It is called the “silent killer” because it has no obvious symptoms, but high blood pressure is responsible for half of heart attacks and strokes. Medical experts recommend nine ways that will help you maintain normal blood pressure and reduce the risk of a heart attack.

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1. Exercise: Regular exercise has been shown to be as effective in lowering blood pressure as medication.

Prof Navid Starr, Honorary Consultant in Cardiovascular and Metabolic Health at the University of Glasgow, said: “Activity helps keep blood vessels more flexible, which in turn helps keep blood pressure low.”

It’s never too late to find an exercise you enjoy.

2. Goodbye alcohol: “There is a direct line between the amount of alcohol consumed and higher blood pressure,” said Prof. Starr. “Reducing the amount of alcohol in an amount that is attainable and sustainable will lower blood pressure.”

Drinking alcohol constricts blood vessels, which raises blood pressure, and contributes to weight gain. Start by calculating the amount you consume per week. The recommended amount is one drink a day, but the less, the better.

3. A sweet treat: Cocoa, the main ingredient in chocolate, was shown in a study by the University of Surrey to dilate blood vessels within three hours.

Dr Rachel Ward, from The Woodlands Medical Center in Didcot, Oxfordshire, said: “Cocoa is rich in antioxidants called flavonols. There is evidence that people who eat more foods rich in flavonols have better controlled blood pressure.”

Dark chocolate, illustration (photo: Inimage)

4. Reduce salt intake: Adults should stick to no more than 6 grams of salt a day – an amount equivalent to a teaspoon, but most eat much more.

Prof. Starr said: “Learn to reduce salt gradually by retraining the palate. Cut back on the amount of added table salt and then on foods rich in salt. After a few weeks, people can get used to it, and especially enjoy eating less salty foods.”

5. Limit your daily coffee consumption: Caffeine is the most common stimulant in the world and a common cause of high blood pressure. Beverages containing caffeine, such as coffee, tea and energy drinks, can cause an increase in blood pressure.

Cappuccino (Photo: Ingimage)

It is true that they increase alertness and give a “boost” of energy, but according to experts, consumption of more than four cups of coffee a day may also increase your blood pressure levels. So if you drink more than four glasses – try to reduce the amount.

According to the “NHS” website it is important not to make these drinks the main source of fluid intake.

6. Portion control: Excess weight means more blood flow is needed to nourish fat cells and deliver oxygen to tissues.

Prof. Starr said that “the meaning is more body fluid, which then puts more pressure on the blood vessels.”

Eating more fruits, vegetables and fiber, and less foods high in fat and sugar, is the way to maintain normal blood pressure. Make small, gradual changes that you can stick to.

Prof. Starr recommends eating smaller portions on smaller plates.

7. Banana a day: If it’s hard for you to remove salt from the menu, eat bananas, green leaves, salmon, avocado, apricots, tuna and beans.

Bananas (Photo: Ingimage)

Scientists from the Netherlands claimed in 2022 that potassium-rich foods cancel out the effect of consuming too much sodium, especially in women. The study that examined 25,000 adults found that those who regularly ate potassium-rich foods had a 13% lower risk of having a heart attack or stroke.

Heart attack, illustration (Photo: Inimage)

8. Don’t give up sex: according to a study by Georgia State University in the United States, orgasms can lower blood pressure by about 13%.

Regular sex is also a type of physical activity that is highly recommended for maintaining heart health.

9. Give up cigarettes: smoking cigarettes causes damage to the walls of blood vessels, increases the chance of blood clots and narrowing of arteries, and forces the heart to work harder.

By Editor

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