Blood pressure: Expert reveals health benefits of tomato juice
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Changing the diet can significantly reduce high blood pressure. Research has shown that certain foods can lower blood pressure, both right away and in the long term. Growing evidence suggests that drinking one glass of tomato juice per day may promote heart health and lower blood pressure. How?
In a study published in Wiley Online Library, unsalted tomato juice and how it could help improve blood pressure, lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease in Japanese residents was further analysed.
The study noted: “Four hundred and eighty‐one local residents in Kuriyama, Japan, were enrolled in this study.
“Throughout the year of the study, they were provided with as much unsalted tomato juice as they wanted.”
The study found that unsalted tomato juice intake improved systolic and diastolic BP and serum LDL‐C level in local Japanese residents at risk of cardiovascular conditions.
However, experts issued caution over the findings.
Victoria Taylor, senior dietitian at the British Heart Foundation, said more research is needed to accurately represent the health benefits of tomato juice.
She said: “The Japanese population is likely to be different to that of the UK, so we shouldn’t generalise.
“The study also fails to look at what else participants were eating or whether they had consumed tomatoes in other forms and it does not take lifestyle factors into account which could have affected their blood pressure and cholesterol levels.”
A 100-gm portion of tomatoes contains 237 mg of potassium.
Potassium helps negate the ill-effects of sodium.
For a person with high blood pressure, it is often advised to cut back on salt/sodium because excess sodium topples the water balance in the body, which may exert pressure on blood vessels.
Tomatoes also have diuretic properties, which make you expel excess sodium through urine.
Drinks to avoid
The caffeine in coffee, tea, cola, and energy drinks can cause short-term spikes in blood pressure.
In fact, a study found that drinking up to two cups of strong coffee can increase both systolic and diastolic blood pressure for three hours after consumption.
These findings do not suggest that coffee increases blood pressure or the risk of cardiovascular disease in the long term.
Consuming moderate amounts of red wine may have some health benefits, but larger amounts of alcohol can cause dramatic increases in blood pressure.
Heavy alcohol use also increases the risks of heart failure, stroke, cancer, and obesity.
Having more than three drinks in one sitting temporarily raises your blood pressure, but repeated binge drinking can lead to long-term increases.
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