Juice has a number of amazing benefits that can improve your life and health, and the effects on your blood pressure are just some of them. While many effects of juicing happen slowly over time, blood pressure reactions can be very sudden and you might start getting in better control almost immediately. Here are just a few things to understand about the relationship between juicing and blood pressure.
Beet Juice Is Pretty Impressive
I’m a bit of a skeptic in most cases, so please don’t take this as a full throated support of this idea but rather a cautious optimism about what the science seems to be indicating.
According to a study recently completed in Australia, researcher found that consuming beet juice (sometimes called “beetroot juice”) can lower blood pressure in patients with as little as a single dose.
The suggestion is that this may be the result of a high concentration of nitrates in beets and similar foods like leafy greens. Nitrates, once they enter the body, undergo a chemical process in which they are mixed with oxygen to form nitric oxide. What the nitric oxide does is to relax your blood vessels, causing them to dilate and more readily allow blood to flow through them, lowering your blood pressure.
Leafy greens are also high in nitrates, though the effect is not nearly as dramatic with them.
It’s important to note that this was a small sample size, 15 men and 15 women, but it is not the first of its kind to suggest this sort of reaction. This study combined with similar ones have suggested that there might be a drop of as many as 10 systolic blood pressure points within three hours of drinking 17 and a half ounces of beet juice and even more after six hours.
Other Great Juices for Blood Pressure
Of course, beet juice can get tiring and not everybody like beets for reasons I can’t begin to understand. Fortunately, as I mentioned above, there are other, less effective but still useful juice ingredients that are packed full of the nitrates that help relax your blood vessels.
Leafy greens like kale, collards, and similar vegetables tend to be very high in nitrates and can help not only reduce but maintain a low blood pressure by adding them to your juices. In most cases, you want to make sure that you use them as a base or a significant ratio of the finished product in order to get the nutrients that you need.
Apples and pears are also great at lowering blood pressure when added to juice. Not only do they have high nitrate counts, but they also are good at lowering LDL (bad cholesterol), which reduces the amount of plaque that accumulates on artery walls, decreasing blood pressure. It’s interesting that these actually work better in juice form, reducing LDL by 20%, than in whole form where there is only a 9% reduction.
Finally, ginger can help support other blood pressure lowering approaches such as the above foods. It changes the flavour profile of the juice to make it more interesting, but it also helps with the chemical processes that turn nutrients into substances that can actually help with blood pressure.
Juice is not the only way to keep your blood pressure under control and you should consider working with your doctor in order to use it to supplement other methods, but the evidence seems to suggest that it can be a serious help for people with chronic problems. So talk to your doctor then start experimenting with flavours to find some recipes that will help keep you healthy and taste great.