High blood pressure: Lifestyle changes to reduce reading
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High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is sometimes referred to as “the silent killer”. This condition rarely has noticeable symptoms and can cause heart attacks and stroke. Luckily, there’s a small tasty snack that can help “significantly” lower your reading.
The urge to snack can be really strong, but many go-to favourites are bad for your blood pressure and cholesterol.
However, raisins can make a healthy choice as they have hypertension-lowering properties.
The reason why raisins can help lower your reading is their high potassium content.
Potassium is both a mineral and an electrolyte that helps muscles that control your heartbeat to work.
One of the culprits raising blood pressure is sodium. The NHS recommends lowering the amount of salt you eat in your diet to lower hypertension.
This is where potassium comes in handy as it can lessen the effects of sodium, American Heart Association reports.
The more potassium you get through your diet, the more sodium you get rid of through urine.
This mineral can also ease tension in your blood vessel walls, which leads to lowering blood pressure further, according to the charity.
A great source of potassium are raisins that can help keep your blood pressure levels in check.
One study from the American College of Cardiology found raisins to “significantly” lower hypertension in people with mild increases in their blood pressure.
The participants had raisins three times a day as a snack.
Harold Bays, MD, the study’s lead investigator said: “Our study suggests if you have a choice between eating raisins or other snacks like crackers and chocolate chip cookies, you may be better off snacking on raisins at least with respect to blood pressure.”
Raisins are also packed with fibre, polyphenols, phenolic acid, tannins and antioxidants.
Bays added: “They are a good source of antioxidant dietary fibre that may favourably alter the biochemistry of blood vessels, causing them to be less stiff, which in turn, may reduce blood pressure.”
Polyphenols are another goodie in this dried fruit that can also relax blood vessels.
If snacking on raisins doesn’t seem like your thing, there are other lifestyle changes that can help lower high blood pressure.
These range from lowering your alcohol and caffeine intake to exercising regularly.
Having your blood pressure measured is the only way to know for sure how high or low your levels are.
Blood pressure is measured with two numbers, systolic pressure (higher number) and diastolic pressure (lower number).
The ideal reading should be between 90/60mmHg and 120/80mmHg, according to the NHS.
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