High blood pressure: Drink 5-6 cups of a green drink daily to ‘significantly’ reduce BP
High blood pressure: Lifestyle changes to reduce reading
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High blood pressure means the force of blood coursing through your arteries is consistently too high. When this happens, your heart has to work harder to pump blood around your body. Over time, this can hike your risk of having a heart attack.
Fortunately, you can reverse this mechanism before it’s too late by modifying your diet.
Simple dietary tweaks can reduce a high blood pressure reading.
The key finding of a meta-analysis performed by the Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine (CEBM), which is part of Oxford University’s Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences, is that green tea boasts blood pressure-lowering capabilities.
“Many different dietary supplements are marketed, but the evidence for effectiveness is mixed,” the researchers wrote.
However, “green tea extracts are thought to possess antioxidant and ACE-inhibitor properties”, they noted.
To investigate the effect of green tea consumption on blood pressure, they appraised and synthesised the evidence from clinical trials evaluating the effect of green tea on blood pressure.
The researchers searched five electronic databases and included only double-blinded randomised clinical trials (RCTs).
They also assessed the reporting quality of included studies.
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Thirty eight eligible studies were identified, out of which we included 20 RCTs with over 1,500 participants.
“Meta-analysis showed that green tea consumption caused a significant reduction in systolic blood pressure and total and LDL cholesterol,” the researchers observed.
LDL cholesterol is also a precursor to cardiovascular problems.
“We also observed that the maximum effects of green tea occurred when the daily intake of epigalocatechin-3-gallate (the most abundant and bioactive compound in green tea extracts) was approximately 200 mg which equates to five to six cups of tea daily,” they concluded.
“Above this dosage, adverse events appeared to be more frequent and more severe.”
General dietary tips
Cut down on the amount of salt in your food and eat plenty of fruit and vegetables.
“The more salt you eat, the higher your blood pressure,” warns the NHS.
According to UK health guidelines, you should aim to eat less than 6g (0.2oz) of salt a day, which is about a teaspoonful.
Eating a low-fat diet that includes lots of fibre, such as wholegrain rice, bread and pasta, and plenty of fruit and vegetables also helps lower blood pressure,” notes the NHS.
According to the health body, you should aim to eat five portions of fruit and vegetables every day.
“Regularly drinking too much alcohol can raise your blood pressure over time,” it adds.
Staying within the recommended levels is the best way to reduce your risk of developing high blood pressure:
Men and women are advised not to regularly drink more than 14 units a week
Spread your drinking over three days or more if you drink as much as 14 units a week.
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