High blood pressure: Five of the best foods to lower your reading
HIGH blood pressure, or hypertension, can be treated through making some healthy changes to the diet. Eating foods which have a high salt content, not getting enough exercise and drinking excessively are all contributing factors of high blood pressure. Left untreated it could cause life-threatening issues. However, there are some simple changes you can make and adding these five foods will help to lower your readings and reduce your risk of developing serious medical issues.
Symptoms of high blood pressure include:
- Chest pains
- Nose bleeds
- Heart palpitations
- Shortness of breath
For people watching their blood pressure levels, potassium-rich foods are an excellent way to help lower readings.
Recent studies have shown that increasing potassium intake may help lower blood pressure. Potassium is a mineral that helps normalise blood pressure and it helps lessen the effects of salt and the more potassium consumed, the more salt is lost during urination.
If you eat too much salt, the extra water stored in the body raises the blood pressure. Potassium also helps to ease the tension in the blood vessel walls which have a direct effect on blood pressure levels.
The recommended amount of potassium for an adult is 4,700 mg per day.
Foods that are rich in potassium include:
Avocados are one of the best sources of potassium, contributing to almost 500mg in a single fruit.
The potassium and lutein content in avocados promote normal blood pressure and help control oxidative and inflammatory stress.
Grapefruit is part of the citrus family and is an excellent source of vitamin C. It contains high levels of potassium which help flush out the sodium in the body. Grapefruit also contains citrus bioflavonoids and anti-inflammatories.
Yoghurt has many health benefits and studies have proven that consuming at least two servings of yoghurt per week will help lower blood pressure and further reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Mushrooms, particularly shiitake mushrooms not only contain high levels of potassium, but also help increase energy and protect against heart disease and infections. The potassium helps lower blood pressure and help keep cells from sticking the blood vessel walls and improve blood circulation.
Peas are packed with potassium and according to Blood Pressure UK, they are a key mineral the body relies on heavily to function properly. Peas help lower blood pressure and balance out the negative effect of salt in the body.
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