Reduce blood pressure naturally – the beverage connection

 

hibiscus flower

Have you ever wondered what bearing different beverages may have on your blood pressure readings?  And which of them might work best in reducing blood pressure, and which you should avoid or limit the consumption of?  Most of us are already aware that the caffeine in coffee, and soda drinks, such as Coke and Diet Coke can cause a sudden spike in blood pressure.  
This is something you will probably want to avoid if you do suffer form any form of hypertension and are trying to restrict the consumption of any substance which will adversely affect your blood pressure levels.

…Well, the good news is that there are indeed healthy alternative drinks which you may want to check out and try for yourself.  The one which I want to focus on today is Hibiscus Tea


Many of us are familiar with the beautiful Hibiscus flower which grows in tropical places around the world, like Hawaii.

hibiscus-tea

Hibiscus tea

However how many of you knew that a delicious beverage can be made from the crimson or deep magenta-coloured calyces** of the  Roselle or (Hibiscus sabdariffa) flower?  It can be consumed both hot and cold and has a flavour which is reminiscent of cranberry.  As this gives it a  rather tart taste it often requires a small amount of sweetening agent.  My personal favourite is to add a teaspoon of honey.

**the sepals of a flower, typically forming a whorl that encloses the petals and forms a protective layer around a flower in bud.


In the video below, Dr Diane McKay of Tufts University in Boston, discusses a trial she conducted concerning the effects on blood pressure of drinking Hibiscus Tea

Even although the trial was limited to 65 adults between 30 and 70 years old who presented with either a pre-hypertensive state or mild hypertension, the implications for transfer of the results to the wider population are encouraging. While a 7-point drop in blood pressure might not seem like much, Dr McKay says studies have shown that “even small changes in blood pressure … when maintained over time … will reduce the risk of stroke and heart attack.”  The mechanism which enables the tea to exert its beneficial effect upon the blood pressure seems to lie in the anthocyanins it contains.  (Anthocyanins are water-soluble phytochemicals with a typical red to blue color.)  These act as antihypertensive compounds and have an ACE inhibiting effect, similar to that of some prescription blood pressure medications.


HIBISCUS TEA has traditionally been used as a remedy for high blood pressure in the Middle East and other countries around the world. The only caveat to be aware of is that the tea has to be consumed on a daily basis to maintain its positive benefits.  The suggested amount to imbibe is three cups per day.

You can find Hibiscus Tea at your local health food stores, tea specialty shops or online at Amazon. The brand below is the one I prefer as it is not only certified organic but also a FairTrade product, so that the farmers who cultivate the Hibiscus plants receive a fair trade premium for community development.  I like the idea of giving back. 🙂 . And it makes a truly delicious beverage, hot or cold!

Have a go at brewing hibiscus tea and not only your blood pressure, but your whole body will benefit from its naturally nutritious ingredients.

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