High blood pressure describes what happens when the force of blood flowing through your arteries is abnormally fast. If the rate at which blood passes your through arteries is consistently too fast, your vessels harden and constrict. Eventually, this means less blood can be transported to vital organs, such as the heart.
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Starving the heart of oxygenated blood is the primary cause of heart attacks so it is vital to keep blood pressure within a healthy range.
The most reliable way to ward off the threat of high blood pressure is to eat a healthy balanced diet.
Fruit is a key staple of any balanced diet and one of the primary benefits of eating fruit is its ability to moderate blood pressure.
Not all fruits provide the same benefits however.
Evidence has linked specific fruits to reductions in high blood pressure.
Here are three such fruits:
According to one study, a daily serving of kiwi reduced blood pressure in people with mildly elevated levels.
The researchers compared the effects of apples and kiwis on people with slightly high blood pressure.
They found that eating three kiwis a day for eight weeks resulted in a more significant reduction in both systolic and diastolic blood pressure, compared with eating one apple a day for the same period.
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The authors suspect that the bioactive substances in kiwis caused the reduction.
A study looking at adults with obesity and prehypertension (an early warning sign of high blood blood pressure) or mild hypertension, who took watermelon extract showed reduced blood pressure in the ankles and brachial arteries.
The brachial artery is the main artery in the upper arm.
Researchers have also found that animals given a diet rich in watermelon had better heart health.
In one study, mice who drank a solution containing watermelon juice had 50 percent less plaque in their arteries than the control group.
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Like high blood pressure, a buildup of plaque in the arteries is a precursor to heart disease.
Blueberries and strawberries contain antioxidant compounds called anthocyanins, a type of flavonoid.
Antioxidants are compounds that are thought to play a role in protecting against heart disease.
Researchers conducted a large study of more than 34,000 people with high blood pressure.
They found that those with the highest intake of anthocyanins — mainly from blueberries and strawberries — had an eight percent reduction in the risk of high blood pressure, compared to those with a low anthocyanin intake.
Other ways to lower blood pressure
Exercising regularly plays a key role in reducing high blood pressure.
Mayo Clinic explains: “Regular physical activity makes your heart stronger. A stronger heart can pump more blood with less effort.”
It adds: “If your heart can work less to pump, the force on your arteries decreases, lowering your blood pressure.”
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