High blood pressure, a common health issue, has met a seemingly unlikely ally in the battle against it: prunes.
A study from Shifa College of Medicine suggests that this humble dried fruit could play a significant role in heart health. But what exactly did the study find?
What’s Special About Prunes?
Prunes are dried plums, but they’re more than just a simple dried fruit. They don’t have added sugars and are packed with essential nutrients.
Notably, prunes contain vitamin B6, manganese, and copper, which help our body use the energy from food.
Additionally, they are rich in vitamins and antioxidants that boost our immune system and encourage healthy cellular activities.
Many of us already know the benefits of fruits and vegetables, especially their role in reducing blood pressure. However, it’s not just the antioxidants that offer these health perks.
Diving Deeper into the Study
The research centered on the potential heart-protecting effects of prunes. Here’s how it went down:
The study involved 259 individuals who had mildly elevated blood pressure levels.
Two groups consumed prunes: one ate 3 prunes (around 11.5 grams) while the other consumed double that amount. A control group drank only water in the morning without having eaten anything.
After some time, the results were intriguing:
Those who ate just 3 prunes daily witnessed a significant drop in their blood pressure.
The group consuming 6 prunes noticed a robust decline only in their systolic blood pressure.
Interestingly, the control group (water drinkers) had a notable rise in their HDL cholesterol. In contrast, the prune eaters saw reduced levels of cholesterol and LDL.
Cholesterol: The Good and The Bad
Let’s break down those cholesterol findings:
HDL Cholesterol: Often dubbed the “good” cholesterol, HDL plays cleanup in our system. It gathers up excess cholesterol and ensures the liver gets rid of it. When you have more HDL in your system, you stand a better chance against heart diseases and strokes.
LDL Cholesterol: This is the less welcome kind, sometimes labeled as “bad” cholesterol. Too much LDL is problematic because it boosts the risk of heart-related issues.
Given the results, prunes could be a natural remedy in our arsenal against high blood pressure, promoting better heart health overall.
While prunes show promise, remember that they’re just a piece of the heart health puzzle.
There are other foods and practices, like fasting and olive oil consumption, which have also been linked to improved blood pressure.
It’s essential to stay informed and consult healthcare professionals about the best approaches for individual health.
This enlightening study, conducted by Talat Ahmed and colleagues, can be found in the Journal of Ayub Medical College for those wanting a deeper dive.
If you care about blood pressure, please read studies about how diets could help lower high blood pressure, and 3 grams of omega-3s a day keep high blood pressure at bay.
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