Scratch Apples, Enter Kiwis
For the study, researchers had 118 men and women (over age 55) who all had slightly high blood pressure to either eat three kiwis a day for eight weeks, or to eat one apple a day for eight weeks.
After the study period, researchers found the people who ate the kiwis had lower systolic blood pressure (by an average of 3.6mm of mercury) than people who ate the apples.
Researchers said kiwis are lutein-rich, which means they have antioxidant properties. In past research, harmful free radicals (which antioxidants help to beat) have been linked with high blood pressure, ScienceDaily reported.
A 2007 study in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition also showed that kiwifruits are one of the most antioxidant-rich fruits, along with grapes and wild blueberries, the U.S. Department of Agriculture reported.
However, the new study should not spur people to expect kiwis to magically lower their high blood pressure, U.S. News and World Report said:
Cardiologists were quick to caution that there is no single magic food or ingredient that is the key to heart health, but they all agreed that kiwi may have a place in the five daily servings of fruit and vegetables that are currently recommended as part of a heart-healthy diet.
From the November 18, 2011, Prepared Foods' Daily News.