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According to the British Heart Foundation, 15 million Brits suffer from high blood pressure. However, new research suggests some fruits, and a particular wine could bring your blood pressure reading down. What are they?
New research shows flavonoids, a chemical found in some fruits and in red wine, could help to lower blood pressure.
However, the study found these flavonoids were more effective in some people than in others.
The four foods researchers found to lower blood pressure for some participants are:
- Red wine
Sounds like a delicious combination, but how does it work?
Flavonoids are a compound found in many plant-based foods including fruit, vegetables, chocolate and tea.
Previously known as vitamin P, flavonoids are high in antioxidants and can help your body fight diseases and toxins.
Berries, apples, pears and red wine are rich in a form of flavonoids called anthocyanins which have been linked to heart health.
The lead author Professor Aedin Cassidy said in a statement from Queens: “Our gut microbiome plays a key role in metabolising flavonoids to enhance their cardioprotective effects, and this study provides evidence to suggest these blood-pressure-lowering effects are achievable with simple changes to the daily diet.”
However, portion sizes are very important, particularly when it comes to alcohol.
Drinking too much alcohol is bad for your health, and amongst other things can cause high blood pressure.
This study found drinking 2.8 250 millimetre glasses of red wine a week was linked to a 3.7 mmHg decrease in systolic blood pressure (that’s the top number in a blood pressure reading).
That equates to 700 millimetres of wine, or 93 percent of a standard bottle of wine.
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This is less than the NHS’ recommended weekly allowance of 14 units per week, or 10 small glasses of wine.
The study recommended eating 1.6 portions of berries a day to reduce systolic blood pressure by 4.1 mmHg.
Nirmala Markandu, Hypertension Nurse Specialist at Blood Pressure UK said: “Unsurprisingly this study was very popular in the press due to the observed benefits of red wine, but it’s important to note the limitations of the study.
“It is a case-control study, which can show an association between red wine and lower blood pressure but does not prove or confirm benefits.
“As always, it’s important to drink alcohol only within the recommended limits.
“In terms of blood pressure control the best change you can make to your diet is to eat less salt, and eating a variety of fruit and veg including berries is always a good idea.”
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