High blood pressure: The popular Asian delicacy proven to lower your reading
High blood pressure affects more than one in four adults in the UK, according to the NHS, but many won’t realise they have it. This is because symptoms are rarely noticeable – the best way to find out if you have the condition is to have your reading regularly checked. To prevent high blood pressure or to lower your reading simple lifestyle changes are recommended, such as changes to what you eat. Cutting down on your salt intake and eating a low-fat, balanced diet are just two recommendations, but studies have more specifically looked at certain foods you should eat.
One food enjoyed in Asian countries, such as India, China, Korea and Southeast Asia, proven to lower blood pressure, is the mung bean.
Mung beans are small round green beans which belong to the legume family.
They have a slightly sweet taste and are usually enjoyed in soups.
They’re also a good source of potassium, magnesium and fibre, and studies have linked each of these nutrients to a significantly lower risk of high blood pressure.
Blood Pressure UK explains potassium “helps to lower blood pressure by balancing out the negative effects of salt.
“Your kidneys help to control your blood pressure by controlling the amount of fluid stored in your body. The more fluid, the higher your blood pressure.
“Your kidneys do this by filtering your blood and sucking out any extra fluid, which it then stores in your bladder as urine. This process uses a delicate balance of sodium and potassium to pull the water across a wall of cells from the bloodstream into a collecting channel that leads to the bladder.
“Eating salt raises the amount of sodium in your bloodstream and wrecks the delicate balance, reducing the ability of your kidneys to remove the water. By eating more fruit and vegetables, you will increase your potassium levels and help to restore the delicate balance.”
In a 2016 study, US researchers looked at the results of 34 clinical trials, involving over 2,000 people, and found a link between magnesium intake and reduced blood pressure.
Those who took magnesium were found to have lower blood pressure and improved blood flow that which can also lower blood pressure.
A study in 2005 demonstrated how bulking up on fibre may help keep blood pressure under control.
Researchers looked at the results of 25 studies on the effects of dietary fibre on blood pressure and found a high-fibre diet was associated with a significant reduction in blood pressure levels in those with high blood pressure.
Additionally, an analysis of eight studies (‘Effect of dietary pulses on blood pressure: a systematic review and meta-analysis of controlled feeding trials’) demonstrated higher intakes of legumes, like beans, lowered blood pressure in both adults with and without high blood pressure.
Other ways recommended to lower blood pressure are:
- Being active
- Losing weight
- Stopping smoking
- Getting at least six hours of sleep a night if you can
Sometimes symptoms of high blood pressure do develop. According to Bupa this can cause:
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain
- Heart palpitations
- Nose bleeds
- Stomach pain
- Blurred vision
Eating this sweet treat every day could also help you lower your reading.