High blood pressure: The best salad ingredient to help lower your bp reading

High blood pressure can lead to serious health problems such as heart attacks and strokes, if the condition is left untreated. More than a quarter of people in the UK have high blood pressure, according to the NHS. It’s often enough to lower blood pressure by making some simple lifestyle changes, removing the need to take medication. Lifestyle changes include getting more exercise, quitting smoking, drinking less alcohol and improving your diet.

When it comes to diet, eating too much salt is a common contributor to the development of high blood pressure.

According to health experts, cutting down on salt is often enough on its own to lower blood pressure.

Being overweight also raises the risk of getting high blood pressure and the associated complications, so it’s also advised to cut down on foods that are high in saturated fat.

But in addition to limiting your intake of certain foods, you could also try adding other foods to your diet that contain blood pressure-lowering properties.

One such food, which can be added to salads raw or cooked and added to main meals, is spinach.

This is because spinach contains a high amount of potassium – an essential mineral that can lower blood pressure.

According to medical website Healthline, one cup or 156g of frozen spinach contains 540g of potassium.

Three cups or 100g of raw spinach typically contains around 558mg of potassium.

This compares with a medium-sized banana, which contains around 422mg of potassium.

In addition, spinach is a very good source of vitamin A, vitamin K, folate and magnesium.

“Without a doubt, spinach is one of the most nutrient-dense vegetables around,” said Healthline.

The reason potassium can help to lower blood pressure is because it works with the kidneys to balance the level of salt and water in the body.

The kidneys work by filtering the blood and sucking out any extra fluid, which it then stores in the bladder as urine.

“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.

“This will help your kidneys to work more efficiently – and help to lower your blood pressure to a healthy level,” said Blood Pressure UK.

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.

Healthy diet

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.

Alcohol

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.

Weight loss

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.

Exercise

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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