Dr Chris Steele shares diet tips on reducing blood pressure
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High blood pressure, or hypertension, lays the groundwork for serious health problems like heart attacks and strokes. Therefore it’s imperative to keep your reading within a healthy range. Fortunately, a popular hot drink could help, according to new research.
Whether you are a bit of a coffee connoisseur or settle for the instant cheap stuff, coffee can offer more than an energy boost and a pleasant taste.
New research, published in the journal Nutrients, suggests that coffee lovers tend to have lower blood pressure.
What’s more, these cardiovascular benefits might be achieved by drinking just one cup of coffee a day.
Arrigo Cicero, one of the researchers, said: “The results are very clear. Peripheral blood pressure was significantly lower in individuals consuming one to three cups of coffee a day than in non-coffee drinkers.
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“We know caffeine can increase blood pressure, but other bioactive components in coffee seem to counterbalance this effect with a positive end result on blood pressure levels.”
The team from the University of Bologna and University Hospital of Bologna looked at 720 men and 783 women from the Brisighella Heart Study.
The researchers compared blood pressure levels against the participants’ coffee intake.
The cohort included 220 non-coffee drinkers, 406 people who enjoyed a cup daily and 726 participants who consumed two coffees every day.
Furthermore, around 99 volunteers drank three cups, while 52 enjoyed more than that every day.
The study findings showed that systolic blood pressure (SBP) – the higher number – “tended to decrease” with the number of cups consumed.
However, those who drank one cup per day had slightly lower blood pressure on average, compared to non-coffee drinkers.
This reduction also applied to those who consumed two and three cups of coffee.
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While the popular hot beverage was linked to some interesting benefits, the researchers highlighted some study limitations.
The team acknowledged that the coffee consumption was self-reported, so the volunteers may have underreported some data, limiting the findings.
Furthermore, the data set was assessed without detailing the roast used, preparation methods or whether the drink was consumed black or with milk.
Previous research wasn’t so kind to the popular drink, suggesting that coffee can actually increase blood pressure.
In fact, a study, published in the journal Nutrients, found that drinking coffee could lead to an “acute” increase in blood pressure.
Two to three cups of the black drink increased both systolic and diastolic blood pressure in the participants.
The NHS also explains that anything above four cups of coffee a day can increase your hypertension reading.
The European Food Safety Agency shares that a daily intake of 400mg caffeine should be fine for most adults.
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