October has been a busy month for researchers to find a relationship between pre-hypertension, hypertension and functional food. Of course – healthy foods are functional, however in the research setting, scientists are studying specific foods that contain additional health promoting properties, in addition to the basic healthy nutritional components.

Blood pressure reduction was observed by eating the following foods:


Arpita Basu, professor at Oklahomo Sate University, led a study with the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center to discover blueberries beneficial effect for pre-hypertension prevention – where blood pressure is increased slightly or raises occasionally but not consistently enough to be diagnosed hypertensive. After 8 weeks, of a daily dose of 2 cups of blended blueberries, the pre-hypertensive participants saw up to an 8 point drop in the systolic pressure.

Walnuts and Walnut Oil:

Researchers appearing in an article the in Journal of the American College of Nutrition designed a unique groundbreaking study, looking at the relationship of walnuts and walnut oil, blood pressure, and intentionally induced stressful situations. Participants ingested 9 walnuts per day and found that including walnuts in the diet produced a not only a lowering effect in resting pressures but also in stressful experiences.


From from Florida State, Dr’s Arjmandi and Figueroa, are published in the American Journal of Hypertension, with a pilot study evaluating pre-hypertensive’s and watermelon.  Watermelon contains L-citrulline, an amino acid that has vasodilting effects. L-citrulline, when eaten, is processed by the body into L-arginine, and produces nitric oxide in the blood. Nitric oxide supports healthy blood pressure levels. For the nine participants of the six week experiment, six grams of amino acids L-citrulline/L-arginine, contained in the extract of watermelon, significantly reduces the level of blood pressure. According to Figueroa, benefit from L-citrulline in either the synthetic or natural form of four to six grams per day appears to produce the most optimal results.

The baby below is definitely getting a dose of L-citrulline!

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