High blood pressure or hypertension is a major health issue. Management of the disease reduces the risk of adverse outcomes, such as cardiovascular or cerebrovascular events, vision impairment due to retinal damage, and renal failure. What are some of the best fruits to consume to help lower your readings?
Citrus fruits have demonstrated antihypertensive properties.
A single-blind randomized crossover study of 22 healthy patients aged 18–59 showed that after drinking 500 ml/day of commercial citrus sinensis juice, blood pressure had decreased, while natural orange juice did not show significant effects.
Citrus paradisi juice, from grapefruit, has many beneficial properties and is a good source of vitamin C, pectin fibre, and antioxidants.
Extract from grapefruit peels is high in polyphenols, which act as strong inhibitors of α-glucosidase and can be used in the management of hypertension.
Studies indicate that when compared, grapefruit juice produced a greater decrease in mean arterial pressure than orange juice.
Numerous studies have indicated that fruits can help manage blood pressure through a wide variety of mechanisms and should play a major role in an antihypertensive dietary intervention.
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Bananas are one fruit which is commonly known for being a good source of potassium, but it is less well-known that pomegranates are also a rich source and actually contain more of the essential mineral than bananas.
According to medical website Healthline, pomegranates can contain around 666mg of potassium, versus 422mg in a medium-sized banana.
“Pomegranates are an extremely healthy, multi-seeded fruit, about the size of an orange and ranging in colour from red to purple. They’re a fantastic source of potassium,” said Healthline.
In a study published in the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, fruits and its impact on hypertension were investigated.
The study noted: “Certain diets rich in fruits have demonstrated efficacy in controlling blood pressure.
“The mechanisms by which fruits and vegetables are able to help manage blood pressure vary according to their potassium content, flavonoid and polyphenol content, and fibre content.
“Serum potassium levels have been shown to be inversely associated with blood pressure, with antihypertensive dietary interventions encouraging decreases in sodium consumption and increases in potassium consumption in order to improve the sodium-potassium ratio in the diet.”
Other lifestyle interventions include cutting back on alcohol and caffeine, exercising regularly, and losing weight if you’re overweight.
Do note that caffeine can be found in coffee, tea, fizzy and energy drinks, and chocolate.
The NHS also recommends not smoking, as this can greatly increase the risk of a stroke or heart attack.
If you start implementing this lifestyle advice, you should start to see a difference in your blood pressure readings.