High blood pressure can seem lower down on your list of health priorities because it does not produce any symptoms. It is therefore tempting to downplay its significance. Such complacency could be life-threatening, however.
High blood pressure is often the first in a series of steps that can lead to heart disease.
When sustained pressure is applied to your artery walls, they respond by narrowing and becoming harder.
Since the arteries convey blood around the body, supplying vital organs such as the heart and brain, less blood travelling through them at any given time raises your risk of having a heart attack or stroke.
Taking steps to lower your blood pressure, therefore staves off the risk of irreversible damage.
Fortunately, you can lower your reading by making simple adjustments to your diet.
Researchers have sought to identify the most beneficial items and among those that have shown considerable promise are lemons.
A study published in the Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism found that women in Japan who walked regularly and consumed lemon every day had lower blood pressure than those who did not.
More research is needed to identify the role of lemon in this improvement and to discover whether consuming lemon can help reduce blood pressure since walking daily can also lower blood pressure.
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Strengthening the association, several studies have found lemons boast properties that directly reduce your risk of heart disease.
Research suggests that compounds such as flavonoids, vitamin C, and pectin — the main fibre in lemon peel — may reduce your heart disease risk.
A review of 14 studies in 344,488 people found that an average increase of 10 mg of flavonoids per day reduced heart disease risk by five percent.
Additionally, in a study in mice with obesity, D-limonene (oil extracted from the peels of oranges and other citrus fruits) lowered blood sugar, triglyceride, and LDL (bad) cholesterol levels, while increasing HDL (good) cholesterol.
Cholesterol is a waxy substance found in blood that can either raise or reduce your risk of heart disease.
LDL cholesterol is the harmful type – it clogs up your artery walls, thereby raising your risk of heart disease.
HDL cholesterol counters this harmful process, reducing your risk in the process.
General tips to lower high blood pressure
It is important to cut down on the amount of salt you eat because salt raises your blood pressure.
According to the NHS, you should aim to eat less than six grams (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,” says the health body.
Being active and taking regular exercise also lowers blood pressure by keeping your heart and blood vessels in good condition.
“Adults should do at least 150 minutes (two hours and 30 minutes) of moderate-intensity aerobic activity, such as cycling or fast walking, every week,” advises the NHS.
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