A diet rich in fiber and whole grains helps our body maintain a healthy blood pressure. Oatmeal satisfies both of those dietary conditions. According to USDA National Nutrient Database, 100 gm of fortified oats has 10 gm of fiber, 352 mg of calcium and 359 gm of potassium. It has been proved in some studies that both calcium and potassium supplementation (oats contain both) can effectively lower blood pressure.
Whole grain cereals are considered an indispensable part of daily diet and nutrition and have been recognized for their substantial health benefits. Oats are often taken as a heart healthy cereal. It’s a very nutritionally dense cereal grain that contains many bioactive compounds like dietary fiber, phenolic compounds, high quality protein & unsaturated fats. Oats also have a huge number of health claims in several countries tied to reducing blood cholesterol and postprandial glycemic response.
Oatmeal reduces Blood Pressure
Eating oatmeal can reduce both systolic and diastolic blood pressure. A blood pressure reading has two numbers, such as 120/80. The first number is the systolic pressure, the second number is the diastolic pressure. In a study reported in 2002 issue of “The Journal of Family Practice,” researchers noted that eating oatmeal can reduce systolic blood pressure by as much as 7.5 points and diastolic blood pressure by 5.5 points. Adding oats’ cereals to your daily diet can reduce the risk of developing high blood pressure and help treat it if you already have it, according to the research team.
Fiber and Whole Grains
According to HealthFinder.gov, eating a fiber rich diet not only decreases your blood pressure, it also reduces the risk of death from heart disease by 22 percent. Oatmeal is a soluble fiber that dissolves in water, as opposed to insoluble fiber that absorbs water. In a study reported in 2006 issue of the “Journal of the American Dietetic Association,” researchers noted that replacing refined carbs with insoluble and soluble fiber helps reduce high blood pressure levels. White rice and white bread are examples of refined carbs. Eating a high-fiber, whole-grain diet also helps to maintain a healthy weight. Obesity is another risk factor for high blood pressure.
Oatmeal and Cholesterol
High cholesterol is a risk factor for developing high blood pressure. Cholesterol sticks to arterial walls, restricting blood flow and thereby increasing blood pressure as the heart pumps blood with more pressure to ensure flow through restricted areas. The March 2007 issue of “American Journal of Therapeutics” published study results from the University of Zulia in Venezuela. Researchers found that men who followed the Step II American Heart Association diet for two months and consumed 6 g of beta-glucan daily, the fiber type found in oats, experienced a greater reduction in their cholesterol than men who followed the “American Heart Association” diet alone.
Calcium and Potassium
In “Primary Prevention of Hypertension,” a report from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, Dr. Paul K. Whelton says that supplementing with potassium helps prevent hypertension, or high blood pressure. Also, to a lesser degree, calcium supplementation can also help reduce blood pressure. Taking a serving of oatmeal daily, contributes well to your total intake of potassium and calcium.