High blood pressure is noted by your GP following a blood pressure test. Is yours too high? This juice may help.
A report published in Food Science and Nutrition investigated the effects of a certain juice on blood pressure readings.
There were 481 participants enrolled in the year-long study, and they had their blood pressure taken before and after the experiment.
Throughout the trial, subjects had unlimited access to unsalted tomato juice provided by the researchers from Tokyo Medical and Dental University and Tucson Plant Breeding Institute.
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All the participants had to log how much they drank of unsalted tomato juice – if any at all – and return the logs to the researchers every three months.
From this data, the researchers found that people who had drunk an average of one cup of unsalted tomato juice each day lowered their blood pressure over the course of 12 months.
This select group was found to have lower LDL (bad) cholesterol – the kind that sticks to the artery walls and is associated with heart disease.
By the end of the study, 94 participants who had untreated prehypertension to hypertension at the beginning saw a decline in their blood pressure readings.
The average systolic blood pressure (the top number) went from 141.2mmHg to 137mmHg.
The average diastolic blood pressure (the bottom number) decreased from 83.3mmHg to 80.9mmHg.
According to the American Heart Association, these small shifts in blood pressure are enough to move somebody into the next hypertension stage.
However, it’s important to note that the research was funded by Kikkoman Corporation.
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Kikkoman Corporation holds the exclusive marketing rights for Del Monte – a brand that makes, among other things, unsalted tomato juice.
Moreover, the findings of the study are limited as the diet of each participant wasn’t noted.
Diet is extremely important in managing high blood pressure, says the NHS.
The key advice from the NHS to help lower blood pressure readings, in terms of diet, is to reduce salt intake and eat plenty of fruit and vegetables.
This is because salt directly raises a person’s blood pressure, so no more than a teaspoonful every day is recommended.
Blood pressure UK explained that eating salt increases the amount of sodium in the blood.
The kidneys remove excess fluid from the blood by osmosis – a delicate process requiring balance between potassium and sodium.
When you consume too much salt, and sodium builds up in the blood, the osmosis balance is disturbed.
As a consequence, the kidneys are unable to absorb and remove excess water from the bloodstream.
The extra fluid left in the bloodstream puts a strain on blood vessels and increases a person’s blood pressure.
Due to this knowledge, it makes sense as to why unsalted tomato juice was used in the study.
In addition, tomatoes are vegetables, so it makes sense that unsalted vegetable juice would help to lower blood pressure readings.
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