, but also intensifies the effect of any stress you experience. Since stress is known to be a major contributor to high blood pressure, all the more reason to reduce the amount of caffeine you drink, or eliminate it entirely. And it’s probably a good idea to cut down on caffeine even if you don’t have high blood pressure!

And this is what the researchers recommend:

“I think that people who feel ‘stressed out’ should at least consider quitting caffeine to see if they feel better. Quitting caffeine could be particularly beneficial for people suffering from high blood pressure, just as diet and exercise can help keep blood pressure under control.” (James D. Lane, PhD, research professor and study leader)

Most importantly – when you’re feeling stressed, don’t go for a cup of coffee. Try a relaxing herbal tea like camomile instead.

 

How much caffeine should I have?

Many sources recommend limiting your caffeine intake to 200mg caffeine per day.

This is roughly the equivalent of two 12 ounce cups of brewed (non-espresso) coffee per day.

However, there are other factors to consider when figuring out what amount will suit you:

Personal Physiology

In general, the smaller and lighter you are, the more caffeine is likely to affect you, per unit of caffeine – so you will need to observe a lower daily caffeine limit than 200mg.

At the other end of the scale(s), if you are overweight, caffeine is likely to have a greater effect on your blood pressure, so you will also need to keep to a lower daily caffeine intake.

Also, the older you get – especially once you’re over 70 – the more your blood pressure is likely to react to caffeine.

To get a rough idea how much caffeine may affect your blood pressure, do a blood pressure reading before drinking caffeine, then 30-60 minutes after drinking caffeine. If it’s 5-10 points higher, then you are likely to be sensitive to it.

 

But what if I have a good tolerance for caffeine?

It’s true that if you drink caffeine regularly, you may develop a tolerance to it, such that it doesn’t affect you quite as intensely as those who drink coffee only occasionally. So you might think that if you have a regular coffee habit, you don’t need to worry about its effect on your blood pressure.

This is not necessarily the case! Long-term studies have shown a clear relationship between the amount of coffee consumed daily and blood pressure levels, which suggest that you don’t become completely immune to caffeine’s blood pressure raising effects. And all the participants in the Duke University study described above were all habitual coffee drinkers, yet still showed significant increases in blood pressure, and signs of stress, after consuming caffeine.

So, however little you feel it affects you, better to be safe than sorry and cut down the caffeine.

 

How to reduce the effects of caffeine on blood pressure without drinking less coffee

If you drink a lot of coffee and have high blood pressure then it’s likely you’re going to need to drink less coffee. But there are other things you can do to try to reduce the effect of caffeine in blood pressure.

This is because the effect of caffeine intake may be exacerbated by other substances or activities which also increase your blood pressure. So:

Avoid caffeine before doing exercise or any highly energetic activity – hard labour, workouts, runs, brisk walks. These already raise your blood pressure, and the extra effect of caffeine can mean your heart has to work too hard. Stay away from caffeine for at least an hour before getting into it – drink water instead.

Don’t smoke and drink coffee – tobacco also raises blood pressure by constricting your blood vessels, so coffee and a cigarette aren’t such a perfect combination for your blood pressure!

 

How to drink less coffee/less caffeine

There are various ways to drink less caffeine without having to give up coffee completely.

One thing to keep in mind though is that it’s best to reduce the amount of caffeine you’re getting gradually – as a sudden drop in can give you mild withdrawal symptoms like headaches.ย  Here’s what you can do:

Drink coffee that’s lower in caffeine

As well as simply drinking less cups of coffee, you can also lower your caffeine intake by switching to a lower-caffeine kind of coffee – if you really can’t bear to drink decaf…

In general, espresso coffees contain less caffeine than brewed/filter coffee, and coffee made from Arabica coffee beans contains half the caffeine of coffee made from robusta beans.

A good way to control your caffeine levels is to make your own coffee. Experiment with different flavours and methods to see what you like, and take the time to make a really good coffee that you’ll really relish and enjoy – quality rather than quantity – and with less caffeine!

  • The Beans: Robusta beans, which are usually used to make instant (or other low-grade) coffee, contain twice as much caffeine as Arabica beans, which are used in making espresso-based coffee. Gourmet coffees are usually Arabica beans, although some Italian espresso beans are Robusta.
  • Colour: Contrary to what you might think, darker coffee beans tend to contain slightly less caffeine because the longer time they are roasted for breaks down the caffeine molecules more.
  • Grind: Finer grinds have a higher caffeine content.
  • Brewing Time: The longer coffee is brewed for, the higher the caffeine content. So press down the plunger in your cafetiere a bit sooner to slightly limit the caffeine.

