If you have slightly raised blood pressure (prehypertension), don’t turn to a drug – snack on some raisins every day to lower it. Eating a handful three times a day has a dramatic effect, and can normalise your levels.
Although people seem to know that raisins are good for hypertension, nobody actually had got round to proving it. So researchers from the Louisville Metabolic and Atherosclerosis Research Center (L-Marc) decided to do just that.
They monitored the blood pressure of 46 men and women who were prehypertensive and tested the effects of raisins, other fruits and vegetables, and typical snacks such as biscuits and crackers over a 12-week period.
The raisin snacks lowered systolic and diastolic blood pressure by up to 7 per cent, while the other snacks didn’t have any effect.
The researchers believe the potassium in raisins is the active agent that is helping prehypertensives get their blood pressure back into the safe range. Prehypertension is defined as a systolic pressure range from 120 to 139 mm Hg and diastolic pressure from 80 to 89 mm Hg.
(Source: 61st meeting of the American College of Cardiology annual scientific session, March 26, 2012).