Fans of the Atkins and Dukan Diet may want to look away now but research into lowering blood pressure has thrown up an interesting benefit. A study was carried out on 18 men and women who were overweight and had high blood pressure. They were asked to eat 6 to 8 portions of potatoes along with their normal diet and after a month their blood pressure readings were taken again. The findings showed that their blood pressure had significantly reduced, so much so that the potatoes were strong enough to take over from any pills the participants were taking. And interestingly, none of the people who were on the increased potato diet put on any additional weight.
There is a slight catch however, for the potatoes have to be cooked in a certain way for the lost weight to remain off. No chips, roast or butter rich mash is allowed but you should micro-wave them and this preserves the healthy goodness of them. Baked potatoes with their skins still on and boiled are also acceptable. The good thing about eating potatoes is that they are filling and have a satiating effect on your appetite. It is thought that the blood pressure lowering properties come from the natural chemicals which are situated in the potatoes skin, however, it must be taken into account that it is possible that those taking part in the study cut back on other foods.
There are many health benefits associated with lowering blood pressure such as reduced risk of heart attacks and strokes. Previous studies have shown potato skins to contain phyto, or plant chemicals similar to those found in blood pressure drugs, so we could be one step closer to eating our way to a healthier life and not relying on drugs to keep us well.