Over a quarter of the people in the UK have high blood pressure, according to the NHS, many of whom won’t know they have it. The condition rarely causes noticeable symptoms, which is why people often won’t know their blood pressure is high. But it can lead to serious health problems if left untreated, such as heart attacks and strokes. High blood pressure can be controlled and lowered by making changes to your diet, so it’s not always necessary to take medication for it.
One of the most common causes of high blood pressure is eating too much salt, so cutting down on the popular foodstuff is one way to reduce your reading.
It’s also important to limit your intake of foods which are high in fat, as being overweight can increase the risk of developing high blood pressure as well as the associated complications.
As well as cutting down on unhealthy foods, it could also be worth adding certain types of others foods to your diet, which contain properties that can help lower blood pressure.
Here are four foods that may help lower blood pressure:
Beetroot is high in nitric oxide, which helps to widen blood vessels, according to medical website Healthline.
This helps blood to flow more easily through the blood vessels, which may help to blood pressure.
Leafy greens like kale, romaine lettuce and spinach are rich in potassium, which helps get rid of sodium in the urine.
Potassium works with the kidneys to balance the level of salt and water in the body. As salt is a common contributor of high blood pressure, potassium can help to remove it from the body.
Like leafy greens, bananas have a high potassium content, helping to keep blood pressure healthy.
Oats are high in fibre, low in fat and low in sodium, providing a filling, healthy meal, and a good alternative to a fried breakfast.
Oats also contain beta-glucan, which can lower cholesterol levels in the body, which too prevents heart problems.
“High blood pressure can often be prevented or reduced by eating healthily, maintaining a healthy weight, taking regular exercise, drinking alcohol in moderation and not smoking,” said the NHS.
High blood pressure: Four ways to lower blood pressure
High blood pressure puts extra stress on blood vessels and vital organs. It increases the risk of some life-threatening heart conditions, including heart attacks and strokes.
Hypertension can often be prevented, and blood pressure reduced, by making some diet or lifestyle changes.
Cutting back on the amount of salt in your diet is a great way to lower blood pressure.
Salt raises blood pressure, and the more you eat, the higher your blood pressure is likely to be.
Aim to eat less than 6g of salt a day – the equivalent to about a teaspoonful.
Blood pressure could be raised if you regularly drink too much alcohol.
Those most likely to have hypertension are people that regularly exceed the week recommended limits.
All adults are advised to drink less than 15 units of alcohol in a single week.
If you’re overweight, the heart has to work harder to pump blood around the body, which raises blood pressure.
Losing just a few pounds could make a big difference to your blood pressure and overall health.
Staying active is one of the best ways to lower your blood pressure.
It helps you to lose weight, while also keeping the heart and blood vessels in good condition.
All adults should aim to do at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity every week.