Drink tea instead of coffee

You can also – wholly or partially – replace coffee with other less-caffeinated drinks like black tea and green tea. Remember that these still contain caffeine, though much less than coffee, so remember to factor in their caffeine content when figuring out how to stay under your daily caffeine limit.

More and more research is showing how tea has beneficial effects for blood pressure, as well as being lower in caffeine.

Tea is full of flavonoids, a type of antioxidant that’s good for the heart and circulatory system, among other things, and regular tea drinking is associated with lower blood presure and risk of heart attack and stroke. Time for a cuppa! More details here: tea for lower blood pressure

As with coffee, the less time you brew the tea for, the less caffeine it will contain. So try steeping your teabag or tea leaves for a little less time each day, and get used to a slightly weaker tea.

Drink herbal teas and cordials

And of course you can replace coffee with non-caffeinated drinks like herbal teas and cordials. Herbal teas have many health benefits for blood pressure. Some, like camomile, are relaxing and so help your blood pressure indirectly by calming your stress levels. Others – such as hibiscus tea act directly to lower blood pressure – find out more here: Can hibiscus tea help lower blood pressure?

Rooibos (pronounced “roybush”) is an increasingly popular South African tea which tastes a bit like black tea but contains no caffeine. Rooibos is particularly good in iced tea or Chai tea, so is a good tea alternative.

 

Lower your blood pressure naturally

As we’ve seen, the effects of caffeine on blood pressure can be quite significant – but so can the effects of many other foods and drinks.ย  So one of the most direct ways you can lower your blood pressure is to make a few changes to other things you eat and drink.

It’s not all about eating or drinking less of what you like, but a lot about adding good foods and drinks. There is actually a large choice of affordable natural ingredients that lower blood pressure. Many of these spices, herbs, berries, fruits, grains, vegetables, meats and drinks are available in local stores.

Of course there are other factors beyond diet (like fitness and stress) that affects your blood pressure. So the best way to lower your blood pressure without drugs is to apply a broader approach – covering all causes and cures with natural home-based remedies.

lower your blood pressure naturallyThe guide contains simple and proven strategies for lowering your blood pressure and keeping it low through easy, effective and enjoyable changes in lifestyle.

These progressive steps are based on the principle that positive incremental change is always best in health matters.

Each chapter will take you further along the road of greater vigour and peace of mind (and a healthy blood pressure).

Click on the link below for more information:

Lower Your Blood Pressure Naturally Guide

 

P.S. This guide shows you how to lower your blood pressure permanently and naturally without side-effects or complications.

Follow each step to get your blood pressure back in balance.

Choose between a wide range of delicious foods that reduce your blood pressure. Include a number of mental and physical exercises in your schedule for both relaxation and invigoration.

Following this guide will reduce, and in time, eliminate your need for blood pressure lowering medications.

This is a guide for good healthy living and will be beneficial for all – even if you don’t currently suffer from high blood pressure.

To download a sample of the guide to your computer right now click here and scroll to the bottom of the page for the download link.

Can Coconut Water Help Reduce High Blood Pressure?

coconut water lower blood pressureStudies have confirmed that coconut water can reduce high blood pressure so it’s an excellent drink if you are trying to lower your blood pressure.

Coconut water can help reduce high blood pressure because it naturally contains lots of the salts and electrolytes your body needs to maintain an optimal fluid balance – which is key to healthy blood pressure.

Another reason coconut water can reduce high blood pressure is that it’s packed with potassium – which is a crucial ingredient in lowering blood pressure, balancing the effects of sodium, calming the nervous system and promoting a healthy heart.

Just 20 ounces of coconut water contains about 1500 mg of potassium, and it’s also rich in magnesium and vitamin C (getting enough of both of these helps lower blood pressure too).

A study in the West Indies found that drinking two big glasses of coconut water every day for two weeks signficantly reduced blood pressure in people with hypertension.

 

Coconut water can reduce high blood pressure, rehydrate you after exercise, and it tastes good

Coconut water is therefore a great part of a healthy blood pressure diet.

It’s also particularly good as a replacement for sports drinks, or when you’re trying to replace fluids lost through sweat or illness.

In communities where coconuts grow wild, like Costa Rica, fresh coconut water is drunk widely and used to help rehydrate people after illness.

Coconut water is deliciously refreshing on a hot day, and has a lovely subtle coconut flavour.

Coconut water is quite different from the thick creamy coconut milk that is often used in thai cooking.

Coconut water contains no fat as it comes from the young coconut, before the water turns into the white coconut ‘fat’ which coconut milk is made from.

Coconut water is increasingly available in health food shops and grocery stores – especially those that stock international products.

