High blood pressure can be a big risk factor for heart attacks and strokes but as it doesn’t have obvious symptoms, many of us don’t know whether we have it.
For years we’ve been told that sodium is the culprit for raising blood pressure but this is often only part of the story. Blood pressure can also be affected by minerals such as potassium, magnesium and calcium and that having low levels of these can have an impact on both general health and blood pressure.
What you eat can therefore have a big effect on your blood pressure but here’s the good news: some foods are proven to help to keep your blood pressure in check and this will often still be the case even if yours is already on the high side.
Here are 10 foods to stock up on for naturally lower blood pressure!
These tiny seeds pack some serious punch when it comes to your blood pressure.
In a study that included some patients with hypertension who were taking medications to control their blood pressure, upping their dietary intake of flaxseed led to a reduction in blood pressure. The participants who already had relatively high blood pressure saw quite significant decreases in their blood pressure.
The results were so impressive that the lead author on the study described it as “the largest decrease in BP ever shown by any dietary intervention.”
Flaxseed is being added to any increasingly large range of foods such as crackers, breads and even cakes. Alternatively, you can buy flaxseed and grind it up to use in your own baking or add it to smoothies.
Why it helps: A 3 tbsp serving of flaxseed contains 30 per cent of your recommended daily allowance of magnesium, and flaxseed also contains potassium. As both of these minerals are key for healthy blood pressure, this may go some way towards explaining why flaxseed has performed so well in studies.