Flaxseeds: keep blood pressure in check

A small clinical study testing flaxseeds for high blood pressure suggests they may be a particularly potent blood pressure lowering food. Flaxseeds (linseeds) are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, phytonutrients (vitamins, mineral and lignans) and are high in fibre.

Previous studies have suggested important heart health benefits, but few have explored the possibility that flaxseed might improve blood pressure.To test the effects of flaxseed a group of people with existing heart disease (peripheral arterial disease) were advised to consume 30 g of flaxseed or placebo in foods each day for 6-months.

At the end of the study the effects were found to be quite striking; systolic blood pressure was about 10 mm Hg lower, and diastolic blood pressure was about 7 mm Hg lower in those who were adding flaxseed to their daily diet, and the effects were even better if their blood pressure was particularly high.

In summary, flaxseed induced one of the most potent antihypertensive effects achieved by a dietary intervention,” commented the study investigators.

If you want to enjoy the benefits of flaxseeds, 30 g is about 2 heaped dessertspoons and flaxseeds are very versatile; they can be easily sprinkled over food such as cereal, fruit or salads or added to a smoothie or used in cooked foods and breads.

References:

Rodriguez-Leyva D, Weighell W, et al. Potent antihypertensive action of dietary flaxseed in hypertensive patients.

Hypertension. 2013 Dec;62(6):1081-9.Rodriguez-Leyva D, Dupasquier CM, McCullough R, Pierce GN.

The cardiovascular effects of flaxseed and its omega-3 fatty acid, alpha-linolenic acid. Can J Cardiol. 2010 Nov;26(9):489-96.

Original article care of Time for Wellness. ©2013 Time for Wellness. Visit Time for Wellness on the web: www.timeforwellness.org