High blood pres­sure? Try these foods

Marlborough Express - The Saturday Express, Marlborough - - BACKYARD BANTER -

Q: I re­cently found out that I have high blood pres­sure. Are there any foods that can help with this? Thanks, Greg

There are many life­style fac­tors that can in­flu­ence blood pres­sure, and diet is cer­tainly one of these.

There are a few dif­fer­ent di­etary pat­terns that are associated with low­ered blood pres­sure, but the com­mon thread among these is a high plant con­sump­tion – plenty of veg­eta­bles as well as some nuts and seeds, fruit and whole­grains (for peo­ple who digest these well).

There are also cer­tain nu­tri­ents that have been shown to af­fect blood pres­sure.

A: MAG­NE­SIUM

Blood pres­sure is es­sen­tially a mea­sure of the re­sis­tance in the blood ves­sels to the flow of blood, so it is in­flu­enced by the di­am­e­ter of our blood ves­sels. Mag­ne­sium has a re­lax­ing ac­tion and helps to reg­u­late blood pres­sure by min­imis­ing con­stric­tion of the blood ves­sels. Food sources of associated with el­e­vated blood pres­sure. This is re­gard­less of the type of al­co­hol. Com­mit to hav­ing no more than two stan­dard drinks per day and at least two al­co­hol­free days per week, or bet­ter yet, save it to en­joy in mod­er­a­tion on spe­cial oc­ca­sions only.

So by amp­ing up your in­take of plant foods, par­tic­u­larly plenty of veg­eta­bles, and avoid­ing pro­cessed foods and drinks, the bal­ance of nu­tri­ents that you con­sume will bet­ter sup­port your body to reg­u­late your blood pres­sure.

High blood pres­sure can also be a re­sult of stress, so ad­dress­ing sources of stress and in­clud­ing stress re­duc­tion prac­tices can also be im­por­tant. In­cor­po­rat­ing more move­ment into your day is also very ben­e­fi­cial for blood pres­sure.

Dr Libby is a nu­tri­tional bio­chemist, best-sell­ing au­thor and speaker. The advice con­tained in this col­umn is not in­tended to be a sub­sti­tute for di­rect, per­son­alised advice from a health pro­fes­sional. See dr­libby.com

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