blood

High blood pressure is becoming a growing problem for people under the age of 35 and you should, therefore, not think it only affects the elderly. Lack of exercise, excessive alcohol consumption, smoking, high-salt diets, unhealthy and stressful lifestyles, and genetics are cited as the main causes. Office workers are the most likely to suffer from high blood pressure, but 70 per cent of all adults in the population are at risk.

If you have blood pressure reading 140/90 or above, you need to make some lifestyle changes. Take more exercise, reduce your stress levels, quit smoking, cut the amount of salt in your diet and drink less alcohol. Also invest in a home blood pressure measuring kit. Monitoring your blood pressure at home helps you know when you need to make lifestyle changes or see a doctor. Remember, blood pressure is called the ‘silent killer’ because it mostly has no symptoms and most people with blood pressure don’t even know they have it until it is discovered during a routine medical check or, sadly, one gets a stroke. Checking your blood pressure regularly could save your life.

Get rid of a cold with zinc

The cold season is with us and with it comes flus and colds. With mounting evidence that zinc can help reduce the duration and severity of colds, you should top up your intake of this immune-boosting mineral. The richest source includes shellfish, oysters and mussels that are super-rich in zinc. For example, three medium sized oysters can offer a whopping 40mg, more than enough to meet the recommended daily allowance of 7mg. Ask your fishmonger whether he keeps these super seafood. Most seafood restaurants serve them and you could enquire who their supplier is. You could also up your zinc with supplements. Ensure your zinc intake during this cold season reaches the daily recommended allowance to keep colds at bay.

Heart healthy berry blend

Drinking a blend of freshly squeezed berry and grape juices could boost your heart health by helping reduce your heart disease risk. French researchers tested a blend of fruit juices on arteries in a lab and found the juice caused artery walls to relax. Blackcurrant, blueberry, cranberry, strawberry and grape juices had the most effect, according to the study published in the journal Food and Function. But be careful with juice as it has more sugar and less fibre than the original fruit, so stick to one glass a day and no more.