High blood pressure: Six foods to include in your diet to lower your reading

High blood pressure has a number of risk factors including lack of exercise, being overweight or obese and regularly drinking large amounts of alcohol. Another is eating a high amount of salt in your food. If high blood pressure is left untreated, the arteries will harden and thicken, increasing the risk of serious health complications such as heart attack and stroke. One way the condition can be prevented or reduced is by eating healthily.

Experts recommend eating potassium-rich foods to lower your high blood pressure reading

The NHS offers some general advice, saying you should cut down on the amount of salt in your food and eat plenty of fruit and vegetables.

But more specifically, experts recommend eating potassium-rich foods to lower your reading.

Six foods that are rich in potassium are:

  • Potatoes
  • Bananas
  • Milk
  • Salmon
  • Nuts
  • Beans

Blood Pressure UK explains: “Potassium helps to lower blood pressure by balancing out the negative effects of salt.

“Your kidneys help to control your blood pressure by controlling the amount 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 blaster as urine.

“This process uses a delicate balance of sodium and potassium to pull the water across a wall of cells from he bloodstream into a collecting channel that leads to the bladder.”

Eating salt raised the amount of sodium in your blood and wrecks the delicate balance. This then reduces the ability of your kidneys to remove the water.

The blood pressure charity adds: “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.”

A particular drink that’s been found to have blood pressure lowering qualities is hibiscus tea. 

In one study, 65 people with high blood pressure were given hibiscus tea or a placebo. 

After six weeks, those who drank hibiscus tea had a significant decrease in systolic blood pressure, compared to the placebo.

A 2015 review of five studies also found hibiscus tea decreased both systolic and diastolic blood pressure by an average of 7.58mmHg and 3.53mmHg. 

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