Loose Women: Dr Hilary discusses how to live longer
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Nutrients are extremely influential in the way the body performs. Selecting the most favourable foods for optimal functioning are key in leading not only a longer, but healthy life. One green treat – touted as a superfood – has been shown to lower blood pressure readings and cancer risk. One serving of the Chinese gooseberry contains approximately 215mg of potassium, noted Medical News Today.
Blood Pressure UK confirmed that potassium “helps to lower your blood pressure” by playing a role in how much fluid is stored or released from the body.
The UK charity explained: “If your body is holding onto water, there will be more fluid in your blood.
“This puts extra pressure against your blood vessels walls, raising your blood pressure.”
Excess water is usually removed from the blood by the kidney and filtered into the bladder.
In order for this process to occur, there needs to be a fine balance between potassium and sodium in the body.
Too much sodium in the blood, found in salty foods, can upset this fine balance and cause the body to retain excess water.
“By eating more foods that are high in potassium, you can help to restore the balance, allowing the kidneys to work well and lower your blood pressure,” Blood Pressure UK elaborated.
High blood pressure is a major health risk, putting you at risk of heart disease and life-threatening conditions.
Thus, eating a Chinese gooseberry, otherwise known as a kiwifruit, is a great way to help lower your blood pressure reading.
The juicy fruit has also been linked to a decreased risk of cancer due to its antioxidant properties.
High levels of free radicals in the body can damage the DNA that can lead to cancer, the National Cancer Institute pointed out.
And Medical News Today highlighted that kiwifruit “provides a range of antioxidants that help remove free radicals from the body”.
The National Cancer Institute elaborated on what free radicals are and where they come from.
“Free radicals are highly reactive chemicals that have the potential to harm cells,” the organisation explained.
“They are created when an atom or a molecule (a chemical that has two or more atoms) either gains or loses an electron (a small negatively charged particle found in atoms).”
Formed naturally in the body, they play “an important role” in normal cellular processes.
However, at high concentrations, free radicals can damage DNA, proteins, and cell membranes.
What causes an overload of free radicals?
Exposure to ionising radiation and other environmental toxins can lead to excessive free radicals within the body.
“When ionising radiation hits an atom or a molecule in a cell, an electron may be lost, leading to the formation of a free radical,” the National Cancer Institute explained.
Cigarette smoke, for instance, may contain large amounts of free radicals or stimulate the body’s cells to produce more free radicals.
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