To Your Health
July, 2014 (Vol. 08, Issue 07)
Eat Veggies to Lower Your Blood Pressure
There are many benefits to a vegetarian diet when used correctly. The hard part is being disciplined enough to insure that all of the essentials nutrients are included. Previous studies have suggested an association between vegetarian diets and lower blood pressure (BP), but the relationship is not well established, that is until now.
A recent study in the Journal of Internal Medicine found that "consumption of vegetarian diets is associated with lower BP (blood pressure). Such diets could be a useful nonpharmacologic means for reducing BP."
According to the study, of the 258 studies identified, 7 clinical trials and 32 observational studies met the inclusion criteria. In the 7 controlled trials (a total of 311 participants; mean age, 44.5 years), consumption of vegetarian diets was associated with a reduction in mean systolic BP (-4.8 mm Hg; 95% CI, -6.6 to -3.1; P < .001; I2 = 0; P = .45 for heterogeneity) and diastolic BP (-2.2 mm Hg; 95% CI, -3.5 to -1.0; P < .001; I2 = 0; P = .43 for heterogeneity) compared with the consumption of omnivorous diets. In the 32 observational studies (a total of 21,604 participants; mean age, 46.6 years), consumption of vegetarian diets was associated with lower mean systolic BP (-6.9 mm Hg; 95% CI, -9.1 to -4.7; P < .001; I2 = 91.4; P < .001 for heterogeneity) and diastolic BP (-4.7 mm Hg; 95% CI, -6.3 to -3.1; P < .001; I2 = 92.6; P < .001 for heterogeneity) compared with the consumption of omnivorous diets.
If you have issues with blood pressure, talk to your doctor and make sure to start incorporating more fruits and vegetables in your diet.