Hypertension diet: Eating just a teaspoon of this can slash risk of high blood pressure

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With a disturbing lack of noticeable symptoms, yet very serious consequences, high blood pressure has earned the nickname ‘the silent killer. High blood pressure can be treated with medicines, but the most effective treatment to prevent and reduce high blood pressure are changes to your diet. Could eating just one teaspoon of one type of food a day reduce your risk of high blood pressure?

Approximately one in three British adults has hypertension, according to Blood Pressure UK.

High blood pressure has very few symptoms and therefore many Brits are walking around with no clue their blood pressure is climbing beyond the ‘healthy’ range.

But hypertension puts you at increased risk of serious medical events, such as a cardiac arrest or a stroke.

It can also increase your risk of organ failure, including kidney disease and blindness.

You don’t want to learn that your blood pressure is skyrocketing as a result of a heart attack or stroke, because by then it may be too late.

Instead, you should get your blood pressure checked regularly by your GP.

If you’re at risk of high blood pressure, such as being overweight, a smoker, or having a family history of heart disease – you should be getting your blood pressure checked once a year.

And if you are over the age of 40, the NHS says you should be getting it checked every five years.

But, could just a teaspoon of one special food item, every day, keep your blood pressure under control?

The DASH diet (DASH stands for Dietary Approaches to Stopping Hypertension) advocates for people to eat less than a teaspoon of salt every day, to lower their blood pressure.

It is recommended you cut back your sodium (salt) gradually, starting with limiting yourself to one teaspoon a day, then as you get used to the taste of less salty food, cut it even further to just two-thirds of a teaspoon.

This includes all sodium, including the salt that’s added to ready meals or sauces, in addition to what you add once you’re sitting at the dinner table.

As well as cutting back on salt, the DASH diet says to lower your blood pressure you must eat plenty of vegetables, halve the amount of butter or margarine you use and limit your meat intake to no more than 170 grams per day.

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The DASH diet encourages you to eat wholegrains as well as adopting a more plant-based diet.

What is normal blood pressure?

Blood pressure is defined as the force put on your blood vessels and organs as blood is pumped around your body by your heart.

Your blood pressure reading is made up of two numbers, these are:

  • Systolic pressure – the pressure on your blood vessels when your heart beats
  • Diastolic pressure – the pressure on your blood vessels between heartbeats

Normal blood pressure for adults is systolic blood pressure below 120 and diastolic below 80, this is written as 120/80.

High blood pressure is anything over 140/90.

A healthy blood pressure reading is not relative to your age, these numbers stay the same no matter who is checking their blood pressure reading.

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