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Hypertension is generally defined as a blood pressure greater than 140/90. If you have been diagnosed high blood pressure, you should bring your blood pressure closer to what is considered optimal, 120/80. The good news is that medication is not the only way to control your high blood pressure (hypertension). Lifestyle plays an important role in treating your high blood pressure. If you successfully control your blood pressure with a healthy lifestyle, you may avoid, delay or reduce the need for medication. Consuming a glass of 100% fruit juice daily may lower your blood pressure and keep it down.
What Researches Say
Drinking a daily glass of 100% fruit juice was not associated with a higher risk of hypertension in people with type 2 diabetes.
Though it has been speculated that drinking 100% fruit juice does not compare with eating whole fruit from a health perspective, to evaluate this scientifically, a large prospective study analysed how 100% fruit juice and whole fruit compared in relation to increased hypertension or type 2 diabetes risks. The authors concluded that moderate amounts of 100% fruit juice or whole fruit were not significantly associated with increased risk of hypertension or diabetes in postmenopausal women, though the study being observational has methodological limitations in that it can only determine associations, not cause and effect.
Another review revealed that fruit juices confer benefits similar to those seen for fruit and vegetables. Evidence indicates a modest yet consistent reduction in blood pressure with fruit juice consumption made from blood oranges, blueberry, cranberry, and chokeberry. Along with an entire day’s supply of vitamin C, a cup of orange juice delivers potassium, folate and natural citrus bioflavonoids. These nutrients support your metabolism and keep you healthy. They may also help lower your blood pressure. Each one individually influences blood pressure, so you get an extra measure of potential benefit when you consume them together in orange juice.
Potassium Offsets Sodium
The overall amount of sodium and potassium in your diet affects your blood pressure. Sodium makes it go up, while potassium offsets sodium and helps lower blood pressure. Research studies show that consuming more potassium reduces blood pressure in people with hypertension and is likely beneficial for most people, so far they do not suffer from kidney disease. Most of us only get about half of the recommended dietary allowance for potassium. Drinking one cup of orange juice allows you to get at least 8% of your daily potassium.
Citrus Bioflavonoids’ Effect
Oranges and other citrus fruits produce a group of phytochemicals called citrus bioflavonoids. One of them - hesperidin - functions as an antioxidant and can help lower cholesterol. When healthy, reasonably overweight men drank orange juice daily for four weeks, their diastolic blood pressure went down. The researchers, who were searching for hesperidin's role, concluded that the bioflavonoid was probably linked to the beneficial effects. Another study confirmed that regular consumption of hesperidin helped prevent hypertension.
Folate for Lower Risk
Orange juice is a good source of the B vitamin folate. Your body needs folate to synthesize DNA and metabolize amino acids, but it may also help you avoid hypertension. Men and women who consumed more folate beginning in their young adult years were at lower risk for high blood pressure 20 years later. One cup of orange juice from concentrate provides 12% of the recommended dietary allowance for folate, while fresh orange juice contains nearly 20% of the recommended dietary allowance.
Finally, the payoff of healthier living is that when your blood pressure is under control, your risk of life-threatening complications such as heart attack and stroke decreases and you may live a longer and happier life.
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