High blood pressure is very common in the UK but rarely has noticeable symptoms. This can make recognising the condition very difficult – the best way to find out if you have high blood pressure is to check your reading using a blood pressure monitor (your GP can do this for you). High blood pressure left untreated can cause the arteries to harden and thicken, increasing the risk of complications like heart attack and stroke. One of the best ways to avoid these complications and keep blood pressure in check is to eat a healthy diet.
Berries have been proven to be beneficial to blood pressure
The NHS recommends, as a general rule, cutting down on the amount of salt in your food and eating plenty of fruit and vegetables.
But specific foods have also been found to hold blood pressure-lowering qualities.
Berries have been proven to be beneficial to blood pressure.
Their polyphenol content is what’s been found to be good for the heart.
A small study saw middle-aged people eat berries for eight weeks.
The participants showed improvements in different markers of heart health, including blood pressure.
Another study assigned people with high blood pressure to either a low-polyphenol diet or a high-polyphenol diet containing berries, chocolate fruits and vegetables.
Those that consumed berries and polyphenol-rich foods experienced improved markers of heart disease risk.
Examples of berries include:
- Red currants
- White currants
- Black currants
Alongside eating a healthy diet, regular exercise can help lower blood pressure.
Government guidelines say adults should aim to do at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity, such as cycling or feast walking every week.
Physical activity can include anything from sport to walking and gardening.
Other lifestyle changes you can make to keep blood pressure in check are:
- Cutting down on caffeine
- Stopping smoking
- Getting a good night’s sleep
Three drinks have also been found to help keep blood pressure in check.
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