High blood pressure can lead to serious health complications if left untreated such as heart attack, stroke and cardiovascular disease. Symptoms are rarely noticeable, so the best way to find out if you have the condition is to have your blood pressure reading checked on a regular basis. It’s also important to make simple lifestyle changes to both prevent and control the condition, such as consuming the right food and drink. Cutting down on the amount of salt in your food is one of the first steps, as well as eating plenty of fruit and vegetables.
Specific food and drink have also been found to have blood pressure lowering qualities, such as beetroot juice
But specific food and drink have also been found to have blood pressure lowering qualities, such as beetroot juice.
In a 2015 study, researchers found drinking red beet juice led to lower blood pressure in people with high blood pressure, after they drank around one cup of the juice every day for four weeks.
Positive effects were also noted within 24 hours of having the juice.
Participants who drank one cup of the beet juice every day had an average drop in blood pressure of around 8/4 millimetres of mercury (mm Hg).
For many, this change brought their blood pressure within the normal range.
The researchers suggests beets’ high levels of inorganic nitrate causes the reduction in blood pressure.
One food which has proven effective at lowering high blood pressure is the potato.
Linda Van Horn, a professor of preventive medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, says eating potatoes can help lower blood pressure.
The reason potatoes have been proven effective at lowering high blood pressure is because of their potassium content.
According to Prof Van Horn, people with high blood pressure should aim for 2,000 to 4,000mg of potassium a day.
The key mineral helps to lower blood pressure by balancing out the negative effects of salt, says Blood Pressure UK.
It explains: “Your kidneys help to control your blood pressure by controlling the amount of fluid stored in your body. The more fluid, the higher your blood pressure.
“Your kidneys do this by filtering your blood and sucking out any extra fluid, which it then stores in your bladder as urine. This process uses a delicate balance of sodium and potassium to pull the water across a wall of cells from the bloodstream into a collecting channel that leads to the bladder.
“Eating salt raises the amount of sodium in your bloodstream and wrecks the delicate balance, reducing the ability of your kidneys to remove the water.
“By eating more fruit and vegetables, you will increase your potassium levels and help to restore the delicate balance. This will help your kidneys to work more efficiently – and help to lower your blood pressure to a healthy level.
One study reported potatoes are the best dietary source of potassium, calculating a small backed potato provides 738mg of potassium.
Alongside diet changes, certain exercises are recommended to help lower high blood pressure.
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