High blood pressure rarely has noticeable symptoms, so the best way to find out if you have it is to have your blood pressure reading taken on a regular basis. Your GP or pharmacist can help with this or you can also purchase a blood pressure monitor to have at home. One of the best ways to prevent the condition or to lower blood pressure is to eat healthily. The NHS recommends cutting down on the amount of salt in your food and eating plenty of fruit and vegetables.
And as part of a healthy diet, a new study has suggested eating walnuts can lower blood pressure
And as part of a healthy diet, a new study has suggested more specifically eating walnuts can lower blood pressure.
Scientists at Pennsylvania State University in State College explained their study is one of the first to investigate how the properties of walnuts may affect heart health.
The study, part funded by the California Walnut Commission and published in the Journal of the American Heart Association, suggests an omega-3 called alpha-linolenic (ALA) found inside walnuts has beneficial effected on blood pressure.
A total of 45 participants, aged 30 to 65, who were either overweight or obese took part in the research.
They were made to follow a “run-in” diet two weeks prior the start of the study which included 12 per cent calorie from saturated fat.
This was to ensure everyone taking part started from a similar position.
The participants were then split into three different diet groups, all of which were low in saturated fat.
They followed these diets for six weeks before moving on to the next, until they had followed all three.
The diets included:
- One with whole walnuts
- One that didn’t include walnuts but incorporated the same amount of ALA and polyunsaturated fatty acids
- One that didn’t include walnuts and partially substituted the same amount of ALA present in walnuts with another fatty acid, oleic acid
From the data collected, the researchers found those who ate the whole walnut diet had lower central blood pressure than those who ate the other diets.
“When participants ate whole walnuts, they saw greater benefits than when they consumed a diet with a similar fatty acid profile as walnuts without eating the nut itself,” said lead study author Professor Penny Kris-Etherton at Pennsylvania State University.
It’s also important to get active in order to prevent or control high blood pressure.
Regular exercise can not only lower blood pressure, it can help you lose weight, which can also help with the condition.
Adults should do at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity, such as cycling or fast walking, every week.
In some cases if high blood pressure is left untreated, symptoms such as a headache may develop.
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