High blood pressure can cause arteries to harden and thicken, which can lead to an increased chance of heart attack and stroke happening. A diet high in salt is one of the main causes of high blood pressure, so making some simple changes to the kinds of food you eat is advised. Experts recommend cutting down on the amount of salt in your food and eating plenty of fruit and vegetables. And when it comes to what cooking oil to use, evidence has shown olive oil to be the best for blood pressure.
Evidence has shown olive oil to be the best for blood pressure
A study published in Clinical Nutrition looked at the effects on blood pressure of extra virgin oil on elderly patients who were medically treated for high blood pressure.
Some of the elderly patients with the condition took extra virgin olive oil, while others took sunflower oil.
After four weeks, results showed extra virgin olive oil reduced blood pressure more than sunflower oil did.
So the study suggested choosing extra virgin olive oil may help prevent high blood pressure and may reduce a high reading.
Certain drinks have also proven effective at lowering blood pressure.
A study published in the British Journal of Nutrition in 2004 suggested tea can help lower blood pressure.
But not just any tea – green tea.
Researchers analysed 25 randomised controlled trials, which is the gold standard of scientific research, to explore the association between tea and high blood pressure.
They found in the short term, tea didn’t seem to make a difference to blood pressure.
But in the long-term, drinking tea had a significant impact.
The research showed after 12 weeks of drinking tea, blood pressure was lowered by 2.6mmHg systolic and 2.2mmHg diastolic.
The systolic pressure is the higher number on a reading and measures the force at which your heart pumps blood around your body.
The diastolic pressure is the lower number on a reading and measures the resistance of blood flow in the blood vessels.
Green tea was found to have the most significant results. Black tea was the second best performing.
As well as following a healthy diet, the NHS recommends you limit your alcohol intake, lose weight and get active.
When it comes to exercise, adults should do at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity such as cycling or fast walking every week.
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