High blood pressure: Lifestyle changes to reduce reading
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The health condition puts you at risk of deadly strokes, heart attacks, heart failure, and dementia – all of which can cause disability and be life-threatening. If you want to lower your blood pressure reading, snacking on one sweet treat could help. A collaboration between scientists at the Shifa College of Medicine investigated the protective cardiovascular effects of prunes.
There were 259 volunteers who took part in the placebo controlled clinical trial.
The participants were classified as having pre-hypertension, as their systolic readings ranged from 120 to 139mmHg.
Meanwhile, their diastolic blood pressure readings ranged from 80-89mmHg.
The control group has to consume a glass of plain water in the morning on an empty stomach.
The test group, allied jobs on the other hand, had to drink prune juice and snack on the sweet treat.
Blood pressure readings were taken fortnightly for two months, and blood samples were taken at week 0 and week eight.
There was a “significant” reduction in blood pressure for those who consumed three prunes daily.
Interestingly, the prune test group had reduced cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein compared to the water control group.
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Such a remarkable finding caused the researchers to conclude that prunes do have cardiovascular protective effects.
WebMD stated that prunes are “dehydrated” plums that have a chewy texture and savoury-sweet flavour.
Prunes can be stored in the cupboard for about six months, and when stored in the fridge in a tight container they can remain edible for up to a year.
Not that you would want to keep such health-boosting snacks at the back of the fridge.
Prunes are good sources of:
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin K
- Vitamin B6
Aside from research pointing towards its beneficial effects on the heart muscle, the antioxidants that prunes contain may help maintain healthy bone density.
Rich in neochlorogenic acid (3-caffeoylquinic acid) and chlorogenic acid (5-caffeoylquinic acid) – two antioxidants – prunes can help lower blood glucose.
Too many prunes, however, can increase the risk of diarrhoea, so do eat them sensibly.
In addition to adding prunes to your diet, other ways to lower your blood pressure include refraining from drinking alcohol and not smoking.
The NHS clarified that exercise is vital to lowering your blood pressure reading in the long term.
People are encouraged to get moving for at least 150 minutes each week to gain health benefits.
As well as lowering hypertension, exercise can reduce blood sugar, cholesterol and the risks associated with obesity.
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