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Six Foods That Lower High Blood Pressure

Update Date: Oct 24, 2013 09:28 AM EDT

High blood pressure is one of the most common health conditions Americans live with. According to Contributing Editor Linda Milo Ohr from the Food Technology magazine, there are six foods that have nutritional value in lowering blood pressure which have been proved effective in studies. 

"In the United States more than 77 million adults have been diagnosed with high blood pressure, which can cause heart disease and stroke," reported Ohr.
Researchers found that in a study where 32 pre-hypertensive adults had a dietary intake of grape seed extract low systolic and diastolic blood pressure were noticeable (Polyphenolics, 2013a).

Ohr reported, "In another study, 36 pre-hypertensive adult subjects were either given a drink with a placebo or grape seed extract. The participants that consumed the grape seed extract experienced significant reductions in blood pressure compared to those who consumed the placebo (Polyphenolics, 2013b)."

Nuts were also a significant food that underwent a high blood pressure lowering study. 

"A study (Katz et al, 2012) showed that 56 g of walnuts a day reduced systolic blood pressure and did not lead to weight gain," reported Ohr. "In another study (West et all 2012), 28 subjects with high cholesterol showed reductions in systolic blood pressure after one serving of pistachios a day."

In another study, researchers found beetroot juice helps to improve blood flow because of its dietary nitrate.

"A study (American Heart Association, 2013) showed that a cup of beetroot juice a day may help lower systolic and diastolic blood pressure," Ohr reported. 
According to another study, consumption of more dairy products and less meat has been associated with lowering blood pressure (Weng et al, 2013). 

"During a 12-week study, researches gave 46 pre-hypertensive subjects raisins or other snacks equal in calorie value three times a day," reported Ohr. "At weeks four, eight and 12 weeks, subjects eating the raisins showed a significantly reduced systolic blood pressure (Bays et al, 2012)."

Researchers found that flaxseed too had lowering blood pressure effects. 

"A study (Rodrigues et al, 2012) examined the effects of dietary flaxseed on systolic and diastolic blood pressure in subjects with narrowed arteries (peripheral artery disease)," reported Ohr. "After six months of 30g of milled flaxseed a day, both systolic and diastolic blood pressure was lower."

The findings of Contributing Editor Linda Milo Ohr and the studies are published in Food Technology

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