Chris Evans reveals his wife gave him a blood pressure monitor
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Everybody should be aiming for at least five portions of fruits and vegetables daily, but there are some guidelines around this you might not be aware of. Take for instance, fruit juice, while one glass counts towards your five-a-day, no matter how many more glasses you drink, the rest do not count. Say, for example, you have an orange juice in the morning, and have cranberry juice in the afternoon, that still only counts as one portion.
What’s more, fruit juices can be “high in calories without filling you up”, the charity Blood Pressure UK pointed out.
Not only that, the sugar in the fruit juice can “damage” your teeth; the same holds true for fruit smoothies and vegetable juices.
By consuming lots of calories, without reaching satiety, you’re more inclined to binge eat and put on weight.
As body weight increases, blood pressure readings can rise, experts at WebMD warned.
While it’s best advised to limit the intake of fruit juice to only one serving per day, eating fruits (instead of drinking them) is beneficial.
Blood Pressure UK elaborated: “Fruit and vegetables contain potassium.
“[Potassium is] a mineral which is essential for keeping your body ticking over and helps to lower your blood pressure.”
Potassium “directly counters the effect of salt”, which would otherwise raise blood pressure.
While increasing the number of different fruits you eat (and not drink), it will help to reduce the amount of salt you consume.
This can begin by using spices and herbs instead of salt when cooking meals.
Another way to reduce your salt intake is to keep it off the dining table.
The NHS added: “In the UK labels on pre-packed food must say how much salt they contain.
“Look out for the salt content in the everyday foods you buy, and choose lower-salt options.”
Aim for a green-coloured salt label, which would signify that the food item you are looking at purchasing is low in salt.
There are some foods, however, that are almost always high in salt content.
Try to limit the following:
- Gravy granules
- Salted and dry-roasted nuts
- Salt fish
- Smoked meat and fish
- Soy sauce
- Stock cubes
- Yeast extract.
How to lower blood pressure
Aside from dietary precautions, including limiting fruit juices and salty foods, other measures include lifestyle choices.
For instance, regular exercise is one of the best ways to bring down blood pressure readings in the long term.
Another key measure, as pointed out by the Mayo Clinic, is to quit smoking (if this applies to you).
Moreover, it will be helpful to reduce stress levels in everyday life.
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