High blood pressure affects one in four people in the UK, but many people don’t know they have it because symptoms rarely show. The best way to find out if you have high blood pressure is to have your reading regularly checked either by a GP or pharmacist or using a blood pressure monitor at home. To prevent the condition developing or to keep blood pressure in check, simple lifestyle changes are recommended. Alongside regular exercise, maintaining a healthy weight, cutting down on alcohol and not smoking, eating healthily is very important.
A report published this year found enjoying a glass of unsalted tomato juice every day could have a positive impact on blood pressure
As a general rule, experts recommend people cut down on the amount of satin food and to eat plenty of fruit and vegetables.
This is because salt raises blood pressure, but fruit and vegetables can help lower it.
Specific food and drink have also been proven to have blood pressure lowering properties.
One drink that’s been found effective at lowering blood pressure is tomato juice.
A report published this year found enjoying a glass of unsalted tomato juice every day could have a positive impact on blood pressure.
The report, carried out by Japanese researchers, was published in Food Science and Nutrition, and also showed participants LDL (bad) cholesterol lowered.
The researchers from Tokyo Medical and Dental University and Tucson Plant Breeding Institute recruited 184 males and 297 females to take part in the study.
They were allowed to drink as much unsalted tomato juice as they wanted over the course of the year.
All they had to do was record how much they drank and return the data to the researchers every three months.
At the end of the study, the researchers revealed 94 of the participants, who had untreated prehypertension or hypertension (high blood pressure) at the beginning of the study, showed a decline in their blood pressure.
Participants average systolic pressure (the top number) went from 141.2 to 137.0mmHg and the average diastolic blood pressure (the bottom number0 decreased from 83.3 to 80.9mmHg.
Another drink that’s been proven to lower blood pressure is beetroot juice.
Researchers believe beetroot juice can improve blood pressure in the short and long terms because of its nitrate content.
A 2015 study reported drinking beetroot juice led to lower blood pressure in people with hypertension who drank 250 millilitres (around one cup) of the juice every for four weeks.
Positive effects on blood pressure were also noted within 24 hours.
In the study, those who drank one cup of beetroot juice every day had an average drop in blood pressure of around 8/4 millimetres of mercury (mmHg).
This change brought their blood pressure within the normal range.
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