0548 GMT March 22, 2019
The condition, which is also known as hypertension, increases the risk of some deadly complications, including heart disease and strokes, express.co.uk reported.
But making some easy diet swaps could lower your chances of developing hypertension.
Watercress is a great source of nitrates, which help to lower blood pressure.
The nitrates are converted into nitrogen and enter the blood stream, which dilates the blood vessels.
Just 40g of watercress every day is enough to start lowering blood pressure.
“Watercress like other leafy green vegetables contain a great source of natural nitrates and it’s recommended that at least two portions a day of nitrate rich vegetables will assist in reducing hypertension,” said The Watercress Company’s Managing Director, Tom Amery.
“Research has shown that consumption of vegetable rich in nitrates can help reduce blood pressure in 24 hours.
“When chewed these nitrates are converted to nitrites by specialist bacteria found naturally at the back of our mouth.
“Once the nitrites enter our stomachs they convert into a gaseous form of nitrogen, which enters our bloodstream.
“The effect on our cardiovascular system is to dilate blood vessels which decreases blood pressure.”
Everyone should aim to eat at least two portions of watercress nitrate-rich to lower their blood pressure. That’s about the equivalent to 40g, said Amery.
Following a healthy diet is one of the best ways to lower your risk of hypertension, said the NHS.
A low-fat diet that includes lots of fiber, fruit and vegetables also helps to lower blood pressure.
Patients should also avoid eating too much salt, as it raises the risk of hypertension.
Everyone should aim to eat less than 6g of salt a day — the equivalent to about a teaspoonful.
High blood pressure is often known as ‘the silent killer’, because the only way of knowing if you’re at risk is to get checked.
Speak to a doctor or pharmacist to have your blood pressure checked.
Al adults over 40 years old should check their blood pressure at least every five years.