High blood pressure: Lifestyle changes to reduce reading
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High blood pressure is a silent killer that leads to heart disease when poorly managed, but even slight lifestyle changes can halt this damage. In fact, evidence suggests certain fruits may have a multifactorial role in lowering cholesterol, clearing arterial and reducing blood pressure. In some studies, these effects have been said to be as significant as those offered by drugs.
Pomegranates offer a wealth of benefits due to the positive effect their antioxidants have on inflammation.
In fact, the juice of pomegranate is estimated to contain three times the antioxidant activity of red wine or green tea.
Many of these antioxidants come in the form of polyphenols, plant pigments which give fruit their characteristic red colour.
Half a cup of pomegranate arils delivers roughly 72 calories, 16 grams of carbohydrates and three grams of fibre.
Pomegranates also have a substantial amount of folate, vitamin K and potassium, which directly affects the elasticity of the arterial walls and renders it useful in blood pressure control.
These benefits were illustrated in a 2017 review of eight clinical trials published in Pharmacological Research.
The findings showed that pomegranate juice reduced both systolic and diastolic blood pressure and that the effect remained consistent, regardless of the quantity or duration of consumption.
It’s been suggested that the ability to act as an ACE inhibitor (angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor) may be what allows pomegranate juice to lower blood pressure.
These inhibitors are typically found in blood pressure drugs and work by decreasing angiotensin activity, an enzyme made in the kidneys.
This observation led researchers of the review to suggest it may be “prudent” to include pomegranate juice into a heart-healthy diet.
How long does it take for pomegranate juice to lower blood pressure?
There is no definite answer about how much time it takes for pomegranate juice to lower blood pressure, and the effects vary from person to person.
Some studies suggest it may take several weeks for results to become noticeable, while others suggest a change may be apparent within days.
Penny Kris-Etherton, a professor from the Evan Pugh University of Nutritional Sciences at Penn State University in University Park, Pennsylvania suggests there are several ways in which the arteries may benefit from pomegranate juice.
The Professor noted that “pomegranates are high in dietary fibre and antioxidants,” which are helpful and useful in lowering inflammation and promoting healthy arteries.
According to Harvard Health, several studies suggest that aside from lowering blood pressure, the juice may also reduce harmful cholesterol.
The results linking pomegranate juice to lower cholesterol levels have been less consistent, however.
In 2019, a review published in Complementary Therapies in Medicine examined 17 clinical trials but found no significant effects on cholesterol.
Some research has recorded reductions in cholesterol ranging between three and 10 percent after pomegranate juice, however, suggesting it may have a positive impact on lipid profiles.
Harvard Health adds: “But as is true for all fruits, you’re better off consuming the fruit itself (so you eat the finer-rich seeds) rather than drinking juice.”
The health body continues: “Pomegranates are in season from October to January.”
Some people taking blood pressure-lowering medication are advised to consult their doctor before taking pomegranate juice, as the treatment could lower blood pressure too much when taken together.
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