In March, my doctor informed me that my blood pressure was abnormally high and I would be required to take medicine for most of my life unless I radically changed my diet.
As I researched how I could shed my pounds away, I read a powerful article about a study, which claimed that vegetarians tend to maintain very healthy blood pressure levels. The study changed my life.
Researchers in Japan examined the relationship between vegetarian diets and blood pressure among 21,604 participants. 311 of these individuals participated in seven clinical trials. The other individuals participated in 32 observational studies. Their research indicated that there is a positive correlation between vegetarian and vegan diets and lower blood pressure than their omnivore counterparts.
Why? Vegetarians: High Fiber, Low Fat, and Fewer Calories
The researchers suggested that vegetarians consume food higher in fiber and lower polyunsaturated fats than their omnivore counterparts. For example, vegetarians mostly eat fruits and vegetables, which have fewer calories than meats. Consequently, vegetarians have lower body mass indexes (BMI).
The aforementioned information about BMIs is important because there is relationship between BMIs and blood pressure. Often, if one’s BMI is low, then their blood pressure will also be less than an individual, who has a high BMI.
What does this information mean for vegans?
Drawing upon the results of the study, one could assume that vegans should have substantially lower blood pressure than vegetarians and omnivores. This hypothesis is predicated on the premise that vegans consume more vegetables and fruits and other items that are high in fiber than their counterparts.
Since vegans should have significantly lower blood pressure than their counterparts, it is prudent for individuals who have high blood pressure, including myself, to become vegan.
*Image courtesy Flickr creative commons.