Dr Chris Steele shares diet tips on reducing blood pressure
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High blood pressure describes the long-term force of your blood against your artery walls that is high enough to trigger health problems. These can range from heart attacks to stroke. However, targeting high levels can be easily done through your diet.
Hypertension affects around one third of adults in the UK, according to the NHS.
Described as a silent condition, high blood pressure doesn’t cause many noticeable symptoms.
This means that many Britons aren’t even aware of having high levels.
Luckily, eating your way to lower blood pressure isn’t as crazy as it seems. In fact, Blood Pressure UK shares that five portions of fruit and vegetables daily can keep your blood pressure “in check”.
When it comes to root vegetables, the likes of potatoes and yams don’t count towards the recommended intake.
However, carrots are different. Included on Blood Pressure UK’s and Harvard Medical School’s list for hypertension-busting foods, the vegetable isn’t only a part of a healthy diet.
Due to its phenolic compounds, it can also lower your hypertension reading.
From chlorogenic to caffeic acids, these goodies packed in the orange vegetable can help relax your blood vessels.
And this in return could help lower your blood pressure as your blood can flow more easily.
While their sweet mild taste makes carrots a great roast dinner side, you get the most benefits from eating the veg raw.
A study published in the Journal of Human Hypertension found that eating raw vegetables was linked to lower blood pressure levels.
And the “commonly consumed” vegetables in the study included carrots as well.
The reason why the same vegetable can offer different properties when prepared with heat is due to the chemical composition.
The study reported that cooking your veggies can change this. So, some goodies might end up leaching out.
The Harvard Medical School advises that you should aim for 15 servings per week of various vegetables, including carrots, tomatoes, and peppers, to lower your levels.
But if you’re not a fan of raw carrots, you could still get some benefits if you opt for the juiced version.
Research published in the Nutrition Journal found that enjoying 473 millilitres of the juice daily could reduce your systolic blood pressure.
The systolic pressure is the higher number that details the force at which your heart pumps blood around your body.
However, the lower number, known as diastolic pressure, wasn’t influenced by the juice.
The study looked at 17 people in total, who enjoyed the juice for three months.
Remember, as blood pressure doesn’t cause many symptoms, the only reliable way is to get your levels checked.
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