Eating foods rich in flavanols limits high blood pressure, especially in the elderly.
- Flavanols are antioxidants found in certain fruits, vegetables, tea and cocoa.
- To benefit the most from the properties of flavanols, it is preferable to consume foods that contain them in their unprocessed form.
Arterial hypertension is the most frequent chronic pathology in France, according to theNational Institute of Health and Medical Research (Inserm). Indeed, one in three adults would be affected by this disease, which can be defined as abnormally high blood pressure in the blood vessels. Most of the time, it is measured during consultations with his general practitioner and with a tensiometer.
We speak of hypertension from 149/90
Normal blood pressure is 120/80. The first number is the systolic pressure, it is equivalent to the maximum pressure, when the heart contracts to empty itself of blood. 80 is the diastolic pressure, which is the minimum when the heart relaxes to fill. We speak of high blood pressure when these figures exceed 149/90 at the doctor’s office and 135/85 at home. Indeed, in case of suspicion of high blood pressure, the doctor often asks the patient to take readings at home several times a day for three days.
10 to 30% of hypertensives resistant to treatment
According to Inserm, 10 to 30% of hypertensives are resistant to available treatments, which means that they do not work on them. But these may well have a solution through diet. According to a study published in the journal Scientific ReportsEating foods high in flavanols — antioxidants found in some fruits, vegetables, tea, and cocoa — may help lower blood pressure in people with hypertension.
Lower blood pressure in those who consume flavanols
To reach this conclusion, the researchers analyzed the urine tests of more than 25,000 adults in the UK and more specifically the presence of the biomarker flavan-3-ol. This indicates the amount of flavanols that these participants ingest. Thus, the systolic pressure was lower by 1.9 millimeter of mercury (mmHG) in men and about 2.5 mmHG in women with the highest flavan-3-ol levels. This therefore means that those who consumed the most flavanols had a reduction in their hypertension. Finally, the authors observed that this positive effect of flavanols had more impact in the elderly.