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Kiwis cut blood pressure

Externally kiwi fruit may not be the most picturesque of fruits and they don’t necessarily have the most glamorous of reputations. There is the xenophobic joke that goes, “Why are [insert your nationality of choice] like kiwi fruit? Because they are rough on the outside, green on the inside, and too many of them give you the sh#*s.” Of course the wise amongst us know not to judge a book by its cover and are aware that beyond the rough exterior of kiwi fruit lies a luscious green food. Not only is that green flesh a pleasure for your palate, new research suggests that it is a boon for your body as well.

The strong green colour of kiwi fruit is a hint that it contains powerful antioxidants. Among those antioxidants is lutein which is thought to be responsible for the new finding that kiwi fruit may be able to lower your blood pressure.

The new research was carried out by, and funded by, Oslo University Hospital and included people over 55 who were randomly assigned to eat three kiwi fruit a day, or one apple a day, for eight weeks. At the beginning of the study the participants had blood pressure readings around the mildly elevated level of 128/85 (120/80 being considered “normal”). For each person blood pressure was measured using a 24 hour device that they wore continuously, which is considered to be a more precise way of measuring blood pressure than taking it at a single point in time.

The results showed that while both achieved reductions in blood pressure the reductions from kiwi fruit consumption were greater than for apples. Three kiwi fruit a day led to an average 3.6 drop in systolic blood pressure (the higher number in the reading) and a 1.9 drop in diastolic blood pressure (the lower number in the reading).

This does not mean that kiwi fruit can be a treatment for high blood pressure on their own, but they can certainly be part of its management. It’s also not an indication that apples should be thrown out of the pantry, but perhaps an indication that an apple and three kiwi fruit a day might help keep medical professionals away.

The WellBeing Team

The WellBeing Team

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