High blood pressure can cause a person’s arteries to thicken and harden, and this can lead to heart attack and stroke. But the condition can often be prevented or reduced my making some simple lifestyle changes. Alongside maintaining a healthy weight, taking regular exercise and drinking alcohol in moderation, experts recommend you eat a healthy diet. Cutting down on the amount of salt you eat is advised, as well as eating potassium-rich foods.
Potassium helps to lower blood pressure by balancing out the negative effects of salt
Potassium helps to lower blood pressure by balancing out the negative effects of salt, explains Blood Pressure UK.
“Your kidneys help to control your blood pressure by controlling the mount of fluid stored in your body. The more fluid, the higher your blood pressure. Your kidneys do this by filtering your blood and sucking out any extra fluid, which it then stores in your bladder as urine.
“This process uses a delicate balance of sodium and potassium to pull the water across a wall of cells from the bloodstream into a collecting channel that leads to the bladder.
“Eating salt raises the amount of sodium in your bloodstream and wrecks the delicate balance, reducing the ability of your kidneys to remove the water.
“By eating more fruit and vegetables, you will increase your potassium levels and help to restore the delicate balance.
“This will help your kidneys to work more efficiently – and help to lower your blood pressure to a healthy level.”
Three foods which are high in potassium are avocado, beetroot and edamame.
One half of an avocado (100g) contains 487mg of potassium, according to Healthline.
So if you eat a whole avocado, you would get 20 per cent of your daily potassium needs at once.
Avocados are also recommended for people with high blood pressure by a study called Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH).
One cup of edamame (155g) provides 676mg of potassium and around 170g of boiled beetroot can give you 518mg.
Knowing if you have high blood pressure can be difficult because symptoms rarely show.
The best way to find out if you have a high reading is to have your blood pressure regularly checked by either a GP or by using a monitor at home.
Ideal blood pressure is considered to be between 90/60mmHg and 120/80mmHg.
High blood pressure is considered to be 140/90mmHg or higher.
Earlier this month, TV doctor Dr Chris Steele revealed a bizarre technique to help lower high blood pressure.
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