High blood pressure, medically known as hypertension, can lead to all sorts of health conditions. For one, it can lead to a heart attack or, two, it could result in a stroke. Kidney failure, heart failure and vascular dementia are also associated risks. Fortunately, one tasty and versatile piece of meat has been shown to lower blood pressure.
Researchers in Japan conducted a study to see if collagen – a protein found in chicken legs – could be broken up by the stomach into smaller proteins that lower blood pressure.
Positively, the smaller proteins were found to work akin to ACE inhibitors – a type of medication prescribed by doctors to manage high blood pressure.
To test this theory further, the smaller proteins were then fed to rats whose blood pressures were measured for a whole day.
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The chicken leg proteins did in fact cause a fall in the rats’ blood pressures that slowly wore off after the 24-hour period.
Due to these results, the study’s researchers are suggesting that people could eat chicken soup made from chicken leg meat to help lower their blood pressure.
They do note that chicken legs don’t contain enough collagen to replace taking blood pressure medications if you’ve already been prescribed them.
Nevertheless, a warm bowl of chicken soup is a good option to help manage the health condition.
Blood Pressure UK does list other recommendations on how to help lower blood pressure readings. These include:
- Eat less salt
- Eat more fruit and vegetables
- Keep to the recommended daily alcohol limits
- Keep active
- Be a healthy weight
- Take any blood pressure medicines or diabetes medication you have been given
The more salt you eat, the higher your blood pressure will be. It causes the body to retain too much water, and can disturb how diuretic medication for high blood pressure works.
An adult is recommended to eat no more than 6g of salt per day. Blood Pressure UK add to stop using salt at the dinner table.
There are already far too many ways hidden salt enters our body through our diet. Did you know that salt is contained in biscuits, breakfast cereals and bread? Well, they are.
Fruit and vegetables
Fruit and vegetables are full of vitamins, minerals and fibre to keep your body in good condition.
They also contain potassium, which helps balance out the negative effects of salt thus helping to lower your blood pressure.
A mixture of at least five different fruits and vegetables are best eaten every day – with each portion being about the same size as your fist.
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Recommended daily alcohol limits
Alcohol contains a lot of calories which can cause weight gain and can lead to a higher blood pressure.
The current UK guidelines point out that men and women should drink no more than 14 units per week.
What does 14 units look like?
- Six 175ml glasses of wine (13 percent)
- Six pints of normal-strength beer or ale (4 percent)
- Five pints of cider (4.5 percent)
- 14 single 25ml measures of spirits (40 percent)
Binge drinking is frowned upon by Blood Pressure UK. It states that binge drinking is classed as drinking more than six units in six hours – that’s less than three 175ml glasses of wine or three pints of beer in an evening.
Keep active and be a healthy body weight
It’s true that exercise will temporarily increase your blood pressure but, as soon as you stop the activity, your blood pressure should soon return to normal.
How quickly blood pressure returns to normal after exercising indicates how fit you are too – the quicker, the fitter.
Aerobic exercises – swimming, walking, jogging and dancing – are considered the best exercises to help lower blood pressure in the long term.
Blood pressure medicines
Take any blood pressure medicines in the way in which they have been prescribed by a health professional.
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