Purple potatoes to fight against hypertension

Purple Potatoes could help to lower blood pressure without gaining weight, according to a U.S. study published last week by the American Chemical Society.

The purple potato pigmentation contain high concentrations of phenolic acids, and of antocyanes carotenoids, powerful antioxidants that are also rich in nutrients, the researchers said. The study is presented as the first of its kind to examine the effects of consumption of potatoes on blood pressure in humans.

In this study, eighteen overweight volunteers with high blood pressure were monitored for two months, during which they went from a regime without purple potatoes to a diet that contained them . After four weeks of six to eight purple potatoes in the microwave, their diastolic blood pressure had dropped by 4%, while their systolic blood pressure decreased by 3.5%. This is an improvement sufficient to significantly reduce the risk of several forms of heart disease, the researchers said.

In light of this study, scientists recommend eating two servings of purple potatoes a day to help reduce blood pressure. The study was published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. The potato is by far the most popular vegetable in the United States. The purple variety has long been used in traditional Korean medicine for weight loss.

U.S. scientists have recently try to exploit the nutritional power of colorful foods (the purple color indicating a high content of antioxidants).

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