High blood pressure: Lifestyle changes to reduce reading
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Your blood pressure can rise and drop throughout the day. However, the problem occurs when your levels become consistently high. Having hypertension can trigger health problems, including heart attacks and strokes. Fortunately, knowing the foods that pose risk for your reading can help you cut back where needed and keep levels in check.
High blood pressure details the long-term force of blood against your arteries that is high enough to cause health problems, the Mayo Clinic states.
This “silent” condition affects about one-third of Britons.
However, many might not even know it as hypertension is characterised by a lack of symptoms, according to the NHS.
What’s worse, letting your levels boom can put you at a serious health risk. And one surprising food that can increase your blood pressure is olives.
Characterised by salty punchy flavour, olives, in general, are rich in vitamin E and antioxidants.
This fruit is even used to produce the healthy staple of the Mediterranean diet – olive oil.
So, what makes the little food risky when it comes to blood pressure? The simple answer is salt.
Packed away in a jar, store-bought olives contain about four grams of salt per 100 grams.
The exact amount depends on the brand you prefer; however, across the products you can notice the red colour of the reference label on the packaging where it says salt.
To put things in the perspective, the NHS states you shouldn’t have more than six grams of salt a day, which is the equivalent of around one teaspoon.
Why does salt raise blood pressure?
Blood Pressure UK explains that salt makes your body retain water.
Eating too much of the common ingredient will cause your body to hold onto extra water, putting extra pressure on your blood vessels.
This then raises your blood pressure.
Also, if your reading is already high, too much salt can raise it even further.
This might affect how your blood pressure medicine works as well, according to the charity.
They note that limiting your salt intake is “one of the simplest ways to lower your blood pressure”.
Blood Pressure UK also recommends cutting down on olives as they belong to a high salt food category.
Other items on the same list include:
- Cooking sauces
- Condiments (mustard and ketchup)
Plus, salt doesn’t only raise your blood pressure, it can also boost your risk of heart disease, strokes and dementia.
The trickier part about this ingredient is that it’s often hidden in the foods you buy, making it harder to know how much you’re actually eating.
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