Hypertension and 100% Fruit Juice

By Bisi Abiola

In the past six months, we have treated a range of topics bordering on the relationship between healthy living and pure fruit juice. For one, we talked about the correlation between 100% fruit juice and obesity or diabetes, wherein we established through body of research that there is no evidence of any risk associated with consumption (say a glass of fruit juice) as part of a balanced and varied diet.

We have also considered the myths of 100% fruit juice and sugar intake and clarified that 100% fruit juice from trustworthy brand like Chivita contains no “added” sugar, flavour or preservatives. The simple sugar contained in 100% fruit juices is mostly in form of fructose which to a great extent is equivalent to the raw fruits from which they are juiced.

Fresh researches indicate that 100% fruit juice intake is directly related to healthy living. Today, I will focus on some of the recent findings but with specific reference to blood pressure (BP), which has become a troubling issue among urban dwellers.

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Hypertension is generally triggered when BP is higher than 140/90. If you have been diagnosed of high blood pressure, you are under obligation medically, to bring your BP closer to what is considered optimal – 120/80.

The good news is that medication is not the only way to control high BP, otherwise known as hypertension. Lifestyle and diet also play an important role in managing such a health challenge. With the right diet and healthy lifestyle one can avoid needless reliance on medications.

What Researches Say

A glass of 100% Fruit Juice daily may help lower your BP and keep it down base on the following points

Potassium Offsets Sodium

The overall amount of sodium and potassium in your diet affects your BP. Sodium makes it go up, while potassium offsets sodium and helps to lower it. Researches show that consuming more potassium reduces BP in people with hypertension and is likely beneficial for most people as long as they do not suffer from kidney disease.  Most of us only get about half of the recommended dietary allowance for potassium. Drinking one glass of orange juice allows you to get at least eight per cent of your daily potassium.

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Citrus Bioflavonoids’ Effect

Oranges and other citrus fruits produce a group of phytochemicals called citrus bioflavonoids. One of them – hesperidin – functions as an antioxidant and can help to lower cholesterol. When healthy, reasonably overweight men drank orange juice daily for four weeks, and their diastolic blood pressure went down, the researchers who were searching for hesperidin’s role, concluded that the bioflavonoid was probably linked to the beneficial effects. Another study confirmed that regular consumption of hesperidin helped to prevent hypertension.

Folate for Lower Risk

Orange juice is a good source of the B Vitamin folate. Your body needs folate to synthesise DNA and metabolise amino acids, but it could also help you to prevent hypertension. Men and women who consumed more folate beginning in their young adult years were found to be at lower risk for high blood pressure 20 years later. One glass of 100% Orange juice provides 12 per cent of the recommended dietary allowance for folate of the recommended dietary allowance.

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On the foregoing, a good number of reputable authors have concluded that 100% fruit juice or whole fruit is not significantly associated with increased risk of hypertension or diabetes in postmenopausal women even as the study, being observational, has methodological limitations as it can only determine associations, not cause and effect. Evidence indicates a modest yet consistent reduction in blood pressure with 100% fruit juice.

Finally, the payoff of healthy living is that when your BP is under control, your risk of life-threatening complications such as heart attack and stroke is lower. This helps you to live a longer and happier life.

Dr Abiola is a fitness and health expert

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