Juices and Smoothies for Lowering High Blood Pressure
Juices 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
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 are concentrated in the skin, as well as many antioxidants (see our post Why Red Food is Good for Your Blood Pressure).
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
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:
One thing though is that it’s important 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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, 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.
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:
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.