You could lower your risk of the condition, which is also known as hypertension, by making small diet changes.
Adding red reishi supplements to your diet could lower your hypertension risk, according to nutritionist Dr Sarah Brewer.
Red reishi mushrooms have been used for thousands of years to regulate blood pressure, as well as maintain general well-being, she said.
Taking the supplements could lower blood pressure by about 19/10mmHg, which is better than many prescribed high blood pressure drugs, added the nutritionist.
“Red reishi is one of the most effective natural remedies for high blood pressure,” said Brewer, on her website MyLowerBloodPressure.com.
“The red reishi was referred to in traditional Chinese medicine as ling zhi – the mushroom of immortality.
“Although it is too woody and fibrous for culinary use, it is widely taken in the form of tablets or capsules.
“Reishi contains ganodermic acids which have a structure similar to steroid hormones involved in the regulation of blood pressure, blood clotting, blood flow and oxygen uptake.
“Red reishi mushroom supplements contain four peptides that act in a similar way to ACE inhibitor antihypertensive drugs.”
Hypertensive patients could enhance their red reishi supplements by boosting their vitamin C intake, said Brewer.
Top vitamin C foods include guava, red pepper and kiwi fruit.
Aim for 500mg of reishi extract, two to three times a day, she added.
Take the supplements under medical supervision if you’re also taking immunosuppressive drugs, anticoagulants or cholesterol-lowering medication.
You could also lower your blood pressure by making changes to your exercise regime.
Hypertension patients should focus on exercises that will help the heart and blood vessels, said charity Blood Pressure UK.
Avoid intensive exercises, including sprinting, weightlifting or scuba diving.
These activities could quickly raise the heart rate, which should be avoided, as they put extra stress on the heart and blood vessel.
The best exercises for high blood pressure patients are those that are repetitive and include rhythmic movements.
Cycling, brisk walking, swimming or dancing are great choices for high blood pressure.