Blood pressure is the pressure of blood in the arteries, the vessels that carry the blood from the heart to the brain and the rest of the body. A person needs a certain amount of pressure to get the blood moving around the body. Blood pressure naturally goes up and down throughout the day and night and it’s normal for it to go up while one is moving about. It’s when a person’s overall blood pressure is consistently high, even when resting, that they need to do something about it to reduce their risk of serious health complications.
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High blood pressure affects around a third of adults in the UK, but because the condition rarely has noticeable symptoms, the only way to find out if you have a high reading is to have your blood pressure checked.
Your GP or local pharmacist can measure your blood pressure for you, or blood pressure monitors are available to buy to use at home.
If a person does have high blood pressure, taking a look at their diet and lifestyle and making appropriate changes is crucial.
Changing one’s diet can significantly reduce high blood pressure. Research has shown that certain foods can lower blood pressure, both right away and in the long-term.
Medications, dietary changes and other lifestyle modifications can reduce high blood pressure while lowering the risk of associated conditions.
Having high blood pressure increases a person’s risk of heart disease, stroke and kidney disease.
What is one of the best fruits to eat to lower blood pressure?
What is one of the best fruits to eat?
Bananas contain plenty of potassium, a mineral that plays a vital role in managing hypertension.
According to the American Heart Association, potassium reduces the effects of sodium and alleviates tension in the walls of the blood vessels.
Leading health experts agree that adults should aim to consume 4,700mg of potassium daily.
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What the experts say
The American Heart Association added: “Foods that are rich in potassium are important in managing high blood pressure because potassium lessens the effects of sodium.
“The more potassium you eat, the more sodium you lose through urine.
“Potassium also helps to ease tension in your blood vessel walls, which helps further lower blood pressure.”
Even though potassium can lessen the blood pressure-raising effects of sodium, eating more potassium should be combined with a person’s efforts to cut down drastically any excess salt from the diet and develop other healthy eating and lifestyle habits.
Other foods rich in potassium include fat-free yogurt, grapefruit, lima beans, mushrooms, oranges and peas.
If you suspect you may have high blood pressure it’s important to speak with your GP and check your readings.
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