In The News: Foods with Isoflavones May Lower Blood Pressure

| 4/4/2012 2:26:35 PM

J.PattonAdding nutrients called isoflavones, which are found in soy, green tea, peanuts and other plant foods, to your daily diet may help lower your blood pressure, a recent study suggests. Researchers presented the findings on March 27 at the American College of Cardiology’s annual meeting.

According to the researchers, the study followed more than 5,000 Americans for 20 years, beginning when they were between 18 and 30 years of age. At the end of the study, the systolic blood pressure of those who ate the least amount of isoflavones was 5.5 points higher than those who ate the most.

So, what are isoflavones?

Isoflavones are defined as “secondary vegetables substances, which can act as plant-derived estrogens in the body and have protective functions.” There are many natural sources of isoflavones, with soy and red clover containing the most. An 8-ounce glass of soy milk contains approximately 22 milligrams of isoflavones. 100 grams of roasted soybeans have about 130 milligrams.

Soy milk contains large amounts of isoflavones, nutrients that
may help lower blood pressure.
Photo by Mathias Sjoberg/Courtesy

The research comes at a time when high blood pressure is affecting the country at alarming numbers. “Blood pressure” is “the force of blood pushing against the walls of the arteries as the heart pumps the blood.” High blood pressure affects about 1 in 3 adults in the United States. Typically there are no symptoms, which is why high blood pressure can be so dangerous. This condition can damage the heart, kidneys, blood vessels and other parts of your body before you even know anything is wrong.

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