High blood pressure affects more than one if four adults in the UK and many are living with the condition unaware of the serious damage it could cause if left untreated. If a person has been diagnosed with high blood pressure, medication might be prescribed to get the numbers down. However, a change in lifestyle is a way to avoid medication and reduce the risk of potential strokes, heart attacks or certain diseases.
In a study earlier this year, walnuts were looked at and how they may help lower blood pressure.
In a randomised, controlled trial, researchers examined the effects of replacing some of the saturated fats in participants diets with walnuts.
Professor of Nutrition at Penn State, Penny Kris-Etherton said: “When participants ate whole walnuts, they saw greater benefits than when they consumed a diet with a similar fatty acid profile as walnuts.
“So it seems like there’s a little something extra in walnuts that are beneficial, maybe their bioactive compounds, maybe the finer, maybe something else that you don’t get in the fatty acids alone.”
Walnuts are a single-seed fruit that provide healthful fats, protein, copper, manganese, and other essential nutrients.
The nutrients they contain may help reduce cholesterol, boost heart health, and enhance bone mineral density.
Studies have suggested that walnuts and walnut oil might help lower cholesterol, improve heart health, boost male fertility, enhance brain function, and stave off cancer.
In a study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association found that the alpha-linolenic acid in walnuts lowers blood pressure.
The study suggests that following a diet that is low in saturated fats and adding walnuts to the equation will help reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases by lowering blood pressure.
For ways to add walnuts to your diet:
- Top hot or cold cereal with walnuts for a nourishing breakfast
- Sprinkle walnuts on top of your yogurt
- Add walnuts to your salad
- Bring pasta to life by sprinkling it with walnuts
- Add walnuts to bread, pancakes, waffles or muffins
- Toast walnuts to enhance the flavour and add to meals
“Instead of reaching for fatty red meat or full-fat dairy products for a snack, consider having some skim milk and walnuts.
“I think it boils down to how we can get the most out of the food we’re eating, specifically, ‘how to get a little more bang out of your food buck.’
“In that respect, walnuts are a good substitute for saturated fat,” added Doctor Kris-Etherton.
The NHS said: “High blood pressure can often be prevented or reduced by eating healthily, maintaining a healthy weight, taking regular exercise, drinking alcohol in moderation and not smoking.
“Cut down on the amount of salt in your food and eat plenty of fruit and vegetables.”