High blood pressure is known as a ‘silent killer’ because it doesn’t cause symptoms, and it can lead to worrying health problems. Luckily, there are things you can do to lower your risk
Most people in the UK have a blood pressure higher than the ideal, and it’s important to keep it in check.
High blood pressure, or hypertension, is when your blood pushes against your vessel walls with too much force, which can put a strain on your heart and vessels. Over time this can lead to various serious health problems, including heart attacks, stroke, kidney disease or even dementia.
About a third of adults in the UK have high blood pressure, according to Blood Pressure UK, but the good news is that there are lots of things you can do to lower it. It can often be prevented by eating healthily, maintaining a healthy weight, exercising regularly, only drinking alcohol in moderation and not smoking.
But there’s also a common kitchen item that has been found to help – black pepper. Found in most British homes, black pepper has anti-inflammatory properties, which have been shown to help reduce risk of developing heart disease, stroke and other chronic conditions, Wales Online reports.
Ground black pepper, which can be bought in any supermarket, for example from Asda for 90p, is derived from the dried fruit of the Piper nigrum plant. Its active component, called piperine, has many health benefits. One of its benefits is that it can help to dilate your blood vessels and contributes towards the prevention of blood thickening.
The seasoning can also help boost the absorption of essential nutrients like calcium and selenium, can promote gut health by increasing good bacteria and may even reduce appetite, according to Healthline.
High blood pressure is often called a ‘silent killer’, as it rarely causes any symptoms. However, occasionally people experience symptoms like headaches, blood shot eyes or feel sick or unwell. The only way of knowing is to have a blood pressure test. You can get these at a number of places, including pharmacies, and your GP surgery or you can buy a kit to test it at home.
Ideally, your reading should be between 90/60mmHg and 120/80mmHg. If you’re worried, speak to your GP.
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