Food for Heart Health
Eating flaxseed reduces blood pressure, according to researchers from Canada’s St. Boniface Hospital Research Center. They attribute the effect to its omega-3 fatty acids, lignans and fiber.
The researchers examined the effects of flaxseed on systolic and diastolic blood pressure in patients with peripheral artery disease, a condition typically marked by hypertension. Patients consumed a variety of foods that collectively contained 30 grams of milled flaxseed or a placebo each day for six months. The flaxseed group experienced significantly increased plasma levels of certain omega-3 fatty acids and lower average systolic blood pressure (by 10 mmHg) and diastolic blood pressure (by 7 mm Hg). Those in the flaxseed group with initial systolic blood pressure levels over 140 mmHg saw reductions averaging 15 mmHg.