The ‘delicious’ green vegetable that could slash blood pressure levels

Dr Chris Steele shares diet tips on reducing blood pressure High blood… Content source -

The ‘delicious’ green vegetable that could slash blood pressure levels

Dr Chris Steele shares diet tips on reducing blood pressure

High blood pressure, which is also known as hypertension, is a fairly common condition thought to affect around a quarter of all adults in the UK.

It means that your heart has to work harder than it should to pump blood around the body.

Over time this can cause damage to the blood vessels as well as organs such as the heart, brain and kidneys.

If left untreated it could lead to a number of serious medical emergencies including strokes and heart attacks.

Diet is a major contributing factor to high blood pressure, with foods high in salt a major culprit.

Woman checking blood pressure

Eating artichokes could help lower blood pressure levels (Image: Getty Images)

While diet can cause high blood pressure, it can also help lower it.

Two experts spoke exclusively with about a specific green vegetable that could do just that.

Nutritional practitioner at A.Vogel, Alison Cullen, recommended adding artichokes to your diet.

She said: “Wonderfully dramatic in their appearance, artichokes may not seem the most appealing of vegetables to the non-professional cook.

“Artichokes are, however, not just a spiky face. They have the ability to reduce spikes in blood pressure with surprising ease.

“Research carried out over 12 weeks of artichoke supplementation showed decreased systolic blood pressure in hypertensive patients (people with high blood pressure), as well as significantly decreased diastolic blood pressure.

“A simple strategy, without any downsides: artichokes are delicious, and if you don’t fancy cooking them, you can find them bottled in supermarkets or available as tincture drops.”

Green french artichoke and artichoke slices isolated on white background.

You can eat artichokes as part of a meal or try artichoke supplements (Image: Getty)

The research referenced by Alison was published in Complementary Therapies in Medicine in 2021.

It found that artichoke supplementation reduced both systolic (the higher number) and diastolic (the lower number) blood pressure when given to hypertensive patients.

The study said: “In conclusion, artichokes reduce systolic blood pressure and diastolic blood pressure in our meta-analysis.

“However, these effects may be contained to hypertensive patients, and diastolic blood pressure may only be reduced when the supplementation period is at least 12 weeks in duration.

“Further work is needed to understand the mechanisms that result in this reduction in blood pressure, but the antioxidants, polyphenols, and prebiotics found in artichokes are likely contributors based on current evidence.”

Doctor Deborah Lee, from the Dr Fox Online Pharmacy, explained that artichokes contain many compounds and nutrients that could be responsible for their blood pressure lowering properties, including antioxidants and certain prebiotics.

High blood pressure

The only way to be sure of your blood pressure is to test it (Image:

If you would prefer to take artichoke supplements rather than eating the vegetables, she advised: “Artichoke supplements are usually taken at a dose of 320 to 640mg, three times a day.

“However, there is little evidence to support the optimal dose. In clinical studies, patients take up to 2,700mg of leaf extract per day.”

She warned: “Artichoke supplements can cause side effects such as excess gas, bloating, upset stomach and diarrhoea.

“It can worsen symptoms of bile duct obstruction, so it should not be used in those with gallstones or gallbladder disease.

“Artichoke is part of the ragweed family, so it should not be used by anyone with an allergy to ragweed, chrysanthemums, daisies, marigolds and any other related plants. Ragweed allergy can worsen asthma which can be life-threatening and rarely this can be fatal.

“There is not enough evidence to know if artichoke is safe in pregnancy or breastfeeding, so this is not recommended.

“Always discuss with your GP if you have any chronic health conditions or take any regular medication before you start taking artichoke – or any other – supplements.”

Overall, she recommended eating the vegetable if unsure.

“Evidence is accumulating that artichoke may be useful in treating high blood pressure,” Dr Lee concluded.

“However, these are small, short-term studies and much more research is needed before firm conclusions can be made.

“It’s important to realise that plant supplements can cause side effects and interact with other medicines.

“Although there have not been major safety concerns, the safety of artichoke supplements has not been well established. It might be a much better idea just to include eating artichoke as part of your regular diet.”

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