Three Drinks to Lower Blood Pressure

What you can add to your diet for lower blood pressure.

Three Cheers for Better Blood Pressure

May/June 2010

By Caroline H. Gottesman

Three Ways to Lower Blood Pressure

1. Low- or Nonfat Milk

Both supply potassium and calcium, two nutrients that are associated with healthy blood pressure, and are fortified with vitamin D—a vitamin that new research suggests promotes healthy blood pressure. Substituting low-fat dairy—including milk—for full-fat versions may also help lower blood pressure, reports a 2009 study in the British Journal of Nutrition. In healthy people, arteries are “elastic”: they relax (widen) and constrict (narrow) to keep blood pressure within a normal range. Full-fat dairy contains significant amounts of palmitic acid (much more than low-fat dairy), which can block signals that relax blood vessels, leaving them in a constricted state that may keep blood pressure elevated, explains study author Estefanía Toledo, M.D., Ph.D., of the University of Navarra, Spain.

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