High blood pressure: The after-dinner treat that may help lower blood pressure
High blood pressure, otherwise known as hypertension, is a serious condition that can lead to heart attacks and strokes if left untreated. But luckily, the condition can often be lowered by making some simple lifestyle changes. Improving your diet by cutting down on salt and saturated fat is one important lifestyle change to make if your blood pressure is high. In addition to cutting down on unhealthy foods, eating more of other foods which have blood pressure-lowering qualities can also improve the condition, such as yoghurt.
Studies have shown that yoghurt can help counter many of the health problems associated with getting older, such as high blood pressure
Increasing your intake of fruit and vegetables has been shown to improve blood pressure levels.
But according to dietitian Juliette Kellow, one study found adding low-fat dairy to a diet rich in fruit and vegetables lowered blood pressure more than fruit and vegetables alone.
Further research since has backed this up, and shown that yoghurt in particular “has impressive results”, said Kellow.
According to the dietitian, eating yoghurt five times a week can lead to a 20 per cent drop in the risk of developing high blood pressure, compared with eating yoghurt once a month.
Medical website webmd also noted a 2016 study in women which showed eating yoghurt helped to keep blood pressure in check.
This may be because yoghurt is a good source of potassium, a mineral also found in many fruits and vegetables.
Potassium is known to help lower blood pressure by working with the kidneys to balance the level of water and salt in the body.
This is important as salt is a common contributor to high blood pressure.
The function of the kidneys is to control the amount of fluid in the body, which in turn controls blood pressure, as the more fluid in the body, the higher your blood pressure.
The kidneys work by filtering the blood and sucking out any extra fluid, which they then store in the bladder as urine.
Natural ways to lower blood pressure
Blood pressure: How to lower your blood pressure naturally.
Natural ways to lower blood pressure
“This process uses a delicate balance of sodium and potassium to pull the water across a wall of cells from the bloodstream into a collecting channel that leads to the bladder,” said Blood Pressure UK.
Eating salt raises the amount of sodium in the bloodstream, which wrecks the balance, reducing the ability of the kidneys to remove water.
But, consuming more potassium will increase the levels of the mineral in the body, which will help to restore the balance.
“Packed with gut-friendly probiotics as well as protein, calcium and phosphorus, yoghurt’s longevity benefits lie in its protective powers,” said Kellow.
“Studies have shown that yoghurt can help counter many of the health problems associated with getting older, such as high blood pressure, osteoporosis and unwanted weight gain.”
Yoghurt can, however, be high in fat, so make sure you opt for fat-free or low-fat versions.
High blood pressure: Four ways to lower blood pressure
High blood pressure puts extra stress on blood vessels and vital organs. It increases the risk of some life-threatening heart conditions, including heart attacks and strokes.
Hypertension can often be prevented, and blood pressure reduced, by making some diet or lifestyle changes.
Cutting back on the amount of salt in your diet is a great way to lower blood pressure.
Salt raises blood pressure, and the more you eat, the higher your blood pressure is likely to be.
Aim to eat less than 6g of salt a day – the equivalent to about a teaspoonful.
Blood pressure could be raised if you regularly drink too much alcohol.
Those most likely to have hypertension are people that regularly exceed the week recommended limits.
All adults are advised to drink less than 14 units of alcohol in a single week.
If you’re overweight, the heart has to work harder to pump blood around the body, which raises blood pressure.
Losing just a few pounds could make a big difference to your blood pressure and overall health.
Staying active is one of the best ways to lower your blood pressure.
It helps you to lose weight, while also keeping the heart and blood vessels in good condition.
All adults should aim to do at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity every week.
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