High blood pressure affects more than one in four adults in the UK, according to the NHS, because it rarely has noticeable symptoms. But left untreated, the condition can lead to serious health complications, such as heart attack and stroke. One of the best ways high blood pressure can be prevented or reduced is by eating healthily. Experts say cutting down on the amount of salt you eat and eating plenty of fruit and vegetables is key.
One fruit in particular which has been found to have high blood pressuring properties is watermelon.
The fruit which proves popular to eat in the summer time contains an amino acid called citrulline, which is believed to help manage high blood pressure.
Citrulline helps the body to produce nitric oxide, which is a gas that relaxes blood vessels and encourages flexibility in a retires.
Both of these changes can aid blood flow and lead to the lowering of high blood pressure.
One study demonstrated how watermelon extract could reduce blood pressure in obese adults with prehypertension or mild hypertension.
The participants blood pressure was found to be reduced in the ankles and brachial arteries – the main artery in the upper arm.
In another study, animals given a diet rich in watermelon were found to have better heart health.
As part of the research, mice were given a solution to drink containing watermelon juice.
Those that drank this had 50 per cent less plaque in their arteries than the control group.
They were also found to have 50 per cent less low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (‘bad’ cholesterol), and they showed 30 per cent less weight gain than the control animals.
When it comes to the best drinks for high blood pressure, beetroot juice has proven effective.
In a 2015 study, researchers found drinking red beet juice led to lower blood pressure in people with high blood pressure, after they drank around one cup of the juice every day for four weeks.
Positive effects were also noted within 24 hours of having the juice.
Participants who drank one cup of the beet juice every day had an average drop in blood pressure of around 8/4 millimetres of mercury (mm Hg).
For many, this change brought their blood pressure within the normal range.
The researchers suggests beets’ high levels of inorganic nitrate causes the reduction in blood pressure.
Alongside diet changes, certain exercises are recommended to help lower high blood pressure.