Scientists believe they may have found the answer to high blood pressure, and the key could come in the form of a humble legume.
In a Canadian study, researchers discovered that a diet rich in lentils could dramatically lower dangerous blood pressure levels, by blocking the increase in blood pressure that occurs with age.
Furthermore, the scientists from the University of Manitoba found that adding the pulse to the diet can even reverse the decline in the health of blood vessels that occur as a result of high blood pressure.
Earlier this year, a mixture of beans, peas, lentils and chickpeas was found, in a clinical trial, to improve blood flow in patients with peripheral artery disease, and last year, a study at the University of Toronto revealed that increasing pulses in the diet can help to control blood sugar levels, thereby reducing the risk of heart disease.
Though this latest study involved rats, and human studies would be required to confirm the findings, researchers were excited by the results, which were presented at the American Heart Association conference in Texas.
Dr Peter Zahradka, one of the lead investigators, said: "These are amazing results, since they provide a non-pharmacological way of treating diseases associated with blood vessel dysfunction."
He added: "The most notable finding of the latest study was the fact that lentils could alter the physical properties of blood vessels so that they resembled the vessels found in healthy animals."
Do you suffer from high blood pressure? Would you consider relying on diet rather than medication? Leave your comments below...