Have a Plant: Fruits & Veggies for Better Health

About The Buzz: Cranberry Juice Will Lower Blood Pressure?

TheBUZZ Cranberry juice will lower blood pressure?

WHAT THEY’RE SAYING

Drinking low-calorie cranberry juice may help to control high blood pressure.

WHAT WE KNOW

The term “blood pressure” refers to the force of blood against the walls of the arteries as the heart pumps blood. Hypertension, or high blood pressure, occurs when the force of that pressure rises and remains high. This can cause serious damage to tissues and organs. Weight-loss, a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables and whole grains, smoking cessation, alcohol moderation and exercise are all ways to help manage your blood pressure. Fruits and vegetables are rich in antioxidants which have many proposed health benefits, including improving blood vessel health. A new study suggests that low-calorie cranberry juice may help to lower blood pressure.

HOW DO WE KNOW THIS?

The study, funded by Ocean Spray Cranberry Inc., was presented at the American Heart Association’s High Blood Pressure Research 2012 Scientific Sessions. The participants, all healthy adults, drank either a low-calorie cranberry juice or a placebo beverage. Their blood pressure was measured at the beginning, middle and end of the study. After eight (8) weeks, blood pressure values had dropped from 121/73 to 118/70 for those drinking the low-calorie cranberry juice. The placebo group showed no change.*

OUR ADVICE

There are many ways to include more cranberries, as well as other fruits and vegetables, in your diet. Add a variety of fruits and vegetables to each meal; this will ensure you are getting a wider range of nutrients, and it is also makes eating them more exciting by providing a montage of flavors. An easy way to ensure you are getting enough is to fill half your plate with fruits and vegetables. Anthocyanidins, the antioxidants found in cranberries, are also found in blueberries, blackberries, raspberries and other red or purple berries. Try our Cran-licious Smoothie, Cranberry Chutney or Avocado and Blueberry Salad for an antioxidant boost!

Weight maintenance, physical activity, a balanced diet, decreased sodium intake, smoking cessation, and alcohol moderation are important steps in managing your blood pressure. Physical activity improves cardiovascular, muscular, and skeletal health among other health benefits. It is a great way to release stress and tension which are related to high blood pressure. Search our 30 Minutes or Less recipe database database for quick, antioxidant-rich recipes to fuel you up for your workout!

 

* American Heart Association. Low Calorie Cranberry Juice Lowers Blood Pressure in Healthy Adults. American Heart Association. N.p., 20 Sept. 2012. Web. View Article

Other Stories