The ONE organ responsible for high blood pressure.
The Best Rice for Keeping Blood Pressure in Check
Results: An increase in daily servings of white rice was positively associated with systolic blood pressure (BP), triglycerides, and fasting glucose and inversely associated with HDL cholesterol (P-trend <0.01 for all). An increase in servings of beans was inversely associated with diastolic BP (P = 0.049).
Rice MattersAccording to Mayo Clinic, grains like rice serve as a good source of complex carbs, which pack essential vitamins (especially B vitamins) and minerals like iron, folate and more. However, it is important to note that not all grains are created equal. Whole grains, specifically, reign supreme when it comes to your health due to their nutrient-dense nature. In addition to being more nutritious for you, whole grains are also richer in fiber than their non-whole-grain counterparts. Per Mayo Clinic, whole grains like brown rice retain all portions of the seed (the fiber-rich bran, germ and endosperm) — hence what makes them whole. Refined grains like white rice, on the other hand, have been milled to have no bran or germ. As a result, your bowl of white rice may have a softer texture, but it is also less nutritious, with less fiber, protein and overall nutrient content than its brown rice counterpart.
Rice and Blood PressureIf you have hypertension or want to lower your blood pressure, the fiber content of your whole-grain food selections like brown rice is crucial. According to an April 2016 review in Food & Function, higher-fiber whole grains help lower blood pressure. In line with those findings, over 200 clinical trials and other studies examined for a February 2019 meta-analysis in the Lancet found that higher fiber diets corresponded to significantly lower systolic blood pressure when compared to diets with lower fiber intake. Mayo Clinic agrees, recommending specifically that you eat more fiber, like that in brown rice, for such benefits as:
- Overall heart health.
- Lower blood pressure and cholesterol.
- Reduced inflammation.
- Weight management.
- Blood sugar control.
- Implementing whole grain rice varieties like wild rice and brown rice can be an important part of that recipe for total wellness, explains Mayo Clinic.
Whole Grains for Heart HealthBeyond keeping your blood pressure in a healthy range, regularly consuming whole grains may also improve overall health. According to a June 2016 meta-analysis of 45 studies in the BMJ, intakes of such whole grains as whole grain bread, breakfast cereals and added bran were associated with lower risk of coronary heart disease and all-mortality causes. However, the same meta-analysis found little to no evidence that supported this positive health association with white rice and refined grains. The bottom line, per the Mayo Clinic: To increase your intake of whole grain foods, swapping out some of those staple white rice portions (as well as white varieties of bread, pasta, tortillas, etc.) for whole grain alternatives like brown rice and whole grain bread can pave the way to better heart and overall health.
Eat more whole grains. In fact, research shows that eating a diet rich in whole grains (such as quinoa and other ancient grains, oatmeal and brown rice) helps fend off heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and some forms of cancer.