It’s already known that you can decrease your blood pressure by increasing your intake of fruit and vegetables. This approach, developed in the US, is known as the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) study. Researchers at the University of Oxford, UK, have sought to demonstrate the benefits of this eating plan in a group of people in a primary care setting.
They randomly allocated 690 people to either intervention – where they were actively encouraged to eat the recommended five portions of fruit and vegetables a day – or control, where they were told not to alter their diet. In the first group, fruit and vegetable intake went up by an average of 1.4 servings a day. Their blood levels of antioxidants increased, compared to the control group, while their blood pressure decreased. The decrease was an average of 4 mm Hg systolic (top figure) and 1.5 mm Hg diastolic (bottom figure) – which is small, but significant.
Such blood pressure falls could well decrease the risk of heart disease and stroke, say the researchers.
Come back to Jody Mow Wellness for more whole food nutrition and heart healthy solutions in the upcoming week.