It is widely known that consumption of vegetables has numerous health benefits, and a new study has found a link that may explain why they also appear to contribute to lower blood pressure.
Scientists from the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University in Chicago have discovered that a specific amino acid called glutamic acid may be responsible for this effect. They have suggested that increasing its intake may therefore contribute to better cardiovascular health.
The research team reviewed data from the International Study on Macro/Micronutrients and Blood Pressure involving 4,680 participants aged between 40-59 and living in rural and urban areas of China, Japan, the U.S. and the UK.
Their results suggested that boosting the consumption of protein-rich vegetables by 4.72 percent resulted in a 1.5 to 3 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg) decrease in systolic blood pressure and a 1 to 1.6 mm Hg reduction in diastolic pressure.
Dr. Jeremiah Stamler, professor emeritus of the Department of Preventive Medicine in the Feinberg School, explains that scientists believe reducing average systolic blood pressure by 2 mm Hg could lower stroke death rates by 6 percent and reduce mortality from coronary heart disease by 4 percent.
For people suffering from high blood pressure there is also a range of nutritional supplements they can add to their diet to boost their cardiovascular health.