Did you know that eating potatoes can help lower your blood pressure? Of course, the potatoes in question can’t be French fries or chips or loaded with butter, cheese or all the other high calorie trimmings that sometimes come with spuds. But if you’re partial to potatoes and enjoy eating them steamed or boiled, in moderation, they could be good for your blood pressure, even if you’re already taking medication for hypertension.
Researchers performing a small study (only 18 participants, mostly overweight or obese) at the University of Scranton reported the results of eating six to eight purple potatoes twice a day. After a month, average diastolic blood pressure (the bottom number) among the study group dropped 4.3 percent while average systolic pressure (the top number) fell 3.5 percent.
Plain potatoes are not particularly fattening (a single one contains about 110 calories), and they’re loaded with beneficial phytonutrients, which may be responsible for the blood-pressure lowering effect seen in the study. Earlier research showed that potatoes contain a substance similar to ACE inhibitors, a group of blood pressure drugs.