Hypertension Study: Blue Potatoes Lower Blood Pressure
Regular consumption of blue potatoes lowers blood pressure and helps reduce obesity. This was discovered by researchers from the University of Scranton in the US state of Pennsylvania as part of a student research project. The secondary plant substances contained in the blue potato, which gives the tuber a bluish color, are responsible for this effect.
The blue potato is known to connoisseurs as French truffle potato or “Vitelotte”. The tasty type of potato is a very rare blue-violet original potato variety from which the domestic potato is also derived. The indigenous people in Peru and Bolivia were already convinced of the health benefits of the blue potato. Scientists at the University of Scranton came across an interesting connection during a study with overweight people and thus became aware of the health-promoting effects of the tuber. 18 study participants, all of whom suffered from obesity and high blood pressure, ate the blue-violet potato every day for a month. After completion of the study, it was found that the blood pressure of all subjects had been shown to have decreased slightly, as the research team led by study leader Joe Vinson reported on Wednesday at a health congress of the American Chemical Society.
Secondary plant substances lowered blood pressure
Participants should eat the blue potato because, above all, brightly colored vegetables and fruits contain a lot of secondary plant substances. It has long been known in scientific circles that secondary plant substances have a positive effect on the cardiovascular system and, for example, significantly reduce the risk of suffering a heart attack. To achieve an effect, the overweight people consumed six to eight potatoes of the same size twice a day in a container. What is special: The blue potato was not previously cooked or prepared in oil, but only cooked in the microwave.
Systolic and diastolic blood pressure were measured continuously throughout the study. The systolic blood pressure value shows the intensity with which the heart pumps the blood into the arteries. The diastolic, i.e. the lower value, shows how high the blood pressure is when the heart relaxes again. After the potato diet, the researchers found a 3.5 percent lower systolic blood pressure and a 4.3 percent minimized diastolic value, measured on average of all participants. The overweight people could not lose weight during their studies, but they did not gain any weight either. The results are also remarkable because it has been medically proven that in most cases blood pressure drops as a result of weight loss. However, since the weight of all participants remained constant, the blue tuber can be expected to be effective.
It depends on the preparation
The potato is wrongly said to have an unhealthy mode of action due to its starch consistency. That's what study author Joe Vinson thinks. So he said on the sidelines of the congress: "The potato probably has an undeserved bad reputation more than any other vegetable, which has led to many health-conscious people deleting it from their menu". However, it depends on the natural method of preparation. Anyone who eats potato chips or French fries is damaging to their health. Because the high heating destroys a majority of the positive ingredients. What remains is fat, starch and some minerals.
Since 2004, farmers have been able to cultivate the blue potato in Germany as well. Therefore, consumers can now buy the special potatoes in stores. One more reason for blood pressure patients to include the blue tuber in the menu. Because hypertension increases the risk of heart failure, calcification of the arteries, eye problems and heart attack in the long term. Those who exercise a lot and eat healthy make an important contribution to lowering their high blood pressure. (sb)
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Image: Chris K. Schleiermacher