0351 GMT March 22, 2019
There are several risk factors for a person developing high blood pressure, some of which are linked to poor diet choices. Eating a high amount of salt in food have been known to raise blood pressure, according to express.co.uk.
To counteract these poor diet choices, the NHS recommended cutting your salt intake to less than 6gr a day, eating a low-fat, balanced diet and drinking less caffeine.
More specifically, studies have shown particularly foods and drink to have blood pressuring-lowering qualities.
A study published in the British Journal of Nutrition in 2004 suggested tea can help lower blood pressure.
But not just any tea — green tea.
Researchers analyzed 25 randomized controlled trials, which is the gold standard of scientific research, to explore the association between tea and high blood pressure.
They found in the short term, tea didn’t seem to make a difference to blood pressure.
But in the long-term, drinking tea had a significant impact.
The research showed after 12 weeks of drinking tea, blood pressure was lowered by 2.6mmHg systolic and 2.2mmHg diastolic.
The systolic pressure is the higher number on a reading and measures the force at which your heart pumps blood around your body.
The diastolic pressure is the lower number on a reading and measures the resistance of blood flow in the blood vessels.
Green tea was found to have the most significant results. Black tea was the second best performing.
While the change in blood pressure reading may not seem like a big one, the researchers wrote reducing systolic blood pressure by 2.6mmHg “would be expected to reduce stroke risk by eight percent, coronary artery disease mortality by five percent and all-cause mortality by four percent at a population level”.
The researchers in this study weren’t able to pinpoint how many cups of green tea you should drink a day to lower blood pressure, but other studies have suggested three to four cups of tea daily can be effective.
One food which has been found to have blood pressure-lowering qualities is onion.
Its potent anti-inflammatory properties can help reduce high blood pressure, and quercetin, a flavonoid antioxidant that’s highly concentrated in onions, can also prove effective.
One study which involved 70 overweight people with high blood pressure found a dose of 162mg per day of quercetin-rich onion extract significantly reduced systolic blood pressure by 3-6mmHg compared to a placebo.