We all, of course, know about it, most of us have experienced it at least once. Yes, high blood pressure can indeed stand in the way of a good quality of life. It’s not something benign either, as it can be an opening act for serious health problems. That’s why it’s crucial to keep an eye on it.
And while nothing can really substitute a proper treatment, there is a simple way to make it more effective. You shouldn’t travel far afield to find the solution – Mother Nature has long figured it out. Just stock up on fruits, veggies, berries and herbs to create your own smoothies for high blood pressure.
High blood pressure ABC’s
Arterial hypertension – another word for high blood pressure, and it is a chronic condition. Meaning it can be controlled but never completely cured. Blood pressure levels can rise for a variety of reasons, like when you attend a job interview or present a project to a large group of people. And it’s considered normal. But if you have noticed that your blood pressure levels are always too high, you have hypertension.
Systolic pressure – the number at the top of your readings. It measures pressure in blood vessels during heartbeats.
Diastolic pressure – the bottom number which measures pressure in your blood vessels when the heart rests between the beats.
Anything from 90 to 120 over 60 to 80 is considered normal, with 120/80 being ideal.
When untreated, hypertension can increase the risk of serious health problems, like:
- heart attack
- memory loss
- visual loop
- kidney failure
- metabolic syndrome (the cause of diabetes)
Few reasons why it happens
Hypertension doesn't have a single cause that we can use as a cautionary tale. Nonetheless, there are certain triggering factors that can be emphasized:
- smoking and alcohol abuse
- chronic anxiety
- obesity and excess weight
- pinched nerves
What you can do to keep high blood pressure at bay
People with hypertension are well aware that this problem won’t go away on its own. And as a priority you must of course follow your doctor’s orders. But to rely exclusively on meds is not the only option. Supplementing your diet with certain foods can make treatment more effective.
Foods with high potassium content and those rich in vitamin C and carotenoids help reduce high blood pressure, as well as they have lots of other health benefits.
Foods that lower blood pressure
- Fruits (apple, orange, banana, plums, apricots, pears, dried fruit, mango, kiwifruit, melons, avocado, figs, papaya, pomegranate)
- Vegetables (carrots, beetroot, cooked broccoli, sweet potatoes, cucumbers, zucchini, eggplant, tomatoes)
- Berries (raspberries, cranberries, strawberries, blueberries)
- Beetroot and beet juice
- Dark chocolate
- Red lentils and legumes (white, black, kidney, pinto beans)
- Flax seeds
- Leafy greens (spinach, romaine lettuce, kale, arugula, turnip and collard greens)
What about salt?
There’s always been a flurry of controversy around salt. When it comes to raising blood pressure it’s said to be a prime suspect. But this opinion is now changing. The recent research has shown that while salty foods do make our blood pressure levels to go up, it’s only temporary. There’s no proof that salt alone can have bad long-term effects. In fact, a Himalayan or a sea salt are both loaded with minerals, which is actually good for us.
Sample blood pressure lowering smoothies
Our body absorbs the nutrients more easily in a smoothie - that's one of the reasons why they are so popular. Plus the shakes for high blood pressure are delicious! Here are just a few examples, but you can revisit all of the above ingredients and mix them as you see fit. It’s a matter of taste, and there’s no wrong combination.
1) Orange & Grapefruit Smoothie
- 1 banana
- 1 grapefruit
- 1 orange
- 5 kale or spinach leaves
- 4 ounces (115 ml) of filtered water (or green tea)
2) Cacao & Melon Smoothie
- 7 ounces (200 ml) of almond milk
- 1 cup of cubed melon
- 1 tbsp of cacao powder
- 2 cups of spinach or kale
- 7 strawberries (fresh or frozen)
- 1 banana
3) Strawberry & Banana Smoothie
- 7 ounces (200 ml) of low-fat or almond milk
- 8 medium strawberries
- 1 teaspoon Flax seed (ground)
- 1 cup of garden cress
- 1 kiwi
- 1 banana
4) Apple & Pomegranate Smoothie
- 7 ounces (200 ml) of pomegranate juice
- 1 apple
- 2 cups of spinach of kale
- 1 banana
5) Fits it All Smoothie
- 7 ounces (200 ml) of milk of choice
- ½ cup of berries (any)
- 1 cup of leafy greens (any)
- 1 banana
- 1 teaspoon of honey
- ¼ cup of cubed beetroot
Blend the ingredients together until there are no lumps and the mixture is smooth.
High blood pressure can be a serious threat to health, but when timely and properly handled, it can become nothing but an occasional minor discomfort.
Stay healthy and enjoy your multicolored fusions!