A new study has found that daily consumption of peanuts leads to many positive health benefits. If you’re concerned about heart health, eat peanuts as part of your high blood pressure diet. Here’s why.
Conducted at Purdue University, this study included over 150 men and women who incorporated peanuts into their daily diet for 12 weeks. Study participants were randomly assigned three 0.5-ounce portions of three peanut flavors or just 1.5 ounces of one flavor, which were eaten as a snack or as part of their meals. Researchers took blood samples every four weeks and other health measurements every two weeks.
Regardless of flavoring, peanut consumption were seen to offer significant health benefits to participants with elevated serum lipids and blood pressure (BP).
Further, peanuts significantly decreased mean diastolic BP in all participants. For people with high BP, the changes were greatest over the first two weeks of the study and were sustained throughout the 12 weeks.
Interestingly, the findings were similar for salted and unsalted peanuts. While all participants decreased their BP, those who ate salted or unsalted peanuts had slightly greater decreases than those who consumed spicy or honey-roasted peanuts.
In addition, as shown previously daily peanut intake reduced total serum cholesterol and triglyceride levels in participants who had high levels at the start. High BP is the most important risk factor for cardiovascular disease, while high blood cholesterol is another major risk factor.
Study researchers believe these results may be due to the arginine found in peanuts, which promotes the production of nitric oxide - a chemical that dilates blood vessels, potentially lowering BP.
USDA data show that peanuts contain more arginine than any other whole food, including other nuts. Not only that, peanuts are the most nutrient-dense nut and contain more protein than any other nut.
They contain eight essential nutrients, are an excellent source of niacin and manganese, and are a good source of fiber, vitamin E, magnesium, folate, copper and phosphorus.
Peanuts also have potassium, phytosterols, resveratrol and healthy fats - all of which benefit health and help to lower your risk of cardiovascular disease.
Now you have one more thing to add to your list of high blood pressure diet foods.