Is your blood pressure (BP) too high?

To lower high BP, you need to think out of the box and go beyond cutting down on your salt, calories and fat consumption. You also need to consider what you can add to your diet that can benefit your BP.

For instance, eating more vegetables, fruits and lean protein can help to prevent and control high BP according to a 2010 report by the Institute of Medicine. Many people are now coining this the “High Blood Pressure Diet” since it has shown to positively affect blood pressure.


Recent research also shows that these three beverages help to lower BP, including:

  1. Low-fat or nonfat milk - both of these supply potassium and calcium, two nutrients associated with healthy BP. In the US, they are fortified with vitamin D, which promotes healthy BP. Substituting low-fat dairy - including milk - for full-fat versions may also help to lower blood pressure, according to a 2009 study. In healthy people, arteries are elastic in that they relax (widen) and constrict (narrow) so as to keep their BP within a normal range. Full-fat dairy contains quite a bit of palmitic acid, more so than low-fat dairy. Palmitic acid blocks signals that allow blood vessels to relax, leaving them in a constricted state and leading to elevated and unhealthy BP.


  1. Hibiscus tea - drinking hibiscus tea can significantly lower BP, thanks to the beneficial actions of anthocyanins and other antioxidants that work to keep blood vessels resistant to damage that leads to narrowing. Many herbal tea blends contain hibiscus, which brews up a bright red and provides a tart flavor. Health experts recommend that you should drink three cups daily. To get the full benefits of hibiscus tea, steep for six minutes before drinking.


  1. Cranberry juice - this juice has the same BP-lowering effects as red wine, according to a 2010 study. Both these beverages - as well as apple juice and cocoa - contain powerful antioxidants called proanthocyanidins, which prevent the synthesis of a compound known as endothelin-1 (ET-1), known to play a prominent role in constricting blood vessels.