- May 14, 2018 -
Little Seeds, Big Benefits
A tiny brown seed could have a major impact on controlling high blood pressure. In a 2013 study by Canadian and Cuban researchers, patients (age 40-plus) with high blood pressure and peripheral artery disease ate about three heaping tablespoons of ground flaxseeds daily for six months. The result: Their systolic blood pressure (the top number) dropped by 15 millimeters of mercury (mmHg) — a finding researchers called “one of the most potent blood anti-hypertensive effects ever achieved by a dietary intervention.” In the study, the ground flaxseeds were used to make muffins, bagels and buns; they can also be sprinkled on cereal or added to sauces.
Blues by the Cupful
If your blood pressure is borderline unhealthy, eating a cup of blueberries a day could help lower it. In a 2015 study of women ages 45 to 65 with the early stages of high blood pressure, half ate 22 grams of freeze-dried blueberry powder (the equivalent of a cup of fresh berries) daily for eight weeks, while the other half ate an identical-looking powder that didn’t contain any blueberries. After eight weeks, the blueberry group’s systolic blood pressure (the top number) had dropped 5 mmHg,while the readings for the placebo group remained the same.
Having a bowl of whole grain and high fiber breakfast cereal, such as oatmeal, oat squares, bran flakes or shredded wheat, can reduce your chance of developing high blood pressure, Harvard researchers recently found. If you eat it daily, it could cut your risk of by 20 percent. Add to that the recent research on blueberries, and you could increase your health rewards by topping your cereal each morning with berries.