Plant-based diets that emphasize consumption of legumes, nuts, seeds and whole grains have gained momentum in recent years as people seek out the health and environmental benefits of following this eating pattern. However, you need not completely ixnay animal-based foods to reap some of the health perks of serving up more edibles from the plant kingdom.
A systemic review of 41 previously published studies involving 8,416 participants, conducted by investigators at England’s University of Warwick, found that adherence to any one of seven different plant-heavy diets (including DASH, Mediterranean, Nordic, vegan and vegetarian) could lead to reductions in blood pressure that, in turn, might lower the risk of stroke, heart attack and overall mortality. The Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet had the most robust impact on reducing blood pressure.
For those who are not ready to give up their steak and cheese, what’s interesting is that the blood pressure–lowering impact of these diets still occurred even when participants ate small amounts of meat and dairy. It’s an important finding, considering that many people do not find it feasible to sustain a full-blown vegan diet. For these people, simply swapping out some animal-sourced foods for those of plant origin can be more appetizing.
See also: 5 Big Benefits of Plant-Based Diets
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