Cherry juice can lower your blood pressure

Drinking cherry juice is as good as taking drugs at reducing blood pressure, researchers have found.

People who drank 60ml of cherry concentrate, diluted with water, saw their blood pressure drop by 7 per cent within three hours.

This was enough to slash the risk of a stroke by 38 per cent or heart disease by 23 per cent.

Patients who take blood pressure medication see a similar impact, scientists at Northumbria University said.

High blood pressure affects some five million people in England and, if left untreated, increases risk of heart attack, heart failure, kidney disease, stroke and dementia.

The research team, whose work is published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, tested 15 people who were displaying early signs of high blood pressure.

The volunteers were given either 60ml of a Montmorency cherry concentrate diluted with 100ml of water, or the same volume of a ‘placebo’ drink, a fruit-flavoured cordial.

The scientists found that the participants given the cherry concentrate saw their peak blood pressure drop 7 per cent further than those who drank the fruit cordial.

cherry_juice
Cherry juice

The scientists think that cherry juice has such a strong impact on blood pressure because it is rich in phenolic acids – a type of naturally-occuring antioxidant.

When tracking the volunteers, the team found that the greatest improvement in blood pressure oc-curred when two phenolic acids – protocatechuic and vanillic acid – reached peak levels in patients’ blood.

Study leader Karen Keane, whose work was funded by the Cherry Marketing Institute in the US, said: ‘The majority of cardiovascular disease is caused by risk factors that can be controlled, treated or modified.




‘These include high blood pressure, cholesterol, obesity, tobacco use, lack of physical activity and diabetes.

‘Raised blood pressure is the leading cause of deaths from cardiovascular disease, yet relatively small reductions in blood pressure can have a large impact on mortality rates.

‘The magnitude of the blood pressure lowering effects we observed was comparable to those achieved by a single anti-hypertensive drug and highlights the potential importance that Montmorency cherries could have in the effective management of high blood pressure.’

Co-author Professor Glyn Howatson added: ‘This is the first study to investigate the acute effects of Montmorency tart cherry consumption on blood pressure, arterial stiffness and microvascular vasodilation in males with early hypertension.

‘This exciting set of data complements a growing body of research to show that eating the right sorts of foods can provide potential health benefits.

‘We believe these benefits might be linked to the combined actions of some of the plant compounds within the Montmorency concentrate and the positive impact they exert on vascular function.’

Pickle Juice health benefits

Post-Workout Drink:

Forget coconut water. Athletes swear by pickle juice’s scientifically proven benefits to exercise recovery. In one 2010 study, pickle juice halted post-workout muscle cramps in 85 seconds. That, plus its electrolyte-restoring powers has even yielded Pickle Juice Sport – a dill-flavored sports drink. But really, most athletes stick to good old Vlasic!

PMS Remedy:

For those same reasons, pickle juice is widely used as a cure for menstrual cramps. It may also prevent you from eating four bags of potato chips in one day. Not that we ever did that. That was a friend.

Potato Pick-Me-Up:

Add a heavy splash of pickle juice to a pot of simple boiled potatoes for a fantastic side dish. The flavors absorb so perfectly you won’t want to add salt, butter, sour cream, or anything to these taters once you’re done. Making potato salad? Skip the mayo, and toss with veggies and pickle juice for a much healthier (and more flavorful) version.

Pickles
Pickles

Hangover Cure:

If you can stomach it on a hangover tummy, pickle juice is a known folk remedy that actually works. It replenishes your depleted sodium levels and helps to assist in rehydration. In many countries, people even take a shot of pickle juice before going out to help prevent dehydration in the first place.

Vinegar Replacement:

Pickle juice works in place of vinegar in salad dressing, soups, or virtually any recipe. It is essentially vinegar on steroids.




Heartburn Cure:

Along with its flavor-boosting benefits, pickle juice seems to have the same health effects as straight-up vinegar. Particularly effective as a heartburn soother, pickle juice may also help to avoid blood-sugar spikes if taken with a meal.

Hiccup Stopper:

We’ve found little scientific evidence backing up this claim (and, frankly, we’re glad the scientists are working on other things), but many, many people claim that the number-one cure for hiccups is a small glass of pickle juice. Given how well this stuff works on everything else in the world, we believe it.