Vegetarian Diet Associated With Lower Blood Pressure
High blood pressure is most commonly treated with anti-hypertensive medication but a recent study suggests that consuming a vegetarian diet may also help lower blood pressure.
For their analysis, researchers examined seven clinical trials and 32 studies. In total, 311 people participated in the clinical trials and more than 21,000 were included in the observational studies.
They found that vegetarians overall had a difference in systolic blood pressure of -4.8 mm Hg in the trials and -6.9 mm HG compared to participants who consumed an omnivorous diet. The researchers noted that these results are similar to lifestyle changes recommended to lower blood pressure, such as losing 10 lbs. or following a low-sodium diet. They also noted that these results are approximately half that seen with the use of pharmaceutical therapy.
Researchers from the National Cerebral and Cardiovascular Center in Japan conducted the study. It was published on February 24, 2014, in JAMA Internal Medicine.
Previous research has linked vegetarian diets with lower incidence of hypertension, obesity and type-2 diabetes. If you decide to switch to a vegetarian diet, consult a nutritionist to make sure you’re getting all of the proper nutrients. Many vegetarians choose to supplement their diets with high quality supplements.