HIGH blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is the precursor of serious health problems, including heart attacks and strokes. Fortunately, certain diet interventions can see your levels drop back to the safe zone. While foods packed with potassium are known for their blood pressure lowering abilities, new research has identified the type of meat that could also be effective.
Looking at more than 70 studies, a research team from China found that oily fish packed with omega 3s could see your blood pressure levels drop. What’s more, you could see these results in just 10 weeks.
The review, published in the Journal of the American Heart Association, suggested that eating one salmon fillet daily could keep your blood pressure in check.
The study found that eating three grams of omega-3 fatty acids on a daily basis could cut the culprit in 10 weeks.
To get this portion of omega 3s, you need to eat around 120 grams of salmon daily.
If you’re not a fan of salmon, other oily fish, including mackerel, trout, and tuna, could also help.
Examining 70 studies that included 5,000 participants, the researchers looked at the relationship between omega 3s and blood pressure.
Two of the main types of omega 3s are eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).
The researchers analysed how these exact acids affect hypertension.
The study subjects consumed different amounts of fatty acids for about 10 weeks on average.
The findings suggested that those who had two to three grams of DHA and EPA omega-3 fatty acid saw a drop in their blood pressure.
The average reduction was two millimetres of mercury (mmHg) in both systolic and diastolic pressure.
If you’re not aware, blood pressure is measured as two figures in mmHg.
What’s more, those who suffered from hypertension saw more than double the drop.
Dr Xinzhi Li, the study author, explained that adults can experience “modest” blood pressure reductions from eating extra portions of the fish.
One of the reasons why fatty acids might be so potent is their ability to relax artery walls and regulate the contraction of these walls.
By definition, high blood pressure describes the long-term force of the blood against your artery walls that is high enough to eventually trigger health problems. So, relaxing your arteries could help.
Other studies have also suggested that omega 3s might help control blood pressure and prevent heart problems.
Blood pressure explained.
The NHS recommends everyone to eat at least two portions of fish weekly, including one portion of oily fish.
The health service defined a portion at around 140 grams (4.9oz).
When it comes to the oily fish, it stresses to stick to one portion as “oily fish usually have higher levels of pollutants than other types of seafood”.
If you follow plant-based diets that exclude fish, the research team shared that you can also get the benefits through omega-3 supplements.