High blood pressure (or hypertension) is currently one of the biggest health concerns around the world. The condition that is characterised by raised blood pressure levels afflicts millions of people around the globe. According to a latest study, published in the journal 'Scientific Reports', people who happened to consume a diet enriched with flavanol-rich foods and drinks such as tea, apple and berry juice have a better shot at controlling elevated blood pressure levels.
Researchers studied more than 25,000 people in the UK and compared the food they ate with their blood pressure. To measure the flavanol intake objectively, they took help of nutritional biomarkers - indicators of dietary intake, metabolism or nutritional status present in blood.
The difference in blood pressure between those with the lowest 10 per cent and the highest 10 per cent of flavonol intake was found to be between two and four millimetres of mercury (mmHg).
This happens to be comparable to the changes in blood pressure observed in those on a Mediterranean diet or Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet.
Contrary to the observational studies so far, this is the first study to actually employ specific bioactive compound and health to reach to conclusions.
"We are delighted to see that in our study, there was also a meaningful and significant association between flavanol consumption and lower blood pressure," said study author Gunter Kuhnle from the University of Reading, US.
"What this study gives us is an objective finding of the association between flavanols -- found in tea and some fruits -- and blood pressure," Kuhnle added.
Flavanols are a kind of phytonutrients or plant chemicals that you can find in a range of daily food items.
Here are 5 foods rich in flavanol that you could include in your diet:
1. Green Tea
A soothing cup of green tea is a good source of polyphenols and flavonoids, it helps control your calorie intake as well.
Strawberries, blueberries, mulberries, raspberries are all good for your heart so don't shy away from them.
Grapes are also a treasure of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. Include these sweet and tangy delights in your diet and keep your BP in control.
An apple a day could actually do wonders for your heart. In addition to the plant-based nutrients, they are also a very good source of pectin fibre that is also very good for heart health.
Dark chocolates, if consumed in moderate amounts, could also prove beneficial for yoir heart. Cocoa flavonoids are considered very healing in nature.
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