Study finds potatoes are able to reduce blood pressure without weight gain

The humble potato has recently been criticised for being to fattening and removed from low-carbohydrate and the Dukan diets, but a study of eighteen volunteers at the University of Scranton in Pennsylvania, has shown that the spud can be useful in helping to reduce blood pressure.

Scientists asked the volunteers to eat between six to eight potatoes twice a day for a month that were cooked unpeeled in a microwave, which preserves their nutritional values. They discovered that the participant’s average systolic blood pressure, which is the ‘upper’ reading when blood pressure is being taken, was down by 3.5 per cent. The diastolic, ‘lower’ reading also fell by 4.3 per cent.

The majority of the patients were overweight or obese and were on a course of drugs to help control their high blood pressure, but the potato seemed to encourage further decreases in readings when the tablets could not do anymore. In addition, none of the volunteers put on extra weight.

Lead Researcher, Dr. Joe Vinson, of the University of Scranton, said, “We hope our research helps to re-make the potatoes popular nutritional image.”

Potatoes are thought to have a quenching effect, which means the participant’s are likely to have cut back on other foods. The spuds that were used in the study were purple and around golf ball size, so only contained about 12 calories each.

Researchers say that ordinary sized potatoes will also benefit health and they should be cooked in a microwave with their skins on, as many of the blood pressure-lowering chemicals are found in the skin.

View the original Daily Mail article here.

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Emma Hilton

Written by Emma Hilton

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