Just check the packaging and make sure it’s pure coconut water and has no added sugar or other additives, and preferably unpasteurised – the fresher the better for natural replenishment ๐Ÿ™‚

Here’s a link to buy good coconut water from Amazon (though if you can buy it locally, do that): Organic young coconut water (amazon.com)

 

Lower your blood pressure naturally (for less cost)

In addition to coconut water there is actually a large choice of affordable natural ingredients that lower blood pressure. Many of these spices, herbs, berries, fruits, grains, vegetables, meats and drinks are available in local stores.

Of course there are other factors beyond diet (like fitness and stress) that affects your blood pressure. So the best way to lower your blood pressure without drugs is to apply a broader approach – covering all causes and cures with natural home-based remedies.

lower your blood pressure naturallyThe guide contains simple and proven strategies for lowering your blood pressure and keeping it low through easy, effective and enjoyable changes in lifestyle.

These progressive steps are based on the principle that positive incremental change is always best in health matters.

Each chapter will take you further along the road of greater vigour and peace of mind (and a healthy blood pressure).

Click on the link below for more information:

Lower Your Blood Pressure Naturally Guide

 

P.S. This guide shows you how to lower your blood pressure permanently and naturally without side-effects or complications.

Follow each step to get your blood pressure back in balance.

Choose between a wide range of delicious foods that reduce your blood pressure. Include a number of mental and physical exercises in your schedule for both relaxation and invigoration.

Following this guide will reduce, and in time, eliminate your need for blood pressure lowering medications.

This is a guide for good healthy living and will be beneficial for all – even if you don’t currently suffer from high blood pressure.

To download a sample of the guide to your computer right now click here and scroll to the bottom of the page for the download link.

Why drinking milk can lower your blood pressure

From: www.saga.co.uk

Drink skimmed milk for lower blood pressure

milk

Consuming lots of low-fat dairy products, like skimmed milk and low-fat yoghurt, could cut the risk of developing high blood pressure and help maintain a healthy heart, say scientists writing the in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition

Researchers from Wageningen University in the Netherlands looked at 2,245 adults aged 55 and over who did not have a history of hypertension (high blood pressure). The volunteers were interviewed by a trained dietician and dietary habits including dairy intake were recorded.

Blood pressure was assessed at the beginning of the study and again two years later. High blood pressure was defined as 140/90 mmHg or above.

The team found that those people who consumed the most low-fat dairy had a 31 per cent decreased risk of high blood pressure compared to those who consumed the least. The same association was not found with high-fat products like full-fat milk or cheese.

This is not the first study to show that a healthy diet can significantly cut the risk of developing high blood pressure and heart disease.

“Trials show a diet rich in fruit, vegetables and low-fat dairy products can substantially reduce blood pressure,” say the authors of the study. “Although the underlying mechanism remains to be established, it has been linked to proteins, bioactive peptides and minerals such as calcium, potassium or magnesium.”

Around 10 million people in the UK have high blood pressure which is a major risk factor for heart attack and stroke. High blood pressure tends to run in families and is also more common in people who smoke or are obese.

People diagnosed with hypertension are encouraged to make lifestyle changes to lower their blood pressure including following a healthy diet, losing weight and reducing salt, caffeine and alcohol intake. If blood pressure levels remain at 160/100 mmHg or above drug treatment may be advised. There are several medications for hypertension including ACE (Angiotensin-converting enzyme) inhibitors, calcium-channel blockers, diuretics and beta-blockers.

Mike Rich, Executive Director of the Blood Pressure Association welcomed the study but cautioned against over indulging in low-fat dairy.

“While this study is further evidence that a healthy diet can help reduce the risk of developing high blood pressure, there is not enough evidence to say that low fat dairy products alone can do this, ” said Rich.

“So we wouldn’t suggest that people need to start gulping down gallons of skimmed milk or other low-fat dairy products just yet. It’s all about balance – opting for low fat in place of high fat dairy products, as part of a low-salt diet with lots of fruit and vegetables will set you on your way to lifelong healthy blood pressure.”

Simon Foster

Simon Foster

Milk has loads of calcium.

Calcium plays a role in the constriction and relaxation of your blood vessels. Supplementing with calcium has helped lower blood pressure in a number of studies.

If drinking loads of low-fat milk everyday isn’t your cup of tea talking a daily calcium suppliment (500 – 600 mg) will help put you on the road to lower blood pressure.

UPDATE (2015): Most scientific research is now showing that a low-fat diet is not necessarily the answer for high blood pressure, and that many naturally-occuring fats such as those in butter and milk are not in fact bad for your blood pressure.

See my post here for more details: saturated fat and high blood pressure

In the meantime, focus on getting enough calcium rather than avoiding fat (although most fats in processed foods are still bad for high blood pressure!).