HIGH blood pressure symptoms can range from a severe headache to difficulty breathing. It is important to recognise all the signs and control your reading because, left untreated, it can result in more serious health problems such as heart attacks and strokes. The food in your diet can have a big impact on your blood pressure, particularly foods with high sodium content – with this in mind, a particular type of vegetable should be avoided.
High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is common and affects more than one in four adults in the UK.
Certain foods you eat can affect high blood pressure, such as those that contain high levels of salt.
Blood Pressure UK states eating too much salt is the biggest cause of high blood pressure and an adults should eat no more than 6g of salt a day.
Most of the salt we eat every day is hidden which means it’s already in processed foods like bread, biscuits and breakfast cereals, and prepared ready meals or takeaways, and frozen pizzas are another surprising food people with high blood pressure should avoid.
According to the charity, this hidden salt accounts for around 75 per cent of the salt we eat – only 25 per cent comes from the salt we add while cooking or at the table.
Nutritionists at Healthline recommends people with high blood pressure, or those at risk of hypertension, eat plenty of leafy greens.
The site states: “Potassium helps your kidneys get rid of more sodium through your urine. This in turn lowers your blood pressure.”
Leafy greens, which are high in potassium, include romaine lettuce, arugula, kale, turnip greens, collard greens, spinach, beet greens, and Swiss chard.
But it adds that one type of vegetable, that contains added sodium, should be avoided.
It says: “Canned vegetables often have added sodium. But frozen vegetables contain as many nutrients as fresh vegetables, and they’re easier to store.
“You can also blend these veggies with bananas and nut milk for a healthy, sweet green juice.”
Tomato products are problematic for people with hypertension.
Health line says: “Canned tomato sauces, pasta sauces, and tomato juices are all high in sodium. A 1/2 cup serving of classic marinara sauce can have more than 550mg of sodium. A cup of tomato juice comes in at 615mg.”
You can often find low-sodium or reduced-sodium versions of all these items. And for people looking to keep their blood pressure down, these alternative options are a smart choice.
The site also recommends reducing their saturated fats intake and avoid tans fats (a type of unsaturated fat).
Foods that are high in saturated fat include chicken skin, full-fat dairy, red meat and butter.
The site explains: “Trans fats are found naturally ins mall amounts of fate meats and dairy products. However, the biggest contributor of trans fats is packaged and prepared foods, which also typically contain high amounts of sugar and other low-fibre carbohydrates.
“Trans fats are created in a process called hydrogenation, where liquid oils are infused with air to make a solid oil. Hydrogenated oils increase packaged foods’ shelf life and stability.”