In the latest quest to identify dietary sources that reduce blood pressure, scientists have found some foods with promising effects in this area – yogurt and a combination of two oils. Consuming a mixture of rice bran and sesame oil, or incorporating low-fat yogurt into the diet may help prevent high blood pressure and enhance heart health.
Furthermore, instead of the benefits on blood pressure being marginal, they were quite pronounced. In the first study, researchers found the oil blend lowered blood pressure nearly as much as a routinely used medication. In the second study, the authors determined that people who regularly eat yogurt had a significantly lower likelihood of developing high blood pressure. The tremendous advantage of these findings was that the benefits were enjoyed without any of the many side effects commonly associated with blood pressure medications.
Studies strengthen dietary approach to fighting high blood pressure.
These studies lend much credence and support to the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) eating plan, says Rachael Johnson, PhD, RD, American Heart Association (AHA) spokesperson and professor of nutrition at the University of Vermont at Burlington. The DASH diet is plentiful in fruits and vegetables while low in salt and saturated fat.
Johnson explains the oil blend fits in with the DASH recommendation of two to three servings of heart healthy fats per day. She notes that similar results might also be obtained with other foods within this category, such as olive oil, avocado and nut butters, along with fatty fish and flaxseed. The yogurt fits in with the DASH advisory of two to three servings of low-fat or fat-free dairy products.
Oil blend reduced blood pressure almost as much as the medication.
In the first study, scientists in New Delhi, India divided 300 people with high blood pressure into three groups: a third who used a common high blood pressure medication called nifedipine, another third who cooked with one ounce of the oil blend daily and the final third who used both the medication and the oil. All three groups stayed on their treatments for 60 days.
The oil blend reduced the top reading of blood pressure by 14 points and the bottom reading by 10.8 points, while the nifedipine reduced the top number by 16.2 points and bottom number by 12 points. Participants who took both the oil blend and medication had more than double the reduction in blood pressure than the groups who only used one or the other treatment.
Oil blend improved cholesterol, too.
The benefits of the oil blend did not stop with high blood pressure but extended to cholesterol as well. Participants who cooked with the oil reduced their bad (LDL) cholesterol 26 percent and raised their good (HDL) cholesterol 9.5 percent by the study’s end. No cholesterol reduction was seen in the group who did not cook with the oil.
Yogurt study was equally impressive.
In the yogurt study, researchers followed approximately 2,000 adults with normal blood pressure for 14 years. Participants who consumed more than 2 percent of their daily caloric intake from yogurt had a 31 percent lower likelihood of developing high blood pressure. Additionally, they had less of an increase in the top blood pressure reading than those who did not eat yogurt.
These results were presented at the AHA’s High Blood Pressure Research 2012 meeting. As they have not yet been published in a peer-reviewed journal, they are considered preliminary.
High blood pressure is a serious condition, increasing the risk of heart disease and stroke, which are two of the leading causes of death in America. If dietary means could be used to reduce dependence on high blood pressure medication through lowering the dosage needed or, in some cases, perhaps completely eliminating the need for the drugs, the impact on health would be remarkable.
Mary West is a natural health enthusiast, as she believes this area can profoundly enhance wellness. She is the creator of a natural healing website where she focuses on solutions to health problems that work without side effects. You can visit her site and learn more at http://www.alternativemedicinetruth.com. Ms. West is also the author of Fight Cancer Through Powerful Natural Strategies.