Salt has had a bad reputation as being the cause of increased blood pressure for many years, but this might be about to change. Recent studies have found that cutting salt out of your diet may not be the best way to lower your blood pressure after all. Instead you might want to consider eating more chocolate and salted pistachio nuts.
One review by the Cochrane Collaboration suggests that eating small amounts of chocolate had a greater impact on reducing blood pressure than the effect of reducing your salt intake. Whilst another study published in the American Heart Association Journal discovered that pistachio’s containing salt dramatically lowered blood pressure, rather than those that didn’t contain any salt at all.
The first experiment by the Cochrane Collaboration found that when someone ate chocolate daily, their systolic blood pressure dropped by 2.8mmHg and their diastolic blood pressure by 2.2mmHg. The second review conducted by the American Heart Association Journal measured an even bigger drop in blood pressure – 4.8mmHg – from including pistachios in your daily diet. Somewhat surprisingly for the anti-salt campaigners it was salted pistachios, as opposed to non-salted pistachios that induced the greatest reduction in blood pressure.
With these findings in mind, if you want to reduce your blood pressure look at adding some chocolate – just a small amount though, I’m afraid – and salted pistachios into it to your daily diet. This way you’ll still be able to enjoy salted pistachios that are full of favour and not feel too guilty about a little sweet stuff!