High blood pressure is a condition that causes a person's arterial pressure to become higher than it should be. It affects one in four adults in the UK, but many people know they have it because the symptoms are rarely noticeable.
The best way to find out if you have high blood pressure is to have your reading checked regularly, either by your doctor, local pharmacist or by using a blood pressure monitor at home.
Having high blood pressure increases the risk of developing complications such as kidney disease, heart attack, heart failure and stroke, so it's important to do what you can to prevent the condition and keep it in check.
Simple lifestyle changes can often prevent or reduce high blood pressure, such as eating healthily.
Experts advise cutting down on the amount of salt in food. And as such, a food many people enjoy for breakfast, and indeed throughout the day, should be considered.
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Baked beans, while high in fiber and protein and low in fat, tend to be salty.
Salt works on the kidneys to hold the body to more water and the extra stored water raises your blood pressure and puts strain on your kidneys, arteries, heart and brain.
Blood Pressure UK explains: “Your body removes unwanted fluid by filtering your blood through your kidneys. Here any extra fluid is sucked out and put into your bladder to be removed as urine.
“To do this, your kidneys use osmosis to draw the extra water out of your blood. This process uses a delicate balance of sodium and potassium to draw water across a wall of bloodstream cells into a collecting channel that leads to the bladder.
“Eating salt raises the amount of sodium in your bloodstream and wrecks the delicate balance, reducing your kidneys' ability to remove water.
"The result is a higher blood pressure due to extra fluid and extra strain on the delicate blood vessels leading to the kidneys."
A tin of baked beans contains approximately 1.6g of salt. Adults are advised to eat no more than 6g of salt a day – which is about 1 teaspoon.
So being wary of your salt intake of the day, especially if you eat baked beans, is important.
Because eating salt raises the amount of sodium in the bloodstream and wrecks the delicate balance of sodium and potassium, Blood Pressure UK says: “Eating more fruits and vegetables will increase your potassium levels and help restore the delicate balance.
"This will help your kidneys work more efficiently – and help lower your blood pressure to a healthy level."
Other ways to lower blood pressure
Being active and taking regular exercise low blood pressure by keeping the heart and blood vessels in good condition.
The NHS advises: “Regular exercise can also help you lose weight, which will also help lower your blood pressure.
“Adults should do at least 150 minutes (2 hours and 30 minutes) of moderate-intensity aerobic activity, such as cycling or fast walking, every week.
"Physical activity can include anything from sports to walking and gardening."
Cutting down on caffeine, limiting your alcohol intake and stopping smoking can also help.