Green Smoothies For High Blood Pressure Control
More than 75 million people in the United States have high blood pressure, or hypertension––that’s nearly one in every three people. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), only about half of those people have their blood pressure under control, and it’s usually thanks to some form of medication.
Did you know you can help manage hypertension naturally? Through a whole-foods diet, you can get all the nutrients you need to help regulate your blood pressure, minimize inflammation, and maintain your health.
Green smoothies are one of the easiest ways to get lots of nutrient-dense plant foods in your diet, and I have some delicious recipes for green smoothies for high blood pressure that will make your mouth as happy as your heart!
In this post:
- Foods to Avoid for High Blood Pressure
- Why Smoothies are Good for Regulating High Blood Pressure
- What Nutrients Will Help Decrease Blood Pressure?
- 3 Smoothies for High Blood Pressure Control
Foods to Avoid for High Blood Pressure
One of the main reasons hypertension is so prevalent is because of the high levels of sodium in our packaged foods. Sodium helps preserve the food so it can stay on the shelf longer, and manufacturers of processed foods have found that it gets people to eat more of it–but sodium excess also causes cells to retain too much water, increasing the pressure in the vascular system.
The Standard American Diet (SAD) is full of processed foods, so eliminating at least the worst sodium offenders is important, while also replacing them with whole foods that are as close to natural form as possible.
Here are some of the highest-sodium processed foods to avoid:
- Deli meats
- Canned soups
- Frozen, microwaveable dinners
- Frozen pizza
- Pickles in brine (not lacto-fermented)
Some varieties of these foods have been made with lower sodium, but in most cases, there are other additives and processes that still make them poor choices for eating.
And even many “low sodium” processed foods add up quickly to far exceed the CDC’s recommendation that we consume no more than 2,300 mg of sodium per day.
So, eating from the drive-thru, cans, and boxes of pre-packaged foods will continue to put you at risk for increasing cardiac and vascular problems.
Why Smoothies Are Good For Regulating High Blood Pressure
For those who are used to the SAD and don’t eat many whole fruits and vegetables, getting the recommended minimum of 5 cups a day might seem like a stretch. One green smoothie, however, can fit the entire 5 cups of greens, vegetables, and fruits into one delicious drink, offering up a great start to a day full of good nutrition–or a healthy snack or small meal, any time.
I’ve calculated that one quart of green smoothie yields about 10 servings of fruits and veggies. If we’re filling our smoothies with fresh, raw produce, we’re also getting the right amount of nutrients we need to help safely and naturally regulate blood pressure.
[Related: How Many Calories Are In A Green Smoothie?]
What Nutrients Will Help Decrease Blood Pressure?
Omega-3 Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs)
Foods that contain omega-3 EFAs have been found to lower blood pressure just as well as exercising and limiting salt intake, according to The American Journal of Hypertension.
There are lots of sources of omega-3s that are great for adding into smoothies, like flax seeds (which are more effective than any hypertensive drug on the market), chia seeds, and walnuts. And even flax and chia seeds’ omega-3s can be improved by sprouting them, or getting them already sprouted for you.
This nutrient is important for blood pressure regulation because a deficiency of it can cause it to rise. Calcium works with magnesium to contract and relax muscles as needed, and muscle is what surrounds the arteries and veins, allowing the vessels to also contract and expand, regulating blood pressure.
If calcium is deficient, it could cause the muscles to contract too much, creating higher blood pressure. Smoothie-ready foods loaded with calcium include kale, spinach, collard greens, almonds, sesame and chia seeds, rhubarb, and figs.
A deficiency of magnesium can also cause hypertension. Any constriction in blood vessels can cause blood pressure to rise, and magnesium is important for dilating (opening up) blood vessels.
The best sources of this mineral that go well in your daily smoothie include nuts and seeds (and their butters), spinach, swiss chard, and delicious cacao.
This mineral is often prescribed to offset high sodium levels, so increasing it in your diet is a natural way to combat the imbalance. We need a higher ratio of potassium to sodium for optimal health than the average American is getting, as well, so it’s important to incorporate potassium-rich foods like bananas, apples, avocados, papaya, carrots, swiss chard, winter squash, flax and more into the diet. These foods are all great smoothie additions that offer a variety of beneficial nutrients.
3 Smoothies for High Blood Pressure Control
Using the above guidelines for creating smoothies that support blood pressure regulation, I have three delicious recipes for you, all adapted from my Big Book of Green Smoothies. These are all for several servings, so get your meal prep on!
Banana Split Smoothie
- 2 cups coconut water
- 1 bunch spinach
- 1 bunch kale
- 1 large spoonful almond butter
- 2 tbsp cacao powder
- 2 frozen bananas
- 1 handful frozen strawberries
- ¼ cup pineapple
- 1 tbsp chia seeds
- 1 tbsp flax meal
- optional: substitute 2 Tbsp GSG Sprouted TriOmega for the chia and flax
Blend together in a high-powered blender until smooth.
- 2 ¾ cup water/ice
- 1 head butter lettuce
- ½ cup broccoli or alfalfa sprouts
- Spinach, added until blender mixture reaches 6 cup line
- ½ tsp stevia
- 2 bananas, frozen in chunks
- 2 cups papaya, including seeds
- 2 cups frozen blueberries
- 2 cups frozen fruit medley
- optional: substitute 2 Tbsp GSG Sprouted TriOmega for the sprouts
Blend the first four ingredients well. Add stevia and fruit and blend again until smooth. Serve immediately for best nutrition (sprouts oxidize quickly) or refrigerate up to 24 hours and shake well before serving.
Green Goddess Smoothie
- 2-3 cups water
- 1 handful soaked almonds
- 1 tbsp ground flax or sprouted ground flax
- 1 scoop protein powder
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- ¼ cup dates or agave nectar (optional, to sweeten)
- 1 ½ cups frozen blueberries
- 2 large swiss chard leaves
- 2 large kale leaves
- 1 handful spinach leaves
- 1 frozen banana
- Ice (optional)
Put first six ingredients in a high-powered blender and blend well. Add fruit, green leafy veggies, and optional ice, then blend again until smooth.
Robyn Openshaw, MSW, is the bestselling author of The Green Smoothies Diet, 12 Steps to Whole Foods, and 2017’s #1 Amazon Bestseller and USA Today Bestseller, Vibe. Learn more about how to make the journey painless, from the nutrient-scarce Standard American Diet, to a whole-foods diet, in her free video masterclass 12 Steps to Whole Foods.
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