High blood pressure – a condition whereby the force of blood pushing against your artery walls is consistently too high – comes in different types and they all have different causes. The type that most people is called primary hypertension and it doesn’t have a single cause. Speaking to Express.co.uk, Katharine Jenner, CEO of Blood Pressure explained: “It comes down to a number of factors that can all add up such as growing older, your genes, family history and if you are from black or south Asian descent.”
“There’s also an app called FoodSwitch which will find you healthier alternatives to the packaged products you find in shops,” she said.
How much salt should we eat daily?
According to UK health guidelines, adults should eat no more than six grams of salt a day (2.4g sodium) – that’s around one teaspoon.
- One to three years should eat no more than two grams salt a day (0.8g sodium)
- Four to six years should eat no more than three grams salt a day (1.2g sodium)
- Seven to 10 years should eat no more than five grams salt a day (2g sodium)
- 11 years and over should eat no more than six grams salt a day (2.4g sodium).
In addition to cutting back on salt, you should opt for lots of fresh fruit and vegetables, pulses like beans, peas and lentils, as well as wholegrains, to keep your blood pressure down, added Ms Jenner.
Other important tips to treat high blood pressure
In addition to eating healthily, you should engage in regular exercise to control your blood pressure.
“Being active and taking regular exercise lowers blood pressure by keeping your heart and blood vessels in good condition,” explains the NHS.
What’s more, regular exercise can help you lose weight, which will also help lower your blood pressure, says the health body.
What is the optimal exercise?
According to Mayo Clinic, aerobic activity can be an effective way to control high blood pressure.
“But flexibility and strengthening exercises such as lifting weights are also important parts of an overall fitness plan,” says the health body.
You don’t need to spend hours in the gym every day to benefit from aerobic activity.
“Simply adding moderate physical activities to your daily routine will help,” adds Mayo Clinic.
According to UK health guidelines, 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.
Physical activity can include anything from sport to walking and gardening.