Potatoes Reduce Blood Pressure


A new health report has revealed that eating potatoes helps to reduce blood pressure especially for people suffering high blood pressure, obesity and hypertension.

The study, the first of its kind to check the effects of eating potatoes on blood pressure in humans, concluded that taking two small portions of purple potatoes, popularly called Purple Majesty, a day decreases blood pressure by about four per cent without causing weight increase.

Though the decrease may be small, the report, which was published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, stressed that it is sufficient to potentially reduce the risk of several forms of heart disease.

Professor in the Department of Chemistry at theUniversity of Scranton Joe Vinson, and his colleagues pointed out in the report that people in the U.S. eat more potatoes than any other vegetable.

Purple-skinned potatoes, the report said, are noted for having high levels of healthful antioxidant compounds.

Vinson said his team decided to investigate the effects of eating 6-8 small microwaved purple potatoes twice a day on some volunteers, most of whom were overweight with high blood pressure.

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The volunteers ate potatoes or no potatoes for four weeks, and then switched to the opposite regimen for another four weeks while researchers monitored their blood pressure level, body weight and other health indicators.

The blood pressure for those with the ailment, dropped by 4.3 per cent the report said, adding that none of the study participants gained weight during the experiment.

Vinson said that other studies have identified substances in potatoes with effects in the body similar to those of the well-known medications for treating high blood pressure.

The scientists do not know yet whether ordinary white potatoes have the same beneficial effects.

—Eromosele Ebhomele

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