Recently, a lady with the handle @Gentle Minic posted a message on Twitter saying “So after months of denial, I can still be diagnosed hypertensive at 27, I willingly accepted to live on drugs for the rest of my live two days ago, when my life almost slipped right before my eyes. Blood pressure kills. Check yours often”.
It is not surprising that after she dropped this tweet, she got so many retweets from friends and well-wishers advising and recommending food instead of the word ‘living on drugs’. It is indeed a sad one. For this not to be your story, scientists have found a new secret of healthy living, which could cut the risks of hypertension, diabetes and other related complications. The secret is nothing than eating fresh fruits and vegetables daily.
Blood pressure is the force of blood against the inner walls of your arteries. It has normal fluctuations throughout the day—falling when you’re relaxed or asleep, rising naturally in the morning, and increasing temporarily when you’re under stress, excited or exercising.
Doctors say you are at risk of hypertension if you eat a diet that’s low on natural produce and fiber or high in fat and salt, drink alcohol to excess, live with chronic stress or don’t get much physical activity.
“Some causes of hypertension cannot be controlled—including your genes and your race (African-Americans are at a higher risk). Aging also plays a role. Even if you do not have hypertension by age 55 to 65, your lifetime risk for developing it is a whopping 90 percent, says Samuel Durso, M.D., director of the Division of Geriatric Medicine and Gerontology at Johns Hopkins.
“Citrus fruits, including grapefruit, oranges, and lemons, may have powerful blood-pressure-lowering effects. They’re loaded with vitamins, minerals, and plant compounds that may help keep your heart healthy by reducing heart disease risk factors like high blood pressure”, he added.
Although, previous studies have advised against the consumption of fresh fruits in diabetics and non-diabetics, due the claims of their high sugar content, which could generally predispose people to diabetes and other related diseases.
In a 2013 study of 3,000 older people, published in the journal Neurology, Johns Hopkins researchers found that those taking diuretics, ARBs and/or ACE inhibitors had a 50 percent lower risk for Alzheimer’s disease.
Intensive treatment lowers blood pressure in African-American men. Urban African-American men face a high risk for untreated hypertension—with fatal consequences. In a 5-year-long study of 309 African-American men ages 21 to 54, Johns Hopkins scientists found that those who consumed fruits like cucumber, citrus fruits, carrots, and spinach, had lowered blood pressure significantly.
However, according to the research conducted by scientists from the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom, published in the journal PLOS Medicine, which aimed at investigating the health effects of consuming fresh fruit in patients both with and without hypertension and diabetes, it found that people who did not have diabetes at the beginning of the study and consumed fresh fruit in high amounts had a significantly lower risk of diabetes.
Additionally, those who had diabetes at the beginning of the study and consumed high amounts of fruit had a significantly lower risk of dying from any cause, as well as a lower risk of developing cardiovascular complications.
More specifically, in comparison with the other study participants, those who consumed fresh fruit daily had a 12 percent lower relative risk of developing diabetes.
There is no gainsaying the fact that diabetes affects more than 420 million people worldwide and more than 29 million people in the United States alone.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), diabetes caused more than 1.5 million deaths in 2012. In the U.S., diabetes is a leading cause of death, accounting for almost 80,000 yearly deaths, according to the latest statistics from the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The team leader Huaidong Du of the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom, said they examined the effects of fruit consumption on almost 500,000 people enrolled in the China Kadoorie Biobank national study. Participants were aged between 30 and 79 and lived in 10 different areas across China.
While the participants were clinically followed for approximately 7 years, 9,504 cases of diabetes were identified in participants who did not have diabetes at the beginning of the study.