High blood pressure is famously branded the “silent killer” because it operates under the surface and doesn’t give rise to visible changes until serious damage has been inflicted. It relates to the force of the blood surging through your blood vessels. This pressure can pave the way for a heart attack to occur so reversing a high reading could save your life. Luckily, diet holds the key to warding off the threat of high blood pressure.
Mr Hobson explained: “Oily fish are very beneficial for your health. These fish contain a source of omega 3 which has been shown to have some effect on reducing blood pressure.”
However, as he pointed out, some are very high in salt and especially those that are canned such as anchovies.
“A 15g serving (1/2 can) of anchovies contains 200mg,” warned Mr Hobson.
Other risky items include:
One of the healthiest of cheeses is feta as it contains less fat and calories than regular cheddar. Just because it’s healthier in this respect doesn’t mean it is healthy in every respect. Feta cheese contains 300mg sodium per 30g serving.
Soup is the perfect way to get a generous serving of vegetables into your diet and fibre too if you are adding in ingredients such as beans, pulses and lentils. A 300g serving of soup contains around 900mg of sodium.
Caffeine in high doses can also raise your blood pressure and this is found in everyday drinks that are healthy in other ways. Coffee is one of the richest sources of dietary polyphenols yet it is high in caffeine. You can try to reduce your intake or opt for caffeine free which has a lower content.
The NHS explains: “Being active and taking regular exercise lowers blood pressure by keeping your heart and blood vessels in good condition.”
According to the health body, regular exercise can also help you lose weight, which will also help lower your blood pressure.
“Adults should do at least 150 minutes (two hours and 30 minutes) of moderate-intensity aerobic activity, such as cycling or fast walking, every week.”
It adds: “Physical activity can include anything from sport to walking and gardening.”