High blood pressure foods: cereals prove their worth!


If you are shopping for high blood pressure foods, it is worth noting that researchers have demonstrated positive health benefits for the regular consumption of cereals at breakfast. Dr. Jinesh Kochar from the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, and his team of researchers found a 20 percent decreased risk of hypertension in men who consumed whole grain breakfast cereals at least seven times per week.

The team analyzed data from 13,368 male doctors ranging in age from 39 to 85 who participated in the Physicians Health Study, a landmark study which began in 1982. None of the individuals suffered from high blood pressure at the beginning of the study; however, after a 16 year follow up, 7,267 men developed hypertension.

"I think there's growing evidence that whole grains and its constituents, like fiber, magnesium, and potassium, confer a variety of benefits on the heart, blood vessels, and glucose metabolism in the body," Kochar says. "Whole grain consumption along with other healthy lifestyle behaviors, like limiting sodium intake, moderation in calorie consumption, and regular physical activity may lower the risk of developing hypertension."

First of all, don’t miss one of the key words in this bit of good news about high blood pressure foods - BREAKFAST. It has long been said that it is the most important meal of the day and it could even be that some of the health benefits seen here are due to the participants having the healthy habit of taking a breakfast daily.

The other important word here is WHOLEMEAL. If you go eating sugared frosties or some of the many cereals that are high in sodium then you risk undoing all the good that you are doing with the breakfast. Note that many cereals contain other beneficial nutrients such as potassium and magnesium; wholemeal cereal is also high in fibre.

My recommendation for top of the (Coco) pops for breakfast is porridge oats (sweetened with fruit - not sugar). Muesli and yoghurt is another great one.



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