This Morning: Dr Chris discusses blood pressure and dementia
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High blood pressure is diagnosed when the pressure inside arterial walls is high enough to cause a rupture or a stroke. A great number of cases will require medication, but some dietary sources have proven just as efficient to reduce levels. According to some medical sources, celery consumption may lead to significant reductions in blood pressure.
Doctor Sarah Brewer, noted on her website: “Celery and celery seed are often overlooked as health-promoting foods but can help to lower high blood pressure.”
Chinese theory suggests it acts upon the liver to lower hypertension, and several studies have supported this hypothesis.
Writing in the journal of pharmacognosy, scientists wrote: “One type of hypertension is associated with the liver.”
They continued: “In mainland China, celery was useful in reducing hypertension in 14 of 16 patients.
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“The juice was mixed with an equal amount of honey and about eight ounces were taken orally three times each day for up to one week.”
Marked reductions were observed in both systolic and diastolic blood pressure.
“The difference in blood pressure in human beings before and after treatment has been found to be significant, indicating that the seeds [of celery] can be used as a safe and effective treatment of high blood pressure,” noted the scientists.
The authors added that by mixing celery juice with vinegar, individuals may be able to relieve symptoms associated with hypertension like headache and shoulder pain.
One of the compounds in celery thought to be responsible for blood pressure reductions is the phytochemical phthalide.
There is evidence that as an extract, the compound can relax the tissues inside the artery walls, allowing more good to flow through.
Nitrites, also found in abundance in celery, are beneficial for similar reasons.
They are packed with both nitrogen and oxygen, which can induce vasodilation.
But celery offers a wealth of other nutrients, such as fibre, magnesium and potassium, that can help regulate blood pressure too.
Some of these are believed to have a soothing effect on stress hormones, which indirectly impact blood pressure.
Doctor Luke Laffin, from the Department of Cardiovascular Medicine at Cleveland Clinic, noted: “To get the benefits, you should eat roughly four stalks – one cut, chopped – of celery daily.”
Coupled with a regular exercise routine, this can keep blood pressure in good nick for prolonged periods of time.
Several measures may be necessary to maintain results, however.
Reducing the intake of sodium is key to keeping blood pressure down because it contributes hugely to the retention of water.
Smoking can cause acute increases in blood pressure and heart rate, so it should be stopped immediately.
Finally, cutting back on caffeine may also be necessary to maintain results, although the long-term effects of caffeine on blood pressure are unclear.
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