Celery is good for your heart and for lowering blood pressure. You probably knew that, especially if you picked up my free Real Food Therapy Guide.
Along with celery, did you know that raisins may help lower blood pressure, too?
The first clinical trial to test raisins' effects on blood pressure showed beneficial effects. The study showed that people with prehypertension who ate a handful of raisins three times a day sharply reduced their blood pressure.
The study, presented at an American College of Cardiology conference, compared snacking on raisins to cookies or crackers among 46 people with slightly elevated blood pressure. Levels ranged from 120/80 to 139/89 mmHg. Over 12 weeks, the raisin-munching group lowered systolic pressure (the top number) as much as 10.2 mm Hg.
Scientists at the Louisville Metabolic and Atherosclerosis Research Center noted that raisins are high in potassium - 212 mg in about 60 raisins - which is known to lower blood pressure. Dietary fiber in raisins (one gram in 60 raisins) and antioxidants might also contribute to the dried fruits' apparent blood-pressure benefits.