In the medical journal Circulation, researchers report a way to help lower blood pressure, and it may be as easy as eating more vegetables and grains.
Experts say vegetable protein has a common amino acid called glutamic acid, and this is what lowers blood pressure. The study showed that as intake of glutamic acid went up, blood pressure went down. Participants who consumed 5 percent of their total protein from foods that contain this acid lowered their blood pressure by up to two points.
But veggies and grains provide other health benefits too. They may reduce risk for stroke, diabetes, and certain cancers. So stocking up on healthy food at the grocery store is the way to go.
Vegetable proteins can also be found in beans, whole grains, rice, soy products, and bread. The more you eat these vegetable proteins and the less you eat animal proteins, the more likely you are to reach and maintain a healthy blood pressure level.
Know Your Numbers and What They Mean
Knowing your blood pressure reading is important to your health. High blood pressure is a major risk factor for heart disease, stroke, and other cardiovascular problems.
Blood pressure readings use two numbers, the systolic pressure (top number) and diastolic pressure (bottom number):
This new study provides more evidence that an important diet called Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) helps reduce blood pressure. Designed by the National Institutes of Health, the DASH diet is rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean poultry, nuts, and beans.
To get started in following the DASH diet:
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Studies show that a diet high in fruits and vegetables may reduce the risk of certain diseases, including heart disease, stroke, and some types of cancer. Fruits and vegetables also are low in calories and fat, so they can help you maintain a healthy weight.
Government experts recommend eating 2 cups of fruit and 2.5 cups of vegetables daily for people who consume 2,000 calories per day. Depending upon your diet, you may need more or fewer fruits and veggies.
But what makes a serving? For fruit, it is 1/4 cup dried fruit, 1/2 cup cut-up fruit, 3/4 cup fruit juice, or one medium fruit.