Eat spuds to lower blood pressure, say researchers

Forget Dr Atkins and the Dukan Diet... the humble spud is healthier than you might think. New research suggests the much-maligned vegetable can lower your blood pressure.

potatoes lower blood pressure
potatoes lower blood pressure

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In a US study of 18 men and women, most of whom were overweight and on blood pressure medication, a twice-daily portion of potato was found to significantly lower blood pressure after a month.

What's more, none of the participants piled on the pounds as a result of the potato diet.

Admittedly, the study (funded by the US agriculture department) used small, purple spuds that contained as few as 12 calories each and there's a good chance the volunteers cut back on other foods while on the potato diet.

Bbut researchers believe your average spud may well offer the same benefits as those featured in the study.

Before you nip out to the chippie, however, there is a catch to this carb-heavy diet.

Microwaved spuds are the healthiest, according to scientists, and should be free of butter, oil or ketchup, though baked, boiled or mashed are a reasonable alternative.

And if you are looking to lower your blood pressure, it's essential to leave the skins on to take advantage of the health-boosting chemicals.

Joe Vinson, a researcher from Scranton University in Pennsylvania, said: "Mention 'potato' and people think 'fattening, high carbs, empty calories'.

"We hope our research to remake the potato's popular nutritional image."

What do you think - are you a fan of the humble spud or have you ditched carbs in favour of a high-protein diet? Leave a comment below...