The Basics: What is Coconut Sugar?
Coconut sugar comes from the sap of the coconut tree and has been a staple in Asian cuisine for centuries.
It’s not just sweet but also packed with vitamins B and C, minerals like iron, calcium, and potassium, as well as flavonoids and nitrates that are beneficial for your blood vessels.
One key ingredient it contains is a type of fiber called inulin, known for its potential to regulate blood sugar levels.
The Study: Coconut Sugar for Heart Health
Researchers from Ball State University and other institutions conducted a study to explore whether coconut sugar could benefit heart health.
They focused on two critical factors that often worsen with age and can lead to heart disease: high blood pressure and stiff blood vessels.
The study involved adults around 55 years old, half of whom took a supplement made of coconut sugar every day for eight weeks.
The other half received a placebo. Scientists measured their heart rates, cholesterol levels, blood pressure, and the stiffness of their blood vessels before and after the treatment period.
The Results are In!
The group that took the coconut sugar supplement showed improvements in blood pressure and had less stiff blood vessels in their necks.
However, there were no significant changes in heart rates, cholesterol levels, or some inflammation and stress markers in the blood.
What Does This Mean for Heart Health?
According to the researchers, coconut sugar could potentially aid in treating or preventing age-related heart issues, particularly high blood pressure and blood vessel stiffness.
However, this is just one study, and further research is needed for more definitive conclusions.
Additional Tips for Managing Blood Pressure
If you’re concerned about high blood pressure, other strategies might help:
- Vitamin D: Adequate levels can improve blood pressure in individuals with diabetes.
- Black Tea: Some studies suggest that black tea can help reduce blood pressure.
- Be Cautious with Medication: Not all high blood pressure medications are created equal; some might increase your risk for heart failure. Always consult your healthcare provider for personalized advice.
While the study on coconut sugar is promising, it’s just one piece in the complex puzzle of heart health.
If you’re interested in managing your blood pressure, there are studies on how fasting may benefit high blood pressure and how beetroot juice could help reduce it.
For more comprehensive information on high blood pressure, consider reading about the five types of medications that can treat it and how diets rich in flavonoids might help in reducing stroke risk.
This study has been published in the Journal of Applied Physiology. Keep an eye out for further research to confirm these preliminary findings.
If you care about heart health, please read studies about how eating eggs can help reduce heart disease risk, and herbal supplements could harm your heart rhythm.
For more information about heart health, please see recent studies about supplements that could help prevent heart disease, stroke, and results showing that a year of committed exercise in middle age reversed worrisome heart failure.
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