High blood pressure is a common condition that affects more than a quarter of all adults in the UK. But, you could lower your risk of developing hypertension by avoiding liquorice, it’s been claimed.
High blood pressure – which is also known as hypertension – puts extra stress on blood vessels and vital organs.
The condition could lead to some deadly complications, including strokes and heart attacks.
It could be caused by eating an unhealthy diet, or by not doing enough exercise.
You could be raising your blood pressure by simply eating liquorice, it’s been revealed.
Liquorice can be made from the extracts of liquorice root, according to nutritionist Dr Sarah Brewer.
The extract, known as glycyrrhizin, raises blood pressure as it inadvertently makes the body hold onto sodium.
Just 50g of liquorice every day could raise blood pressure by more than 3mmHg within two weeks, she claimed.
If you have high blood pressure, it’s probably a good idea to just avoid liquorice altogether, she added.
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“The sweetness and blood pressure raising properties of liquorice are due to high quantities of glycyrrhizin,” she wrote on her website, MyLowerBloodPressure.com.
“Glycyrrhizic or glycyrrhizinic acid which makes up to nine per cent of liquorice root’s weight.
“Glycyrrhizin is 50 times sweeter than sucrose sugar, and is commonly used in herbal teas and confections in place of sugar.
“While liquorice root has beneficial actions in that it is a source of plant oestrogens antioxidant flavonoids, and has antiviral action, but it is best avoided if you have hypertension as it consistently causes blood pressure to rise.”
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If you have high blood pressure, and just can’t live without liquorice, you could still eat products that have been flavoured with aniseed oil, she added.
Meanwhile, you could lower your risk of hypertension by eating more celery.
Celery contains plenty of potassium, which is a crucial nutrient in protecting against hypertension.
Potassium helps to regulate the amount of sodium in the body. Too much sodium increases your chances of high blood pressure.
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High blood pressure is often known as ‘the silent killer’, because symptoms only tend to reveal themselves if you have extremely high blood pressure.
The most common high blood pressure symptoms include a pounding in your chest, finding blood in your urine, and severe headaches.
It’s crucial that all adults over 40 years old check their blood pressure at least once every five years.
You can check your blood pressure by visiting your local doctors’ surgery or pharmacy.
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