High blood pressure: Lifestyle changes to reduce reading
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High blood pressure is commonly branded the “silent killer” owing to its absence of symptoms. When the force of blood pushing against your artery walls is consistently too high, it can hike your risk of having a heart attack. Finding ways to reverse this deadly mechanism is therefore paramount.
Fortunately, even small dietary tweaks have been shown to have a significant impact on lowering high blood pressure.
One of which you can make at home: celery juice. Evidence has found that taking celery seed extract improved blood pressure levels in patients who had mild to moderate elevations.
Celery contains a phytochemical called phthalides. “As an extract, it’s called NBP, and it relaxes the tissues of the artery walls to increase blood flow and reduce blood pressure,” wrote researchers in an Indonesian-based study.
The researchers sought to investigate whether this effect could be repeated in celery juice.
The experiment was conducted in Bakalan Village, Kalinyamatan, Jepara, Central Java, from March to April in 2016.
A sample of 24 patients with systolic hypertension was selected for this study by simple random sampling.
Systolic hypertension is when your systolic blood pressure is high, but your diastolic blood pressure is normal. Systolic and diastolic blood pressure are the two numbers used to record blood pressure.
Data on blood pressure were measured by a sphygmomanometer – an instrument for measuring blood pressure, typically consisting of an inflatable rubber cuff which is applied to the arm and connected to a column of mercury next to a graduated scale.
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The researchers found “mean systolic blood pressure was lower after celery juice administration, and it was statistically significant”.
“Celery juice administration can reduce blood systolic and diastolic blood pressure in patients with systolic hypertension,” they concluded.
General tips to lower high blood pressure
According to the NHS, you should cut down on the amount of salt in your food and eat plenty of fruit and vegetables.
That’s because salt raises your blood pressure.
“The more salt you eat, the higher your blood pressure. Aim to eat less than 6g (0.2oz) of salt a day, which is about a teaspoonful,” warns the NHS.
According to the health body, eating a low-fat diet that includes lots of fibre, such as wholegrain rice, bread and pasta, and plenty of fruit and vegetables also helps lower blood pressure.
“Aim to eat five portions of fruit and vegetables every day,” it says.
The only way to find out if your blood pressure is high is to have your blood pressure checked.
All adults over 40 are advised to have their blood pressure checked at least every five years.
Getting this done is easy and could save your life.
You can get your blood pressure tested at a number of places, including:
- At your GP surgery
- At some pharmacies
- As part of your NHS Health Check
- In some workplaces.
You can also check your blood pressure yourself with a home blood pressure monitor.
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