High blood pressure could be reduced by lowering salt intake
Almost of half of coronary heart diseases, and 62 per cent of strokes, are caused by high blood pressure, research has revealed.
Salt is one of the main causes of high blood pressure. Cutting back on salt lowers the risk of developing heart diseases, scientists have said.
Seasoning with herbs and spices instead of salt could help to lower blood pressure.
Swapping salt for garlic could have the biggest effect, it’s been claimed.
Symptoms of high blood pressure – or hypertension – include severe headaches, fatigue, chest pain and finding blood in urine.
An irregular heartbeat, vision problems, difficulty breathing and a pounding pain in the chest, neck or ears could also be signs of high blood pressure.
Those more at risk of developing the condition include smokers, and those that drink too much alcohol, do little exercise, or have too much salt in their diet.
Salt makes your body retain water, and the extra water raises blood pressure, according to the charity Blood Pressure UK.
Salt is one of the main causes of high blood pressure
Don’t add salt when cooking
“Don’t add salt when cooking,” said the charity. “This includes salty foods like soy sauce, stock cubes and gravy granules.
“Get extra flavour with herbs and spices, and from seasonings like chilli, ginger, lemon or lime juice.”
Six grams of salt a day is the maximum recommended amount to eat, and the less you eat the better, it added.
Some studies claimed garlic extracts lowered blood pressure in patients with hypertension.
Garlic supplements could cause ‘significant reductions’ in blood pressure
“Human studies have also found garlic supplementation to cause significant reductions in blood pressure in people with high blood pressure,” said Healthline nutritionist Joe Leech.
“In one study, it was just as effective as a blood pressure lowering drug.”
Other ways to lower your blood pressure include eating more fruit and vegetables, drinking less alcohol, and to eat more oily fish.
Dark chocolate has also been claimed to help dilate blood vessels, and lower blood pressure.