Using detox drinks to lower blood pressure is an affordable and effective strategy in the long-term. According to the World Health Organization, increased blood pressure plays a critical and increasing role in causing death and disability worldwide. High blood pressure is cause by a mixture of genetic predisposition, meaning some of us simply inherit the tendency in our genes, and an unhealthy diet high in saturated fats, trans fatty fats, carbs, sugar, sodium, and low physical activity. Of the three, it is your diet that puts you most at risk. This is good news – you can control your diet therefore you can control your risk of high blood pressure. In fact, experts agree that high blood pressure is largely preventable.
This is where detox drinks come in handy. Depending on how many things you are juggling at the moment and the pressures from work, family and social responsibilities, your diet may be lagging in certain areas. Low potassium intake for example ups your risk. So do sugary drinks, excessive alcohol (the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism defines heavy drinking for a man as >4 drinks in any single day or >14 drinks per week and defines heavy drinking for a woman as >3 drinks any single day and >7 drinks per week) and salt, and being overweight or obese. Eating at least 3-5 servings of vegetables per day is required to lower blood pressure. But sometimes you just don’t have the time in your schedule to make it happen. Grabbing a detox drink for the road is just the right solution.
The following ingredients are most effective in lowering blood pressure. They are split into three categories: liquids, used as a base for your detox drink, produce, used to fortify your detox drink, and spices and herbs, which can prove medicinal in fighting high blood pressure. It’s a good idea to add 2-3 ingredients from each category to your detox drink and drink it three times daily for best results. You may prefer to juice or blend; it’s up to you to create an enjoyable detox drink to lower your blood pressure that you will look forward to consuming frequently. With that said, blending is more beneficial to heart health since you consume the pulp and not just the juice from the produce.
Photo credit to Flickr user Robert Gourley.
- Low-fat milk is crucial in boosting your calcium intake. Calcium deficiencies have long been linked with high blood pressure. Three servings of low-fat dairy products has been shown to lower blood pressure.
- Research indicates that 1-2 cups of beet juice daily can lower blood pressure immediately (within an hour of consumption) and significantly. It’s not a surprise considering beets are full of potassium, folate and nitrate, which relax muscle tissue and increase blood flow.
- Pomegranate juice lowers blood pressure as effectively as prescription medication by significantly reducing arterial plaque buildup and increasing blood flow to the heart.
- Cranberry juice is high in vitamin C and has powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties which prevent increases in blood pressure. Just be careful of its iron content as this can counteract those results.
- Apple cider vinegar lowers blood pressure, but is difficult to stomach. Try starting slow and adding just a little in combination with complimentary flavors. Up the dose after your body has adjusted to it.
- Water is the best way to lower blood pressure and make sure your heart is not working harder than it has to. In fact, contrary to popular belief, water-only fasting is a safe an effective means of normalizing blood pressure and may assist in motivating health-promoting diet and lifestyle changes.
- Fennel is a very promising diuretic which has been shown to increase sodium excretion. You may substitute fennel with jicama (sengkuang), cucumber, kohlrabi and capsicum.
- Carrots are not only diuretic, but also are high in antioxidants and potassium, which support heart health and normal blood pressure levels.
- Bananas are known for their high potassium content – try to eat 2-3 daily to lower blood pressure.
- Spinach and bitter greens like beet greens, dandelion, endive and horseradish help relax blood vessels. Spinach is a key ingredient of many detox drinks because it contains so many nutritional elements, including antioxidants to keep blood pressure low. If you decide to add dandelion, a diuretic, remember to consume more potassium-rich foods to make up for the loss.
- Papaya is high in vitamin C and potassium, both required for optimal heart health.
- Guava, and its high potassium content, works wonders in reducing blood pressure. As an added benefit, its high fiber content leads to weight loss and further lowers blood pressure.
- Kiwi lowers blood pressure and is rich in antioxidants. You should aim for three daily.
- Blueberries and raspberries are also high in antioxidants and lower blood pressure.
- Avocados have potassium, but also fiber and monounsaturated fats that are key in regulating blood pressure.
- Prunes are proven to lower blood pressure by first reducing bad cholesterol.
- Watermelon has L-citrulline, which helps relax arteries and lower blood pressure.
- Mangoes are also great for lowering blood pressure.
- Leafy greens, kale and broccoli are high in magnesium, the key to avoiding tensions and spasms of blood vessels.
Spices & Herbs
- Capsaicin from chili peppers cleans the blood of sugar and acts as a blood thinner making it easier for your heart to pump blood.
- Ginger and cayenne pepper are natural blood thinners and act the same way as aspirin.
- Peppermint leaves are used to relax muscles and avoid coronary artery spasms that slow or stop blood flow to the heart.
- Losing weight will almost always result in lower blood pressure so be sure to include green tea (boosts metabolism and burns fat), garcinia (lowers cholesterol and increases weight loss) and cayenne (reduces appetite and increases fat burn).
- Hibiscus tea lowers blood pressure as effectively as some prescription medications it’s been tested against. Try to consume three cups daily for best results. Make the tea using 1-3 teaspoons of chopped or powdered hibiscus flowers per cup of boiling water; steep the flowers for 2-5 minutes, then strain and drink your tea.
- Garlic, oregano and onions are powerful in lowering blood pressure. Try to add 1-2 onions to your daily detox drink.
- Cinnamon is also good for lowering blood pressure.
- Olive leaves make a great tea (let steep for 10 minutes) for lowering blood pressure.
- Moringa is high in magnesium, calcium, potassium, iron and vitamins that help lower blood pressure and improve overall heart health.
As you can see there is certainly no shortage of ingredients to use when putting together your daily detox drink to lower blood pressure. Part of the fun is the creativity required to create a recipe that is uniquely you.
A quick word of caution though – be sure and take high sodium foods, like canned and processed foods, off your list.
Remember… you can prevent high blood pressure. Consume lots of vegetables daily, quit sugar and you will certainly see very promising results.
Here’s a few detox drink recipes to get you started. We would love to hear about your own recipes in the comments!
Detox Drink Recipes To Lower Blood Pressure
- Heart Healthy Smoothie
Low-fat milk, banana, papaya and mangoes all blended together for a tasty treat!
- Blood Pressure Reducer
Beet juice, fennel, carrots, spinach, ginger and onion all blended together… delicious!
- Hydration Extreme
Hibiscus and green tea, kiwi, watermelon, peppermint and olive leaves all blended together and enjoyed best cold.
Featured image photo credit to Flickr user Ana Segota.