High blood pressure affects one in four adults in the UK, but many people dont know they have it. This is because symptoms are rarely noticeable. The best way to find out if you have high blood pressure is to have your reading regularly checked, either by your GP or local pharmacist or using a blood pressure monitor at home. High blood pressure can often be prevented or reduced by some simple lifestyle changes, such as eating healthily.
The NHS advises: Cut down on the amount of salt in your food and eat plenty of fruit and vegetables.
It adds: Salt raises your blood pressure. The more salt you eat, the higher your blood pressure.
Aim to eat less than 6g (0.2oz) of salt a day, which is about a teaspoonful.
Eating a low-fat diet that includes lots of fibre, such as wholegrain rice, bread and pasta, and plenty of fruit and vegetables also helps lower blood pressure.
READ MORE:High blood pressure: Best tea to drink for breakfast to lower your reading
But some experts believe the addition of supplements in a persons diet can also help control blood pressure.
One supplement proven to have a positive impact on blood pressure is garlic extract.
In 2014, Australian scientists found certain nutrients in garlic, particularly a compound called allicin, release chemicals into the bloodstream that help blood vessels relax, reducing blood pressure.
High blood pressure is recorded with two numbers - the systolic and diastolic pressure.
The systolic pressure, the higher number, is the force at which the heart pumps blood around the body.
The diastolic pressure, the lower number, is the resistance to the blood flow in the blood vessels.
In a 2012 Cochrane review on the effects of garlic on high blood pressure, researchers concluded (based on two trials in 87 patients with high blood pressure) garlic reduces mean supine systolic and diastolic blood pressure by approximately 10-12mmHg and 6-9mmHg.
While garlic can be eaten in its natural form, its also available as a supplement.
Studies have also demonstrated the positive effect garlic supplements can have on blood pressure.
In one study, 600 to 1,500mg of aged garlic extract was just as effective as the drug Atenolol at reducing blood pressure over a 24-week period.
Before taking supplements to lower high blood pressure you should speak with your GP.
Other ways to lower blood pressure
Another way high blood pressure can be reduced or prevented is by regularly exercising.
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