High blood pressure affects one in four people in the UK, but it can be difficult to spot because symptoms are rarely noticeable. If the condition is left untreated, the arteries can begin to thicken and harden, increasing the risk of heart attack and stroke, so it’s important to regularly check your reading. Your GP or local pharmacist can do this for you, or blood pressure monitors are available to buy so you can check your reading yourself at home. But as well as regularly checking your reading, prevention of high blood pressure is very important.
One drink proven to have a positive impact on a person’s blood pressure is hawthorn berry tea
High blood pressure can often be prevented or reduced by eating healthily.
Experts recommend cutting down on the amount of salt in food and to eat plenty of fruit and vegetables.
Salt can raise blood pressure, but eating a low-fat diet that includes lots of fibre, such as wholegrain and fruit and vegetables, can help lower blood pressure.
But certain food and drink have also been found to hold blood pressure lowering qualities.
One drink proven to have a positive impact on a person’s reading is hawthorn berry tea.
In traditional Chinese medicine, hawthorn berry is one of the most commonly recommended foods to help treat high blood pressure.
Several animal studies have shown hawthorn can act as a vasodilator, meaning it can relax constricted blood vessels, which ultimately lower blood pressure.
One 16-week study in 79 people with type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure found those who took 1,200mg of hawthorn extract daily had greater improvements in blood pressure, compared with those in the placebo group.
A 10-week study in 36 people with mildly elevated blood pressure found those taking 500mg of hawthorn extract daily experienced no significant decreases in blood pressure.
But they did show a trend toward reduced diastolic blood pressure, which is the bottom number of a reading.
Hawthorn berry is usually available in health food shops and can be found raw, in supplements or as tea.
But if you’ve been diagnosed with high blood pressure, always speak to your doctor before trying alternative medication to treat the condition.
High blood pressure can also be prevented or reduced by being active.
The NHS advises: “Being active and taking regular exercise lowers blood pressure by keeping your heart and blood vessels in good condition.
“Regular exercise can also help you lose weight, which will also help lower your blood pressure.
“Adults should do at least 150 minutes (2 hours and 30 minutes) of moderate-intensity aerobic activity, such as cycling or fast walking, every week.
“Physical activity can include anything from sport to walking and gardening.”
It’s also important to limit alcohol intake, loss weight if overweight, cut down on caffeine, stop smoking, and get a good night’s sleep.
Three other drinks have also been found to lower blood pressure, including another tea, a juice and a ‘health’ drink.
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