High blood pressure is a serious health problem that can cause the arteries to harden and thicken. This can then lead to the development of health complications such as heart and stroke. There are several risk factors for a person who develops high blood pressure. Some of these are associated with a bad eating habits. It is well known that eating a large amount of salt in food and drinking large amounts of alcohol regularly raises blood pressure.
To counter these poor dietary habits, the NHS recommends reducing salt intake to less than 6 g per day, consuming a low-fat, well-balanced diet, drinking less caffeine, and consuming less alcohol.
In particular, studies have shown that especially foods and beverages have hypotensive properties.
A study published in the British Journal of Nutrition in 2004 suggested that tea can lower blood pressure.
But not some tea – green tea.
The researchers analyzed 25 randomized controlled trials, the gold standard of scientific research, to investigate the relationship between tea and high blood pressure.
They quickly found that tea had no effect on blood pressure.
However, in the long run, drinking tea had a significant impact.
Research showed that after 12 weeks of drinking tea, the blood pressure had dropped by 2.6 mmHg systolic and 2.2 mmHg diastolic.
Systolic pressure is the higher number of readings and measures the force with which your heart pumps blood around your body.
The diastolic pressure is the lower number at a reading and measures the resistance of blood flow in the blood vessels.
It has been found that green tea has the most significant results. Black tea was the second best achievement.
While the change in blood pressure may not seem large, the researchers wrote that the systolic blood pressure is lowered by 2.6 mmHg. "It is expected that the risk of stroke will be reduced by 8 percent, mortality from coronary artery disease by 5 percent and the cause of all causes mortality by 4% at population level".
The researchers in this study were unable to determine how many cups of green tea you should drink daily to lower your blood pressure. However, other studies suggested that three to four cups of tea could be effective daily.
One food that has been found to have antihypertensive properties is onion.
Its potent anti-inflammatory properties can help lower high blood pressure, and quercetin, a flavonoid antioxidant highly concentrated in onions, can also be effective.
A study involving 70 overweight individuals with high blood pressure found that a dose of 162 mg quercetin-rich onion extract significantly reduced systolic blood pressure by 3-6 mmHg compared to placebo.