Phillip Schofield gets blood pressure checked in Istanbul in 1991
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Herbs and spices formed the basis of ancient medicines for centuries. Research has shown medicinal properties in different herbs and spices can help bring your blood pressure reading down, and those that eat spicier foods are less likely to have hypertension. Which are the three best herbs and spices to bring your blood pressure down?
Good news for curry lovers: adding extra spices to your food doesn’t just make it much more flavoursome, but also makes any dish healthier for your blood pressure.
Blood pressure is often nicknamed the ‘silent killer’ because of its lack of symptoms.
Some people only find out their blood pressure is soaring as a result of a severe health problem; such as a cardiac arrest or stroke.
The only way to check your blood pressure is to have a blood pressure reading from your GP or pharmacist.
If you have high blood pressure, your doctor may prescribe you medicine to help bring your reading down, but one of the most effective ways to manage hypertension is by making changes to your diet.
Eating foods high in saturated fats and salt will drive up your blood pressure reading, whereas eating a diet rich in fruits, vegetables and healthy fats will help bring it down or avoid hypertension altogether.
A recent study has also found it’s not just the food you eat, but how you prepare it that can bring your blood pressure reading down.
The study found people who ate more than 6.6g of herbs and spices daily reported lower blood pressure readings than those who ate fewer herbs and spices.
Speaking to Healthline, nutritionist Kristin Kirkpatrick said: “I am not surprised.
“Herbs and spices are high nutrient-dense plants with compounds that have been found in previous studies to improve health.
“Additionally, utilising herbs and spices in place of salt can help with blood pressure as well.”
Because salt is known to increase blood pressure, it is recommended adults eat no more than 6g of salt a day.
Adding more herbs and spices to your food can make you less inclined to reach for the salt shaker, as the flavours will already be potent.
What are three of the best seasonings to add to your food for lower blood pressure?
With its bright yellow colour, turmeric is a shining star as far as health-boosting credentials are concerned.
This spice will add a gorgeous flavour to curries, stews and soups; and it is full of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory substances.
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Perfect for adding sweetness without adding sugar, cinnamon is recommended to reduce blood pressure.
When you eat cinnamon, it stimulates production of nitric oxide, which can relax your blood vessels, helping blood move around more efficiently and lowering blood sugar.
Cinnamon can be added to coffee and porridge.
Although it’s a sweet flavour, many curries and other dishes call for a dash of cinnamon to really enhance their taste.
This sweet, nutty and fragrant herb is a kitchen staple: delicious in sauces, salads or as a garnish, basil could even lower your blood pressure reading.
Basil is high in an antioxidant called eugenol, which studies on animals suggest could act as a natural calcium blocker.
This stops calcium travelling into arterial cells, which helps blood vessels to relax.
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