High blood pressure: Lifestyle changes to reduce reading
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It’s normal for blood pressure to rise and fall throughout the day. However, consistently high blood pressure, also known as hypertension, can lead to severe health problems. Around a third of adults in the UK suffer from hypertension. The tricky part is that you might not even know about the condition as it doesn’t cause many symptoms. Luckily, simple lifestyle tweaks can help lower it.
The popular hot drink which can lower hypertension “from day one” is black tea, according to a study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
A staple of British culture, the warm drink may lower hypertension when consumed regularly.
The research looked at both men and women with high systolic blood pressure.
The systolic blood pressure details the force at which your heart pumps blood around your body. It’s the higher number of the two.
While diastolic pressure is the lower number, recording the resistance to the blood flow in the blood vessels.
The participants in the trial drank three cups of either powdered black tea solids or a control drink to assess the results.
The results saw that tea consumption lowered both systolic and diastolic blood pressure during nighttime, compared to the control drink.
These effects were “immediate” from day one and lasted for over six months.
“These findings indicate that a component of black tea solids, other than caffeine, can influence the rate of blood pressure variation during nighttime,” the researchers said.
However, the blood pressure rate was not “significantly” influenced during the day.
This isn’t the only research into the effects of black tea on blood pressure.
Another study, published in the journal PLOS One, also saw a reduction in hypertension.
This study discovered that daily intake of four to five cups of black tea can reduce blood pressure by one to two millimetres of mercury – units used to measure the force of blood in the arteries.
The researchers report: “Although this effect is modest, it may be of importance for cardiovascular health at the population level because of the widespread consumption of black tea and the high prevalence of hypertension and consequent risk of CVD [cardiovascular disease].”
This was further confirmed by a study in the Journal of Hypertension that showed that drinking black tea can slightly cut hypertension.
However, the Harvard Medical School states that “this doesn’t make black tea a health beverage”.
They admit that the flavonoid content packed in the tea is beneficial for the heart and other aspects of health.
But they stress that the effects of the blood pressure reduction are small.
“If you like tea, savour it as a tasty, soothing beverage; don’t drink it as medicine,” the Harvard Medical School added.
Lifestyle interventions might not be enough for some. Some patients might need to take blood pressure medicine when suffering from hypertension.
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