More than a quarter of people in the UK have high blood pressure, according to the NHS. The condition can be serious, as if left untreated it can lead to health complications like heart attacks and strokes. Luckily, high blood pressure can often be lowered by making some lifestyle changes, removing the need to take medication. Keith White at supplements maker Higher Nature offers three simple tips to help reduce your blood pressure:
Cut down on salt and saturated fat
Foods which are high in salt and saturated fat, such as processed and junk foods, can cause high blood pressure, so cutting down on these can help you to maintain healthy blood pressure levels.
Cutting down on salt is very important for people with high blood pressure, as the sodium found in salt is one of the most common causes of the condition.
Consuming lots of saturated fat can also lead to weight gain, which increases the risk of developing high blood pressure.
Eat more fruit, veg, nuts, seeds, wholegrains and fish
Fruit and veg provide potassium, which helps maintain healthy blood pressure.
It does this by balancing out the negative effects of salt in the body which it helps the kidneys to flush out.
Green leafy vegetables like spinach, wholegrains, nuts and seeds are good sources of magnesium, which help the blood vessels to widen and relax.
This allows the blood to flow through the veins and arteries easily, releasing pressure on bloodflow to the major organs.
Oily fish like mackerel and sardines, meanwhile, contain healthy omega 3 fatty acids, which too can help lower blood pressure.
Omega 3 is also found in nuts and seeds, such as walnuts and flax seeds.
“People with high blood pressure should try to up their intake of fruit and vegetables, snack on nuts and seeds instead of biscuits and crisps and eat a couple of portions of oily fish a week,” said White.
As well as eating a healthy, balanced diet, exercise is also extremely beneficial for lowering blood pressure.
Aerobic exercise helps keep off excess weight and also promotes a healthy heart. Muscle strength helps regulate blood pressure and maintain a healthy weight.
Choosing an activity that appeals and finding a friend to go with will help keep you motivated to keep fit.