A new study performed by the scientists from United Kingdom showed people who consume more flavanols rich foods have a lower blood pressure.
The researchers had 25.000 of volunteers and wanted to see if diet is a risk factor for high blood pressure, one of the triggers for cardiovascular disease. This study was a bit different from the other ones as the results were based on biomarkers found in urine. Previous studies analyzed only participants’ food journals and, thus, were not very accurate.
The results were clear: high intake of flavanols rich foods was associated with a lower systolic blood pressure
As opposed, the ones who consumed a low quantity of flavanols had higher blood pressure. The scientists observed there was only a “relatively small positive effect”, but put in a broader context, this detail could count. Moreover, researchers said the changes in blood pressure could be compared to those associated with DASH diet or Mediterranean diet. Scientists also advised patients to follow all other dietary recommendations for a lower risk of cardiovascular disease, such as a reduced salt intake.
What are flavanols? - Top 7 flavonols rich foods
Flavonoids are a much broader group what include chalcones, isoflavones, flavones and flavanols. Each of these subgroups has some unique substances and sources. Flavanols are primary represented by quercetin, myricetin, kaempferol and are to be found more often in foods such as tea (green tea and black teas), apples and berries.
Quercetin, myricetin, kaemferol were tested, mostly in vitro studies, and it was demonstrated they could have anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory and even anti-HIV properties.
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Top 7 flavanols rich roods
We made this chart considering foods rich in the main sources of flavanols: quercetin, myricetin and kaempferol.
In salads, dock is a “wonder veggie plant”. It has a pleasant, slightly sour taste and it is also very healthy. It is rich in vitamins A, B, K, C, E and a lot of minerals such as calcium, magnesium, iron and phosphorus. And, of course, according to this study, dock is one of the richest veggie in flavanols, such it also could diminish or prevent high blood pressure.
2. Swiss Chard
Swiss chard is from the same family with kale and spinach, but “relates” also with beets. The leaves are crunchy, tasty and healthy. They have a lot of antioxidants and beneficial substances for our health.
An apple a day keeps the high blood pressure away. In morning juices or as a healthy snack, apples are great. They are rich in polyphenols, vitamins (C, K, B, A, E) and minerals (potassium, manganese, copper). In order to benefit from all their properties, eat the apples with the skin on.
Named one of the most effective natural antibiotics, onion is packed with a lot of minerals, vitamins and fiber. It is rich mainly in vitamin C, B vitamins and potassium.
Did you know that a big cup of berries a day protects us against oxidative stress? Consume all sort of berries as they are rich in antioxidants that no only makes us healthier, but also younger.
Exotic Fruit Salad
Here is another veggie to diminish the risk of high blood pressure, but not only. Watercress is rich in vitamin K (1 cup of watercress provides 100% of the daily recommended dose of vitamin K), vitamin A, calcium, manganese etc.
Here's another proof that nature “mix all these” perfectly: among so many veggie plants it also fits a citrus that will make them even tastier and enhance all their properties. With a higher content of vitamin C, lemon contains flavanols too, substances that are good for the heart, but not only.
Either you already have high blood pressure, or you just want a preventive, healthy diet, the results of this study and the “flavanols rich foods” are also for you. Even if the medical supervision and recommendations are the most important, nature gives us a lot of solutions so it would be wise to integrate them into our daily diet.