Six Foods That May Help Seniors Win the War Against
High Blood Pressure
All six have been shown in studies to have a
beneficial effect on lowering hypertension
Oct. 16, 2013 - In the U.S. more than 77 million
adults have been diagnosed with high blood pressure, which can cause
heart disease and stroke, and it is significantly higher among senior
citizens. There are many ways to improve this condition and for seniors,
who don’t always get excited about exercise, a good choice may be eating
the right foods. Below are six that are recommended.
In the October issue of Food Technology
magazine, Contributing Editor Linda Milo Ohr writes about six foods that
have been shown in studies to have a beneficial effect on lowering blood
Grape Seed Extract:
Results from a study of 32 pre-hypertensive adult subjects showed that a
patented grape seed extract may help to lower both systolic and
diastolic blood pressure after just eight weeks (Polyphenolics, 2013a).
In another study, 36 pre-hypertensive adult subjects were either given a
drink with a placebo or grape seed extract. The participants that
consumed the grape seed extract experienced significant reductions in
blood pressure compared to those who consumed the placebo (Polyphenolics,
A study (Katz et al, 2012) showed that 56 g of walnuts a day reduced
systolic blood pressure and did not lead to weight gain. In another
study (West et all 2012), 28 subjects with high cholesterol showed
reductions in systolic blood pressure after one serving of pistachios a
Beetroot juice contains dietary nitrate which may help relax blood
vessel walls and improve blood flow. A study (American Heart
Association, 2013) showed that a cup of beetroot juice a day may help
lower systolic and diastolic blood pressure.
While additional research is still being conducted, several studies have
showed that a diet with more dairy and nuts, but less meat, is related
to a lower risk of developing hypertension (Weng et al, 2013), and
associated with having lower systolic blood pressure.
During a 12-week study, researches gave 46 pre-hypertensive subjects
raisins or other snacks equal in calorie value three times a day. At
weeks four, eight and 12 weeks, subjects eating the raisins showed a
significantly reduced systolic blood pressure (Bays et al, 2012).
A study (Rodrigues et al, 2012) examined the effects of dietary flaxseed
on systolic and diastolic blood pressure in subjects with narrowed
arteries (peripheral artery disease). After six months of 30g of milled
flaxseed a day, both systolic and diastolic blood pressure was lower.
For more than 70 years, IFT has existed to advance the science of food.
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100 countries—brings together food scientists, technologists and related
professions from academia, government, and industry. For more
information, please visit
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