High blood pressure means the force of blood pushing against blood vessel walls is constantly too high. The condition usually produces no outward signs, but, as the pressure pushing against your artery walls intensifies, it begins to damage your artery walls. A tear in your artery walls can cause a fatty substance called cholesterol to flow into the gaps.
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Cholesterol build-up is one of the primary causes of a heart attack so it is imperative to keep blood pressure in check to avoid this sequence of events.
Fortunately, high blood pressure can be lowered by making simple dietary adjustments.
The most robust way to keep the condition in check is to follow a heart-healthy diet.
As part of your general dietary approach, extensive evidence singles out specific items for their blood-pressure-lowering benefits.
One such item is cardamom, a spice traditionally used in Indian recipes to add an intense, slightly sweet flavour to curry dishes.
Studies exploring the potential health benefits of eating cardamom powder have uncovered a promising link to blood pressure.
In one study, researchers gave three grams of cardamom powder a day to 20 adults who were newly diagnosed with high blood pressure.
After 12 weeks, blood pressure levels had significantly decreased to the normal range.
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Researchers believe the promising results of this study may be related to the high levels of antioxidants in cardamom.
Antioxidants are compounds that are thought to play a role in protecting against heart disease by interfering with unstable molecules known as free radicals.
In fact, the participants’ antioxidant status had increased by 90 percent by the end of the study.
Antioxidants have been linked to lower blood pressure in several studies.
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Researchers also suspect that the spice may lower blood pressure due to its natural diuretic effect.
A diuretic is any substance that promotes urination to remove water that builds up in your body, for example around your heart.
Bolstering this claim, cardamom extract has been shown to increase urination and decrease blood pressure in rats.
General dietary tips
If you are looking to lower blood pressure, slashing your salt intake is critical.
The more salt you eat, the higher your blood pressure.
According to the NHS, you should aim to eat less than six grams (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,” explains the health site.
It adds: “Aim to eat 5 portions of fruit and vegetables every day.”
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