If you’re looking for a way to lower your blood pressure without packing on the pounds, look no further. Researchers have found that swapping your normal potato for a purple one could help lower blood pressure levels. Who knew purple potatoes even existed? Well a team of US researchers knew and in a study released by the American Chemical Society last week they found that pigmented potatoes contain high concentrations of phenolic acids, anthocyanins and carotenoids, powerful antioxidants that pack a nutritional punch.
For the study researchers followed 18 overweight volunteers with high blood pressure over a two month period as they went from a diet consuming regular or no potatoes to a regime heavy on purple potatoes. After four weeks of eating 6 to 8 microwaved purple spuds, they found that the average diastolic blood pressure dropped by 4 percent, while systolic pressure decreased by 3.5 percent, which is enough to reduce the risk of developing several forms of heart disease, according to the study.
This isn’t the first time researchers have looked to study the health benefits of pigmented foods. Recently, US scientists bred a purple tomato they named the “Indigo Rose” and found it to be full of anthocyanins, the compound that gives foods like blueberries their blueish-purple color and has been shown to help with cognitive function, as well as reduce inflammation and stress.