Plant foods linked with lower blood pressure

January 4, 2006 in Heart Health, Nutrition Topics in the News

Plant foods linked with lower blood pressure

According to researchers at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, regular consumption of fruit, vegetables and other plant foods seem to reduce the risk of elevated blood pressure, while intake of meat does just the opposite.

The findings, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, evaluated the 15-year incidence of elevated blood pressure (defined as BP of at least 130 over 85 or use of a BP lowering agent) in over 4000 subjects between the ages of 18 and 30 years. Dietary assessments were conducted at enrollment and at 15 years into the study.

Researchers found that as the intake of plant food rose, risk of elevated blood pressure fell. Just the opposite trend was seen with meat intake, whereas dairy consumption did not seem to have a consistent effect on blood pressure, the investigators found.

Researchers suggest that greater plant food intakes and lower meat intakes as part of a habitual diet may prevent the development of high blood pressure in the long-term, which is a major risk factors for heart disease.

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