High blood pressure happens when the force of blood pushing against a person’s artery walls is consistently too high. This is a dangerous precursor to life-threatening complications such as heart disease. Fortunately, making simple lifestyle tweaks can lower a person’s reading. A body of evidence supports drinking a certain tea to lower blood pressure.
A number of studies have found that hibiscus tea boasts blood pressure-lowering properties.
Hibiscus tea is a herbal tea made from the hibiscus flower (Hibiscus sabdariffa)
In one study, 65 people with high blood pressure were given hibiscus tea or a placebo. After six weeks, those who drank hibiscus tea had a significant decrease in systolic blood pressure, compared to the placebo.
Similarly, a 2015 review of five studies found that hibiscus tea decreased both systolic and diastolic blood pressure by an average of 7.58 mmHg and 3.53 mmHg, respectively.
People should aim to eat less than 6g (0.2oz) of salt a day
People should consult their GP first before drinking hibiscus tea as a form of treatment, however, especially if a person is taking medication to manage their blood pressure, cautioned Georgia Rounder, a registered dietitian nutritionist.
She said: “This tea can also cause systolic blood pressure levels to drop to unsafe levels, which can be troublesome if taking medications to manage hypertension or low blood pressure.”
Other ways to lower a high reading
It is imperative to cut down on salt and eat plenty of fruit and vegetables to control blood pressure, says the NHS.
People should aim to eat less than 6g (0.2oz) of salt a day, which is about a teaspoonful, notes the health body.
In addition to making dietary tweaks, exercise is also proven lower blood pressure.
As the Mayo Clinic explained: “Regular physical activity makes your heart stronger. A stronger heart can pump more blood with less effort. If your heart can work less to pump, the force on your arteries decreases, lowering your blood pressure.
Aerobic activity is the most effective exercise for lowering blood pressure, the health body said.
Any physical activity that increases a person’s heart and breathing rates is considered aerobic activity.
These may include:
- Household chores, such as mowing the lawn, raking leaves, gardening or scrubbing the floor
- Active sports, such as basketball or tennis
- Climbing stairs
The NHS advises aiming for at least 150 minutes of physical activity every week.
Another way to lower blood pressure is to get a good night’s sleep, explains the health body.
“Long-term sleep deprivation is associated with a rise in blood pressure and an increased risk of hypertension,” the health site explained.
Adding: “It’s a good idea to try to get at least six hours of sleep a night.”
This juice has also been proven to lower blood pressure.
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