How to live longer: A daily glass of ‘pure fruit juice’ can lower blood pressure
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Dr Carrie Ruxton stated that a glass of pure fruit juice provides vitamin C, folate and potassium, which can “lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of stroke”. So which beverage would be most beneficial for your health? According to Professor Philip Calder: “Trials in humans confirm that orange juice consumption reduces inflammation.” The professor of nutritional immunology at Southampton University, who co-authored the new research study, elaborated on why this is important news.
“Where inflammation is excessive or uncontrolled it can damage body tissues, sometimes irreparably,” he warned.
Dr Howard Sesso, from Harvard Medical School, pointed out that evidence suggests that “inflammation may be an important mechanism through which hypertension develops”.
This association was brought to light after an intensive investigation.
Analysing data from 21,000 people over an eight-year period, those who had higher blood levels of C-reactive protein (a marker of inflammation) were more likely to develop high blood pressure.
Referencing vitamin C and folate found in orange juice, Professor Calder said: “These nutrients support the function of many types of immune cells including phagocytes, natural killer cells, T-cells and B-cells.
“Another area of research is the bioactive polyphenols found in citrus fruit juices which include hesperidin, narirutin and naringin.
“These not only have anti-inflammatory effects but could also have direct anti-viral effects according to emerging data from modelling studies.”
The nutrients in orange juice are said to play a role in “strengthening the gut and skin barriers” – the body’s first line of defence.
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Dr Ruxton added: “The evidence about the positive role that fruit juices play in the diet continues to build.
“Now it’s clear that citrus juices can also contribute to immune health which is crucial as we all get back to our normal lives.”
How to further protect your health
If you want to stay clear of high blood pressure – or reduce your reading – the NHS advise you to have a “healthy diet”.
Aside from sipping on orange juice, this also includes cutting down on the amount of salt in your food.
“Salt raises your blood pressure. The more salt you eat, the higher your blood pressure,” the NHS made clear.
Simple steps can include forgoing any salt in your cooking, and refraining from adding the seasoning onto your meals.
It’s also helpful to eat a “low-fat diet” that includes whole grain carbohydrates and plenty of fruits and vegetables.
Other measures include limiting your alcohol intake, losing weight, and getting active.
How to boost immune system
The experts at Harvard Medical School recommend getting adequate sleep, minimising stress, and to not smoke.
Following such general health guidelines “is the single best step you can take toward naturally keeping your immune system working properly”.
If you would like to make sure you’re topped up on immune-boosting vitamins, supplements might help.
This is especially useful if you don’t get all the nutrients you need from your current diet.
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