Individualized Diet Plus Walnuts May Help Reduce Blood Pressure
High blood pressure is caused by dietary and exercise choices. A recent study suggests that the best way to reduce blood pressure and establish healthy dietary patterns may be through individualized dietary advice and walnut supplementation.
Participants in the study included 377 people who underwent one of three interventions: general dietary advice; individual dietary advice; or individualized dietary advice with a supplement of 30g of walnuts per day. The third group also increased consumption of seed and nut products and dishes over the course of the study period.
All of the participants followed their interventions for three months and dietary intake was assessed via self-reported diet history interviews that were conducted by accredited dietitians. Urinary sodium and potassium excretion were used as biomarkers for dietary sodium and potassium intake.
After three months, all three groups showed significant reductions in weight. However, the third group had the greatest reductions in systolic blood pressure and diastolic blood pressure, when compared with baseline and the other two groups. The third group also had a significant association between systolic blood pressure reduction, increased urinary potassium, and decreased sodium to potassium ratio.
Researchers from University of Wollongong in Australia led the study. It was published online ahead of print on March 20, 2018, in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
Previous research has found that the health benefits of walnuts include improving heart health and brain health. These benefits are a result of the antioxidant and ant-inflammatory properties of walnuts. Walnuts are also a great source of protein and are rich in fiber, B vitamins, magnesium, and antioxidants such as Vitamin E.