High blood pressure is a condition which causes the pressure inside a person’s arteries to be higher than it should be. Left untreated it can increase the risk of heart attack, heart failure, stroke and kidney disease.
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But high blood pressure can difficult to detect because symptoms are rarely noticeable.
The best way to find out if you have high blood pressure is have your reading regularly checked, ether by your GP or local pharmacist or by measuring it yourself at home with a blood pressure monitor.
Simple lifestyle changes can help reduce blood pressure, including losing excess weight, being more physically active and eating a healthy, balanced diet.
Another way blood pressure could be kept in check is by taking magnesium supplements.
Magnesium is a mineral that plays an important role in the body’s bone structure.
But studies have also suggested the positive impact it can have on blood pressure.
While you can get it from diet, from green leafy vegetables, nuts and seeds, legumes and seafood, magnesium is also available in supplement form.
In 2016, US researchers analysing the results of 34 clinical trials found a link between magnesium and reduced blood pressure.
Participants who took magnesium were found to have both lower blood pressure an improve blood flow that, in turn, could lower blood pressure.
Another study carried out by the University of Hertforshire in 2012 revealed not only could magnesium red blood pressure, the effect increased in line with dosage.
So the higher intake of magnesium, the bigger the drop in blood pressure.
How much magnesium is recommended?
The NHS advises men take 300mg a day of magnesium and women take 270mg a day.
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Taking higher doses of magnesium for a short time can cause diarrhoea.
The effects of taking high doses of magnesium for a long time are still being researched.
Other ways to prevent or reduce high blood pressure
When it comes to diet, the NHS recommends cutting down on the amount of salt in food and to eat plenty of fruit and vegetables.
The health body explains: “Salt raises your blood pressure. The more salt you eat, the higher your blood pressure. Aim to eat less than 6g (0.2oz) of salt a day, which is about a teaspoonful.
“Eating a low-fat diet that includes lots of fibre, such as wholegrain rice, bread and pasta, and plenty of fruit and vegetables also helps lower blood pressure.
“Aim to eat 5 portions of fruit and vegetables every day.”
When it comes to exercise, adults should do at least 150 minutes (2 hours and 30 minutes) of moderate-intensity aerobic activity such as cycling or fast walking, every week.
Limiting alcohol intake, cutting down on caffeine and stopping smoking can also help prevent and reduce high blood pressure.
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