Friday October 19, 2018

Fruits and Vegetables May Help Lower BP

When dietary potassium is low, the balancing act uses sodium retention to hold onto the limited potassium, which is like eating a higher sodium diet

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Eat more fruit and vegetables to lower blood pressure
Eat more fruit and vegetables to lower blood pressure. Pixabay
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Eating potassium-rich foods like sweet potatoes, avocados, spinach, beans, bananas — and even drinking coffee — could be key to lowering blood pressure, new research suggests.

“Decreasing sodium intake is a well-established way to lower blood pressure, but evidence suggests that increasing dietary potassium may have an equally important effect on hypertension,” said Alicia McDonough, Professor at the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California (USC).

Hypertension is a global health issue that affects more than one billion people worldwide. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that hypertension is responsible for at least 51 per cent of deaths due to stroke and 45 per cent of deaths due to heart disease.

For the study, published in the American Journal of Physiology – Endocrinology and Metabolism, McDonough looked at population, interventional and molecular mechanism studies that investigated the effects of dietary sodium and potassium on hypertension.

The review found several population studies demonstrating that higher dietary potassium (estimated from urinary excretion or dietary recall) was associated with lower blood pressure, regardless of sodium intake.

Interventional studies with potassium supplementation also suggested that potassium provides a direct benefit.

Fruits And Vegetables May Help Lower BP
Fruits And Vegetables May Help Lower BP. Pixabay

To understand the beneficial effects of potassium on hypertension, McDonough reviewed recent studies in rodent models.

These studies indicated that the body does a balancing act that uses sodium to maintain close control of potassium levels in the blood, which is critical to normal heart, nerve and muscle function.

“When dietary potassium is high, kidneys excrete more salt and water, which increases potassium excretion,” McDonough said.

Also Read: Eating Fresh Fruits Everyday May Keep Diabetes at Bay

When dietary potassium is low, the balancing act uses sodium retention to hold onto the limited potassium, which is like eating a higher sodium diet, she said.

But how much dietary potassium should we consume?

A 2004 Institute of Medicine report recommends that adults consume at least 4.7 grams of potassium per day to lower blood pressure, blunt the effects of dietary sodium and reduce the risks of kidney stones and bone loss, McDonough said. (Bollywood Country)

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Fruits, Veggies May cut Psychological Stress Risk in Women

For the study, the team included more than 60,000 Australians aged 45 years and above and measured participants fruit and vegetable consumption, lifestyle factors and psychological distress

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fruits and vegetables
Women who ate 3-4 daily serves of vegetables had an 18 per cent lower risk of stress, and those who ate two daily serves of fruit had a 16 per cent lower risk of stress.

If you are a woman and want to cut out on stress, add 5-7 servings of fruit and vegetables daily to your plate, a new study has showed.

This habit may lead to a 23 per cent reduction in the risk of developing psychological stress.

The findings showed that women who ate 3-4 daily serves of vegetables had an 18 per cent lower risk of stress, and those who ate two daily serves of fruit had a 16 per cent lower risk of stress.

“We found that fruits and vegetables were more protective for women than men, suggesting that women may benefit more from fruit and vegetables,” said lead author Binh Nguyen, doctoral student at University of Sydney in Australia.

However, fruit consumption alone had no significant association with a lower incidence of stress and no significant association was found between higher levels of fruit and vegetable intake (greater than 7 daily serves) and a lower incidence of stress.

fruits and vegetables
Fruits and Vegetables. Pixabay

“This study reveals that moderate daily vegetable intake alone is linked to a lower incidence of psychological stress. Moderate fruit intake alone appears to confer no significant benefit on people’s psychological stress,” said Melody Ding from the University of Sydney.

Further, the study appearing in the British Medical Journal Open, also noted that for both men and women who ate 3-4 daily serves of vegetables had a 12 per cent lower risk of stress and those who ate 5-7 daily serves of fruit and vegetables had a 14 per cent lower risk of stress.

Also Read: High-Fibre Diets Are Good For Stress, According To Scientists

For the study, the team included more than 60,000 Australians aged 45 years and above and measured participants fruit and vegetable consumption, lifestyle factors and psychological distress. (Bollywood Country)

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