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High blood pressure is the second greatest public health threat in America and increases the risk of heart disease, stroke, kidney disorders and other health problems. So finding ways to address this problem is important.

Because this health issue is often caused by the foods people eat, it makes sense that food might be the best solution.

The researchers from Japan and the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine in Washington analyzed the findings of seven clinical trials and 32 observational studies — almost 22,000 participants in total — and found that vegetarians had lower blood pressure levels. (The findings are published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine.)

People with high blood pressure often take medicines, but these medications don’t always work or have negative side effects. Also, they can be expensive.

“Unlike drugs, there is no cost to a diet adjustment of this type, and all the ‘side effects’ of a plant-based diet are desirable: weight loss, lower cholesterol and better blood sugar control, among others,” Yoko Yokoyama, lead author of the study, said.

Why does a vegetarian diet lower blood pressure?

Here are some explanations of why a vegetarian diet lowers blood pressure. Vegetarian diets are usually:

  • High in fiber
  • Low fat and less dense
  • Higher in potassium, which is associated with blood pressure
  • Lower in sodium
  • Lower in saturated fats and higher in polyunsaturated fats
  • Higher in vegetable protein

People who give up meat usually lose weight, which causes them to achieve a healthier blood pressure.

This isn’t the first time a vegetarian diet has been proven to help people with blood pressure. The DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) eating plan calls for low animal fat and salt, and has been proven to reduce blood pressure by as much as medication. Followers of this plan eat a mostly plant-based diet, yet they can eat some poultry and fish.

However, this analysis is good news for the many people with high blood pressure because they can take action to improve their health. And this is great news for the health community, because hopefully more doctors and health professionals will counsel patients to change their diet, rather than relying on medication to fix their problems.

Some other things that may reduce blood pressure:

Also, vegans have much lower blood pressure  — up to 35 percent lower!

 Image Source: Spicy Kale Pesto with Zucchini Noodles

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16 comments on “Scientists Say Vegetarian Diet Lowers Blood Pressure”

Click to add comment
Karen Hauserman OPtech CPed
4 Years Ago

Duh! lmao

Aurora Fatta Meltzer
4 Years Ago

I make that with my spirooli! Just find the right type of zucchini. In Italy we have the Neapolitan kind, perfect for it

Science And Art Of Living (SAAOL)
4 Years Ago

" ... To be heart-attack proof, our bad cholesterol (LDL) should be under 70. There are only 2 ways to get it down that low: put people on a lifetime of high dose statin drugs (but they would then suffer harmful side-effects, too) starting in one's twenties or be "pure vegetarian fruit eater" (i.e. vegan). ... " -Dr. William Clifford Roberts (who is the head of 'Baylor's Cardiovascular Institute' & 1 of the most renowned cardiovascular pathologist in the world, has authored 1387 scientific publications, has written more than a dozen textbooks on cardiology, & has been the editor-in-chief of the 'American Journal of Cardiology' for 25 years). ... Explore More @ http://nutritionfacts.org/video/eliminating-the-1-cause-of-death/ ... View the Video @ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bY0UY3FwoW4 ... THE DRUG INDUSTRY HAS A $21 BILLION INCOME FROM STATIN DRUGS ALONE. THE STENT MANUFACTURERS MAKE BILLIONS MORE. NEITHER OF THESE INDUSTRIES WOULD WANT THIS EPIDEMIC RESOLVED. PHYSICIANS WHO PERFORM STENTS & BYPASS SURGERY EARN MILLIONS & ARE HARDLY CLAMORING FOR FEWER PATIENTS. Know More @ http://www.huffingtonpost.com/kathy-freston/heart-disease-a-toothless_b_334285.html

Sarah Gonzales
4 Years Ago

My blood pressure has gone down 30 pts.

Hadaruga Mihai
4 Years Ago


Kyránna Limos
4 Years Ago

Hengameh Bordji It sure does :)

Asaf Levinger
4 Years Ago

Shira Ferber

Kathleen Brown
4 Years Ago

i would have posted this, if it were to have said vegan instead of vegetarianism. with all of the cholesterol and fats and harm to animals which cheese and egg have, i cannot bring myself to advocate for merely vegetarianism to those whom i care about. i'll even read it, if it says vegan. i hope you'll share more on veganism… take the harm out. ty. <3

David Young
4 Years Ago

Just one of the many reasons going vegan feels so good!

Vnesa Nvoić
4 Years Ago

And what should we do with already too low blood pressure?


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