If your blood pressure inches into anything above 124/84, you’re more likely to suffer. Wait-and-see wisdom isn’t heart-smart, say two new reports.
Here’s why: Ignore early blood pressure increases and you ignore heart damage.
The first study explains how blood pressure increase in your 30s, 40s or 50s enlarges your heart, even if you’re otherwise healthy.
The second study shows that high blood pressure at age 55 increases risk for a “heart event” for both men and women.
So aim for the healthiest, most heart-friendly BP — 115/76 — by reducing stress, eating smart, getting plenty of physical activity and enjoying these six surprising pressure-lowering treats:
Potatoes: are packed with anthocyanins, that rev up your body’s artery-pampering antioxidant defenses.
Raisins: Contain blood-pressure-friendly potassium, as well as fibre and beneficial compounds called polyphenols that keep artery walls flexible.
Pumpkin seeds, cashew nuts and walnuts: Contain magnesium that helps keep blood pressure down by balancing levels of sodium and calcium. Plus, the healthy fat in walnuts keeps inflammation out of your arteries and protects the level of nitric oxide.
Protein: Yoghurt, roast chicken, smoked salmon will keep blood sugar lower and steadier.
Dark chocolate: Flavonols packed into dark chocolate boost production of artery-relaxing nitric oxide. Pair a square with berries, orange sections or your favourite fruit.