Hypertension has been linked to factors such as poor eating habits, lack of exercise, obesity, or smoking. Now, to add another nail on the coffin, research has shown that we have to add city pollution to the above mentioned risk factors.

The research on city pollution

According to a study conducted by Doctors Robert D. Brooke and Robert Bard at the University of Michigan, being exposed for two hours to the environmental pollution in cities, it can increase the risk for hypertension and as a result, for cardiovascular disease.

Although this factor may not have serious consequences in healthy people, it can be a different story for people who suffer hypertension, a condition where the heart has to make an extra effort in order to pump blood to all body cells. Pollution can cause the heart to work even harder, triggering a heart attack or a stroke.

83 volunteers participated in the study, published by the magazine Hypertension. The participants were asked to breathe polluted air for two hours in city areas where car traffic was heavy. The blood vessels of the participants were examined before and after breathing the polluted air. It was observed that the pollution increased diastolic blood pressure (the lower reading) which did not returned to normal for 24 hours.

The study indicated that the increase in blood pressure is not due to the ozone effect or other gases, but to the microscopic particles found in the air.

This study makes it clear that it is imperative to limit the sources of pollution such as the ones coming from car traffic, industries, etc. It is also crucial for people who suffer from hypertension, heart and lung disease or diabetes, to get information about the levels of environmental pollution (concentration of micro-particles) before leaving home to carry out any type of outside activity.

How can you fight the effects of city pollution on hypertension?

The best counter-offensive to the effects of city pollution available to you is moving to the country side, of course. However, if this option is not practical, then your next best option is a diet high in fresh fruits and fruit juices prepared at home.

A juicer is one of the best investments you can make on your health. Fresh juices prepared at home contain many of the vitamins and enzymes your body needs to combat the devastating effects of pollution. Remember that the juices sold at the market have lost most of their vitamins through the process of pasteurization and they contain a lot of sugar as well as preservatives.

Best fruits to fight air pollution effects on hypertension

The following fruits are high in antioxidants and will help you fight the effects of city pollution:

Oranges
Lemons
Grapefruits
Apples
Peaches
Pineapples
Grapes
Pomegranates
Tomatoes
Onions
Cucumbers
Carrots
Celery

Final words

It is a fact that many things around us are beyond our control. Air pollution seems to be one of them, although of course, we can become active in groups fighting for a clean environment. But even if we take that course of action, the solution may not be around the corner. In the meantime, we have alternatives to fight city pollution that are within our control; eating more fruits and vegetables is one of them.

Author

I am Andy Carpenter and I would start by saying that I have a Bachelor Degree in Nutrition Science conferred by California State University, Los Angeles and that I am certified as a Registered Dietitian.

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