High blood pressure occurs when the force of blood pushing against a person’s artery walls is consistently too high. This means that their heart has to work harder to pump blood around their body. If left untreated, high blood pressure can hike a person’s risk of developing heart and circulatory diseases like heart attack or stroke. Fortunately, simple dietary tweaks can help to lower a person’s reading, including drinking a certain tea.
One study, published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, found that people who drank three cups of black tea a day lowered their blood pressure levels by an average of two to three points.
In the study, researchers investigated the effect of black tea on blood pressure levels among 95 men and women who were regular tea drinkers.
Their average systolic blood pressure (the top number in a blood pressure reading) was between 115 and 150 at the start of the study.
According to the NHS, ideal blood pressure is usually considered to be between 90/60mmHg and 120/80mmHg.
Half of the participants drank three cups of black tea per day for six months, and the other half drank a placebo drink with a similar flavour and caffeine content.
Both groups were similar in terms of gender, age, and weight status.
Cooking with a certain oil can also help keep blood pressure in check.
Tea consumption can improve the function of endothelial cells
By the end of the study, those who drank black tea experienced an average reduction of between two and three points in their 24-hour average systolic blood pressure level and about two points in their diastolic (the lower number in a blood pressure reading) level.
The study authors posit a number of explanations for the reduction.
They note that a recent meta-analysis found that tea consumption can improve the function of endothelial cells, which line the interior of blood vessels. Endothelial dysfunction is an early warning sign of blood pressure changes.
They also note flavanoids, a diverse group of plant chemicals found in tea, can improve the blood vessel’s tone and reduce body weight and abdominal fat – key risk factors associated with high blood pressure.
According to the NHS, other ways to reduce high blood pressure include:
- Reduce salt intake
- Cutting back on alcohol
- Losing excess weight
- Exercise regularly
- Cut down on caffeine
- Stop smoking
- Try to get at least six hours of sleep a night
“Some people with high blood pressure may also need to take one or more medicines to stop their blood pressure getting too high,” noted the health body.
Checking for high blood pressure
The only way of knowing whether a person has high blood pressure is to have a blood pressure test.
As the NHS explained, all adults over 40 are advised to have their blood pressure checked at least every five years.
“Getting this done is easy and could save your life,” noted the health site.
A person can get their blood pressure tested at a number of places, including:
- At their GP surgery
- At some pharmacies
- As part of their NHS Health Check
- In some workplaces
“You can also check your blood pressure yourself with a home blood pressure monitor,” the health body added.
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