Three of the best foods to slash your risk of silent killer revealed

IF left untreated, high blood pressure can lead to silent killers such as heart attacks and strokes.

It’s thought that around a third of adults in the UK suffer with high blood pressure – with many not knowing they have it.

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Experts say that consuming certain foods can help lower your risk of conditions such as strokes and heart attacks

Most people who have high blood pressure will be prescribed with medication in order to keep them healthy.

Being overweight can up your risk of having high blood pressure.

Other causes of high blood pressure include eating too much salt, drinking too much alcohol and not doing enough exercise, the NHS says.

“Making healthy lifestyle changes can sometimes help reduce your chances of getting high blood pressure and help lower your blood pressure if it’s already high”, official guidance states.

Several studies have revealed though that just making healthy lifestyle choices might not be enough and that you might need to be a bit more specific when it comes to your diet.

This means including three foods that can cut your risk of high blood pressure.

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1. Walnuts

This tasty nut has previously been hailed a super food as they are rich in antioxidants and healthy fats.

The NHS says that not getting enough sleep or having disturbed sleep could raise your risk of high blood pressure.

Nutritionist, Rosie Millen stated that eating a walnut-rich snack an hour or two before bed could help you drift off to sleep more easily.

She said: “Walnuts are a good source of the amino acid tryptophan.

“One serving of walnuts (about a handful) contains 318 mg of this beneficial amino acid converted into melatonin.”

Scientists have also hailed walnuts as a food that can help with blood pressure.

Experts at Penn State University said that when combined with a diet low in saturated fats, eating walnuts may help lower blood pressure in people at risk for cardiovascular disease.

2. Tea

Tea is pretty much a staple item in most British households so it’s likely that this is something already in your routine.

But if you want to lower your risk of high blood pressure, then experts say you should swap English breakfast tea for a herbal version.

The NHS says that drinking too much caffeine can increase your risk of high blood pressure and caffeine is in tea.

If you usually reach for an alcoholic drink in order to relax then chamomile tea in particular has a myriad of benefits.

The tea has been frequently used as a mild sedative to calm nerves and reduce anxiety.

What is high blood pressure?

If your blood pressure is too high it can put a strain on your heart, but what is a normal reading and what should you do if it’s too high?

When your heart beats it moves blood around your body and, as it flows, the blood pushes against the sides of the blood vessels.

The strength of this pushing is your blood pressure.

The ideal blood pressure should be below 120 and over 80 (120/80) and most UK adults have blood pressure in the range 120 over 80 (120/80) to 140 over 90 (140/90).

The higher number is the systolic pressure, which is the force at which your heart pumps blood around your body.

The lower number is the diastolic pressure, the resistance to the blood flow in the blood vessels.

You can request a blood pressure reading at your local GP as it hardly takes any time, just a few minutes.

Blood pressure is measured with an instrument called a sphygmomanometer.

A cuff is placed around your arm and inflated with a pump until the circulation is cut off.

Afterwards a small valve slowly deflates the cuff, giving the doctor a chance to measure the blood pressure.

It has also been used to treat hysteria, nightmares, insomnia and other sleep problems, studies have shown.

Clinical trials have also previously found that hibiscus tea has been found to help lower high blood pressure.

However it is important to note that certain medications may not react well with this tea and if you’re planning on changing your diet you should always consult with your doctor.

For people taking medications such as hydro-chlorothiazide it’s not advised to drink hibiscus as it could have adverse effects.

3.Yoghurt

Yoghurt is a handy food for many people as it’s an easy breakfast meal when combined with fruit and can also be great as an on-the-go snack.

In December 2021, scientists at the University of South Australia found that a daily dose of yoghurt can help lower blood pressure.

If you’re going to start eating yoghurt then try and opt for natural options that don’t contain sweeteners.

Yoghurt is especially interesting because it also contains bacteria that promote the release of proteins which lowers blood pressure

Dr Alexandra WadeUniversity of South Australia

Researcher Dr Alexandra Wade said that high blood pressure is the number one risk factor when it comes to cardiovascular illness.

She explained: “Dairy foods, especially yoghurt, may be capable of reducing blood pressure.

“This is because dairy foods contain a range of micronutrients, including calcium, magnesium and potassium, all of which are involved in the regulation of blood pressure.

“Yoghurt is especially interesting because it also contains bacteria that promote the release of proteins which lowers blood pressure.

“This study showed for people with elevated blood pressure, even small amounts of yoghurt were associated with lower blood pressure.

“And for those who consumed yoghurt regularly, the results were even stronger, with blood pressure readings nearly seven points lower than those who did not consume yoghurt.”

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