High blood pressure usually has no signs or symptoms, so the only way to know if you have high blood pressure is to have your blood pressure checked, according to Blood Pressure UK. Blood pressure is recorded with two numbers – the systolic pressure (higher number) is the force at which your heart pumps blood around your body and diastolic pressure (lower number) is the resistance to the blood flow in the blood vessels. A consistently high blood pressure reading can hike a person’s risk of developing life-threatening complications, such as heart disease and stroke.
- High blood pressure: This evening habit could be a warning sign
It is well understood that poor dietary decisions can send a person’s blood pressure reading soaring and hike a person’s risk of developing deadly complications.
Salt is one of the worst culprits, and the NHS aims to eat less than six grams (0.2oz) of salt a day, which is about a teaspoonful.
Fortunately, certain foods can also help to protect against high blood pressure, including the popular mealtime vegetable broccoli.
According to medical website Hello Heart, broccoli is high in compounds that help relax blood vessels and reduce damage to arteries.
One of the key blood-pressure lowering compounds found in broccoli is potassium, as Harvard Health explained: “Potassium relaxes the walls of the blood vessels, lowering blood pressure and protecting against muscle cramping.”
As the health site explains, people who already have high blood pressure can significantly lower their systolic (top number) blood pressure by increasing their potassium intake when they choose to eat healthy foods.
According to Blood Pressure UK, systolic blood pressure is more important than diastolic blood pressure because it gives the best idea of your risk of having a stroke or heart attack.
In addition, Broccoli is also a rich source of magnesium, which also helps blood vessels to relax, lowering a person’s reading.
High blood pressure: Add this juice to your diet to lower your reading [TIP]
High blood pressure: Eat these five vegetables to lower your reading [TIP]
High blood pressure: Best drinks to lower your reading – and which to avoid? [TIP]
Furthermore, Broccoli is also particularly high in the amino acid glutamic acid, which has been shown to provide blood-pressure lowering health benefits.
A Northwestern University Chicago study found higher dietary intake of the amino acid glutamic acid via vegetables like broccoli, was linked to lower blood pressure.
As Blood Pressure UK notes, it is important to include broccoli as part of a varied healthy diet, and everyone should be aiming to eat at least five different portions of fruit and vegetables a day to help boost their potassium intake and lower their blood pressure.
Other vegetables rich in potassium that may be helpful in controlling blood pressure include:
- Sweet Potatoes
- High blood pressure: Tasty snack to lower reading
In addition to diet, it is also important to exercise regularly to reduce the risk of developing high blood pressure, and if a person’s blood pressure reading is already high, exercise can help a person lower it.
As Mayo Clinic explained: Regular physical activity makes your heart stronger. A stronger heart can pump more blood with less effort. If your heart can work less to pump, the force on your arteries decreases, lowering your blood pressure.”
Furthermore, becoming more active can lower your systolic blood pressure by an average of four to nine millimetres of mercury (mm Hg) – that’s as good as some blood pressure medications, notes the health body.
It added: “But to keep your blood pressure low, you need to keep exercising on a regular basis. It takes about one to three months for regular exercise to have an impact on your blood pressure. The benefits last only as long as you continue to exercise.”
According to the NHS, adults should do at least 150 minutes (two hours and 30 minutes) of moderate-intensity aerobic activity, such as cycling or fast walking, every week.
Other lifestyle factors
As the NHS explains, another simple lifestyle tweak is to cut back on coffee intake, as drinking more than four cups of coffee a day may increase your blood pressure.
It said: “If you’re a big fan of coffee, tea or other caffeine-rich drinks, such as cola and some energy drinks, consider cutting down.
“It’s fine to drink tea and coffee as part of a balanced diet, but it’s important that these drinks are not your main or only source of fluid.”
Source: Read Full Article