High blood pressure puts excess strain on your heart muscle. The condition can damage the arteries and increases a person’s risk of mortality. One breakfast staple could be a start in the right direction.
Blood Pressure UK – the only charity solely dedicated to lowering the nation’s blood pressure – points out an interesting study.
Published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, it found that one breakfast staple mimics blood pressure medication.
Using a model of the human digestive system, the researchers showed how cooked eggs produce angiotensin-blocking peptides.
Angiotensin is a protein hormone that causes blood vessels to become narrower.
It’s well known that narrow arteries increases blood pressure, and higher pressure can damage the artery walls.
Following on from this, the damaged artery walls can thicken, becoming even more narrow – leading to a further increase in blood pressure.
The angiotensin-blocking peptides found in cooked eggs (fried and boiled) may be able to lower blood pressure by preventing arteries from becoming too narrow.
However, the experiment had its limitations. For instance, the findings of the study needed to be tested in humans (rather than using a human digestive model).
The latest review on the effect of egg consumption on blood pressure was carried out by researchers from Tehran University.
The meta-analysis of randomised clinical trials was published in February 2020.
Data came from 15 clinical trials, investigating the link between egg consumption and blood pressure, with a total of 748 participants.
The research team concluded that “egg consumption has no significant effects on systolic and diastolic blood pressure in adults”.
Systolic blood pressure indicates how much pressure the blood is exerting against the artery walls when the heart beats.
Diastolic blood pressure indicates how much pressure blood is exerting against artery walls while the heart is resting between beats.
An example of a blood pressure reading would be 120/80mmHg (measured in millimetres of mercury).
They added: “Due to several limitations among existing studies, general conclusions cannot be drawn regarding the beneficial or neutral impact of egg consumption on blood pressure in adults.”
How to lower blood pressure
The British Heart Foundation (BHF) states to lower blood pressure you must include a variety of fruit and vegetables in your diet.
A well-balanced diet consists of five portions of fruit and vegetables every day – and variety is key.
There’s no point eating the same foods everyday – no matter how healthy the choices are – because the body gains different nutrition from different fruits and vegetables.
Fruit juice, pulses and beans count as one portion in a day – no matter how many glasses you drink of orange juice, cranberry juice or pineapple juice.
And no matter how many portions of pulses and beans you eat in one day, that too is only one of your five a day.
One portion is equivalent to about a handful of fruit or vegetables. For healthy recipe ideas from the BHF, including breakfast, click here.
And a healthy breakfast to start the day just happens to be an eggs Florentine on muffins.