At the American College of Cardiology’s annual meeting this past weekend, researchers presented results of separate studies that evaluated the effects of raisins and soy on blood pressure. The studies found that both foods lowered blood pressure when consumed regularly. ABCNews.com compiled a list of the top five snacks that offer heart-healthy benefits.
- Raisins: In their study, Dr. Harold Bays and his colleagues randomly assigned 46 men and women who had borderline high blood pressure to consume either about 60 raisins or a pre-packaged snack three times a day. The raisin group showed a significant decrease in systolic blood pressure. Bays believes it is the potassium in raisins.
- Soy Products: Soy products are protein-rich dietary staples found to have positive cardiovascular effects, including lowering blood pressure.
- Walnuts: With walnuts, you are getting alpha-linoleic acid, which converts to an omega-3 fatty acid, which can help prevent cardiovascular disease. A recent study found that walnuts also have about twice the amount of antioxidants as other nuts.
- Avocados: Avocados are a super-fruit that has lots of monounsaturated fat. Avocados also have a lot of vitamins, fiber and potassium. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, avocados have 60 percent more potassium than bananas.
- High Fiber Foods: Fiber helps cleanse the digestive tract of potentially dangerous fats and also helps lower cholesterol, which can help lower the risk of cardiovascular disease. Dietary guidelines say women should consume 25 grams of fiber per day and men should consume 38 grams.