6 Drinks That Can Reduce Hypertension
Image Credit: Chia Seeds-Infused Water | Image Credit: Freepik.com

High blood pressure, medically known as hypertension, is a common but potentially dangerous medical condition that affects millions of people worldwide. It is often referred to as the "silent killer" because it often presents no noticeable symptoms until it reaches a critical stage. This medical condition has become a lifestyle problem, and as per the study in the Journal of Hypertension, the prevalence of this problem in India is among the highest, with 30% of the population suffering from it. 

High blood pressure is defined as a consistently elevated force of blood against the walls of the arteries. It is typically measured in millimetres of mercury (mmHg) and expressed as two values: systolic and diastolic blood pressure. Normal blood pressure is generally considered to be around 120/80 mmHg. Hypertension is typically classified into two categories: 

Primary Hypertension: This is the most common type of hypertension, accounting for around 90–95% of all cases. It has no identifiable cause but is often associated with lifestyle factors such as diet, physical inactivity, and genetics. 

Secondary Hypertension: This type of hypertension is caused by an underlying medical condition, such as kidney disease, hormonal disorders, or certain medications. It accounts for a smaller percentage of hypertension cases.   

It is important to keep blood pressure under control. One of the main factors that can help bring hypertension under control is a change in lifestyle patterns. Under this, adopting a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins, reducing salt intake, quitting smoking, limiting alcohol consumption, and engaging in regular physical activity can help maintain healthy blood pressure. 

The diet plays a major role in regulating hypertension. Fruits and vegetables provide essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that support overall cardiovascular health and help lower blood pressure. Whole grains contribute to fibre intake, which aids in reducing blood pressure and maintaining healthy cholesterol levels. Choosing lean proteins like poultry, fish, and beans over red meat helps control blood pressure. 

However, today we’ll talk about certain drinks that may help reduce high blood pressure and other cardiovascular diseases: 

  • Green Tea  

Green tea has gained recognition for its potential to reduce hypertension due to its rich content of bioactive compounds, particularly catechins. Catechins are powerful antioxidants found in green tea, with one of the most notable being epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). EGCG is believed to have several beneficial effects on blood pressure regulation. 

Firstly, it promotes the relaxation of blood vessels, helping to improve blood flow and lower resistance in the arteries. Secondly, it may inhibit the production of certain enzymes that constrict blood vessels, thereby reducing blood pressure. Additionally, green tea can have a mild diuretic effect, helping to reduce excess fluid in the body, which can contribute to lower blood pressure. 

  • Ginger Tea   

Ginger contains bioactive substances like gingerol, which has been linked to improved cardiovascular health. One way ginger tea may help lower blood pressure is by promoting relaxation of the blood vessels, leading to increased blood flow and reduced resistance. Additionally, ginger has demonstrated anti-inflammatory effects that can alleviate oxidative stress and inflammation, both of which are factors contributing to hypertension.   

  • Hibiscus Tea  

Hibiscus tea, derived from the vibrant hibiscus flower, has gained attention for its potential to reduce hypertension, often referred to as high blood pressure. This herbal infusion is rich in compounds known as anthocyanins and flavonoids, which are recognised for their antioxidant and vasodilatory properties. Hibiscus tea is thought to work by relaxing blood vessels, thereby reducing resistance to blood flow and subsequently lowering blood pressure. 

  • Fenugreek Water  

Fenugreek water, made by soaking fenugreek seeds in water overnight and consuming the infused liquid, is believed to offer potential benefits for reducing hypertension. Fenugreek seeds contain bioactive compounds such as polyphenols and flavonoids, which have demonstrated anti-hypertensive properties. 

One key mechanism through which fenugreek may help lower blood pressure is by promoting the relaxation of blood vessels, leading to increased blood flow and reduced resistance. Additionally, fenugreek seeds have been associated with improved blood sugar control, which can indirectly contribute to better blood pressure management, especially in individuals with diabetes, a common comorbidity of hypertension.   

  • Pomegranate Juice   

Pomegranate juice is gaining recognition for its potential to reduce hypertension due to its high concentration of potent antioxidants, primarily polyphenols such as anthocyanins and tannins. These compounds have been linked to various cardiovascular benefits, including blood pressure regulation. 

Pomegranate juice is believed to work by enhancing the production of nitric oxide, a molecule that helps relax and dilate blood vessels, thus reducing blood pressure. Additionally, its anti-inflammatory properties may help reduce oxidative stress and inflammation, both of which are contributors to hypertension.   

  • Chia Seed-Infused Water

Chia seed-infused water is gaining attention as a potential natural remedy for reducing hypertension. Chia seeds are rich in essential nutrients, particularly omega-3 fatty acids, fibre, and antioxidants, which contribute to their heart-healthy properties. When soaked in water, chia seeds absorb liquid and form a gel-like substance, creating a hydrating and nutritious beverage. 

The high fibre content in chia seeds may help regulate blood pressure by promoting a feeling of fullness and reducing overall calorie intake, which can aid in weight management—a crucial factor in hypertension control. Furthermore, omega-3 fatty acids are known for their anti-inflammatory effects, which can potentially lower blood pressure by reducing inflammation in the body.