Scientists Agree: These Three Drinks Can Lower Your Blood Pressure

With everyone constantly looking for ways of improving their health and overall longevity, it's no stretch to say we might be living in the most health-conscious era of all time.

One aspect of people's health that doctors are consistently cautioning about is blood pressure. Besides medication in more dire situations, the Institue of Medicine recommends consuming more vegetables, lean proteins, and fruits in their 2010 report which focused on controlling and, more importantly, preventing high blood pressure.

Besides decreasing fats and sugars and increasing fruits and vegetables, we've compiled a short list of three healthy drinks that research has recently proven will lower blood pressure.

1. Low or Non-Fat Milk

Both types of milk are rich in calcium and potassium, nutrients that are key in developing a healthy blood pressure. Milk that is low in fat also has an abundance of vitamin D, and research has suggested that vitamin D contributes to blood pressure regulation.

A 2009 study in the British Journal of Nutrition confirmed that a person currently consuming full-fat milk could positively impact their blood pressure by switching to a low-fat or non-fat version. Dairy that has full fat has excessive amounts of palmitic acid, and that can cause blood vessels to constrict while simultaneously elevating blood pressure. This research was confirmed by the author of the study, Estefania Toledo, M.D., Ph.D.

2. Hibiscus Tea

A study by Diane L. McKay, Ph.D. for the Journal of Nutrition in 2010 demonstrated that hibiscus tea can have transformative effects on blood pressure, causing elevated blood pressure to decrease substantially. It's believed that what causes the decrease is the anthocyanins and other antioxidants in the tea which make the blood vessels more resistant to narrowing. To get the full benefits, the study recommended drinking three cups of hibiscus tea daily and allowing it to steep for six minutes.

3. Cranberry Juice

Instead of mixing it with an alcoholic beverage of choice, consider drinking cranberry juice straight for additional health benefits. A 2010 study in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry indicated that due to the antioxidants in cranberry juice, it can prevent blood vessels from constricting. It is important to note that the study was partially funded by Ocean Spray, a manufacturer of cranberry juice.