High blood pressure: Lifestyle changes to reduce reading
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Blood pressure refers to the pressure of blood coursing through the veins at any given moment. It is a precursor for a host of life-threatening conditions and often goes undetected until something more severe is already at play. One vegetable, which contains nitrate, could help ward off the condition.
Nitrates are molecules that occur in beetroots, that have been found to widen the blood vessels.
A string of studies has highlighted that just one glass of beetroot juice is enough to significantly reduce blood pressure in hypertensive individuals.
The antioxidants may lower both high blood pressure and cholesterol, while the B vitamins help improve nerve function.
The root vegetable derives most of its benefits from beta-cyanins – antioxidants that support the liver, effexor poisoning improve circulation and purify the blood.
READ MORE: High blood pressure diet: 50p vegetable you should eat to avoid hypertension symptoms
A combination of iron and antioxidants also helps purify the blood, which could aid patients suffering from anaemia.
One study, published in the Journal of Applied Physiology, found that the juice benefited individuals aged 54 to 80 who had stiffening of the arteries that carry blood to the legs.
Nitric Oxide is a molecule produced by the body under the influence of nitrate also help its cells communicate with each other by transmitting signals throughout the body.
However, the presence of other phytochemicals and antioxidants in beetroots are what help manage conditions like hypertension and the associated heart disease.
A 2013 study of 15 people found that drinking 250ml of beetroot juice, but high blood pressure readings by 10mmHg.
The most marked effects occurred between three to six hours after intake, bringing some patients’ blood pressure back within normal range.
Researchers noted that blood pressure reduction was comparable to the effects induced by medication.
Researcher Doctor Amrita Ahluwalia said: “We were surprised by how little nitrate was needed to see such as large effect.
“Our hope is that increasing one’s intake of vegetables with a high dietary nitrate content, such as green leafy vegetables or beetroot, might be a lifestyle approach that one could easily employ to improve cardiovascular health.”
The team of researchers, from Barts and the London School of Medicine, warned that one harmless side effect of beetroot juice is that it could turn urine pink.
The UK guideline recommends some lifestyle changes, such as eating less salt, drinking less alcohol and increasing physical activity to reduce blood pressure.
As a general guide, optimal blood pressure is typically considered to be between 90 and 66 mmHg and 120/80mmHg.
Blood pressure will be considered above the normal range if it surpasses 140, as this is when the risk of heart conditions, stroke, kidney disease and dementia are increased.
UK health guidelines advise that adults eat no more than 6g (0.2oz) of salt a day, which equates to a teaspoon.
The NHS notes: “Eating a low-fat diet that includes lots of fibre such as wholegrain, rice, bread and pasts, and plenty of fruit and vegetables also helps lower blood pressure.”
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