Scientists from the University of Catania found eating certain plant-based foods could benefit people with high blood pressure.
High blood pressure increases the risk of heart disease and stroke, two leading causes of death for Americans.
High blood pressure is also very common. Tens of millions of adults in the United States have high blood pressure, and many do not have it under control.
High blood pressure, also called hypertension, is blood pressure that is higher than normal. Your blood pressure changes throughout the day based on your activities.
Having blood pressure measures consistently above normal may result in a diagnosis of high blood pressure (or hypertension).
The higher your blood pressure levels, the more risk you have for other health problems, such as heart disease, heart attack, and stroke.
Polyphenols are compounds found in plant-based foods that act as an antioxidant and may lower disease risk.
Dietary polyphenols come mainly from plant-based foods including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, coffee, tea, and nuts.
Polyphenols may influence blood sugar and type 2 diabetes through different mechanisms, such as promoting the uptake of glucose in tissues and therefore improving insulin sensitivity.
There is evidence that some polyphenol-rich foods are able to improve blood pressure health.
These foods include berry fruits rich in anthocyanins, cocoa and green tea rich in flavan-3-ols, almonds, and pistachios rich in hydroxycinnamic acids, and soy products rich in isoflavones.
In the study, researchers aimed to explore existing evidence about the effects of dietary polyphenols on vascular health and high blood pressure.
They found a variety of mechanisms that can explain the observed effects.
The researchers suggest that while no single food counteracts high blood pressure, eating a plant-based diet including a variety of polyphenol-rich foods may help improve blood pressure.
The team also find some limitations in the evidence, including variability of polyphenol content in plant-derived foods and human absorption, difficulty disentangling the effects of polyphenols from other dietary compounds, and discrepancy of doses between animal and human studies should be taken into account.
The research was published in Nutrients and conducted by Giuseppe Grosso et al.
If you care about blood pressure, please read studies that black licorice could cause dangerously high blood pressure, and this common plant nutrient could help reduce high blood pressure.
For more information about nutrition, please see recent studies about how tea and coffee influence your risk of high blood pressure, and results showing this olive oil could reduce blood pressure in healthy people.
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