Although there have been quite a few studies that have showed a link between lower blood pressure and vegetarianism, only recently has a research team gathered up these studies for a meta-analysis based on certain inclusion criteria.
They discovered over 250 articles re blood pressure and a vegan diet, after apply exclusion and inclusion criteria, they systematically reviewed 7 clinical trials and 32 observational for the analysis. After poring over the studies that qualified, the team concludes that vegetarianism does indeed lower blood pressure and can be considered a non-pharmaceutical approach to address blood pressure issues. The study was published online by JAMA Internal Medicine.
The research team asserts that two possible reasons for this is vegetarians typically have a lower BMI than the rest of the population — additionally, a vegan diet is loaded with potassium, which lowers blood pressure. Vegetarians are less likely to drink excessively; alcohol is a known contributor to high blood pressure.
The DASH diet was developed as a dietary approach to lower blood pressure. Although not entirely vegan – the diet does allow minimal amounts of lean meat, poultry or fish each week — the DASH diet places great emphasis on whole grains, fruits, vegetables and nuts.
Another recent study also touts the advantages of a plant based diet.
Research conducted by Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston reveals that plant synthesized chemicals, or lignans, found in fruit, vegetables, whole grains, coffee and red wine are associated with a lower risk of Type 2 diabetes. Study participants with higher concentrations of lignans had a lower risk for the disease.
Urine samples came from 1,107 women who did not have cancer, cardiovascular disease or diabetes at baseline but who did develop Type 2 diabetes later on was compared with samples from 1,107 who did not develop the disease. Data was obtained from the Nurse’s Health Study (NHS) in 1976 and NHS II in 1989; the women were followed up on until 2008 and 2007 respectively.