Dr Manesh Saxena explains new blood pressure injection
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While one of the best ways to maintain healthy blood pressure is through a healthy and balanced diet, it isn’t just a case of throwing fruit and veg at the problem.
It’s also a case of variety, of mixing different colours from the food spectrum to increase the efficacy of what you eat.
This means trying out some foods that are a bit different from what others may have tried and reconsidering those which some think could increase rather than lower high blood pressure.
However, one of the slightly more unusual foodstuffs that could help is hibiscus tea.
Hibiscus tea is a type of tea made from parts of the hibiscus plant. Coming out as a red colour, the tea can look just a little like cranberry juice.
It is this form of tea that nutritionist Christopher Smith recommends as a way to lower high blood pressure.
He said: “Hibiscus tea is another great option for lowering blood pressure because it contains flavonoids, which are compounds that have been shown to help lower blood pressure.
“Additionally, hibiscus tea is a good source of antioxidants, which can help to protect the body against disease.”
Alongside hibiscus tea, Mr Smith also recommended the consumption of another brightly coloured liquid: beetroot juice.
Described by Mr Smith as “a popular choice in the US”, he added: “The nitrates in beet juice help to relax and widen blood vessels, which can help to lower blood pressure. Also, beetroot juice is a good source of potassium, a mineral that helps to regulate blood pressure.”
However, there are some foods which one may consider might raise blood pressure that could be helpful in reducing it.
On the surprising end of the spectrum is chocolate.
However, this only applies to dark chocolate. Mr Smith explained further: “Dark chocolate is a delicious way to lower blood pressure.
“The flavonoids in dark chocolate help to relax and widen blood vessels, which can help to lower blood pressure. Additionally, dark chocolate is a good source of magnesium, another mineral that helps to regulate blood pressure.”
While a tasty option, this doesn’t mean chowing down on dark chocolate as a remedy for hypertension.
Other savoury options such as garlic can also be of assistance, says Mr Smith: “Known for warding off vampires, garlic can ward off heart disease too, as the compounds in garlic help to relax and widen blood vessels, which can help to lower blood pressure. And like beetroot juice is a great source of potassium, which helps to regulate blood pressure.”
Mr Smith’s final food-based recommendations for lowering high blood pressure is one of the more traditional healthy vitamins, fish oil and its omega-3 fatty acids.
These acids, said Mr Smith, “have been shown to help lower blood pressure. And they’re a great source of antioxidants, which can help to protect the body against disease”.
Alongside a balanced diet, regular exercise is essential to maintain overall fitness.
The NHS recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate to intense physical exercise a week as a minimum.
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