Including walnuts in your diet lowers blood pressure
If you eat 1-2 handfuls of walnuts every day, your systolic blood pressure - the blood pressure during a heartbeat - drops by almost 5 points. If you take medication to keep your blood pressure low, adding walnuts to your diet reduces the chance that your cardiologist will increase the dosage.
Researchers from Spain's Instituto de Salud Carlos III analyzed data collected in the Spanish-American Walnuts and Healthy Aging study. In this 2-year study, a group of 116 people aged 63-79 changed their diet by incorporating 1-2 handfuls of walnuts per day in such a way that their macronutrient and energy intake did not significantly change. A control group of 120 comparable people did not change their diet.
60 percent of the subjects had mildly elevated blood pressure at the start of the study. Some of them were taking antihypertensive medications.
Including walnuts in the diet reduced systolic blood pressure by 4.6 points. In the walnut group, diastolic blood pressure was also lower than in the control group, but this difference was not significant.
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Of the test subjects who ate walnuts, 7 had to take more medication to keep their blood pressure under control. In the control group there were 16. This difference was statistically significant.
"That regular consumption of a single whole food appears to be a useful adjunct to dietary and pharmacological approaches for improving the control of high blood pressure has public health implications", the researchers summarize. "It might help reduce the burden and side-effects of pharmacological treatment of mild hypertension."
A decrease in systole of 4.6 points is of course a bonus. But this website has written about natural methods with a stronger effect on blood pressure. Supplementation with celery seed, for example. Or physical exercise. Or fish oil supplementation.
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