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Eat These Foods to Lower Your Blood Pressure, New Study Says

A diet rich in flavanols is beneficial — and these foods contain it.

The list of the health benefits of drinking tea are long (here's what happens to your body when you consume it), so it may come as no surprise that sipping a lot of this beverage can help lower your blood pressure. Tea—like berries, apples, pears, and more foods—contains flavanols. And a diet high in flavanols can lead to lower blood pressure, according to a recent study.

An analysis of the food choices of 25,618 people in the U.K. published in the journal Scientific Reports found a high intake of flavanols "was associated with a significantly lower systolic blood pressure" in both men and women comparable to following the Mediterranean diet or the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet—or from eating less salt. The biggest change occurred in participants with existing high blood pressure. (For more on eating cleaner, here are the 21 Best Healthy Cooking Hacks of All Time.)

"What this study gives us is an objective finding about the association between flavanols—found in tea and some fruits—and blood pressure," Gunter Kuhnle, a professor and nutritionist at the University of Reading and who led the study, said. "This research confirms the results from previous dietary intervention studies and shows that the same results can be achieved with a habitual diet rich in flavanols. In the British diet, the main sources are tea, cocoa, apples, and berries."

Overall, the risk of cardiovascular diseases would go down if more people eat more flavanol-rich foods, according to scientists. This may be as simple as drinking a cup of tea every day or adding in more berries and apples to your diet.

Need some inspo? How about this Berry Cauliflower Smoothie for breakfast? Or here are 25 Delicious Apple Recipes That are Perfect for Fall.

Amanda McDonald
Amanda has a master's degree in journalism from Northwestern University and a bachelor's degree in digital journalism from Loyola University Chicago. Read more about Amanda