Blood pressure is known as the force that blood exerts against the walls of the vessels through which it circulates. When this pressure is very high, hypertension occurs, which according to the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), is the main risk factor for the development of heart-related diseases.
It is a silent condition that, in general, does not present symptoms or warning signs, so it can progress without people knowing. The best way to determine its presence is to carry out measurements on a regular basis.
Information from the English Heart Foundation indicates that this condition is behind half of the deaths from stroke and heart disease, the leading cause of illness and mortality in developed countries.
Experts say that the best way to deal with high blood pressure is by adopting healthy lifestyle habits, because in addition to age, diabetes, high cholesterol levels and family history, there are other risk factors that can be acted upon such as stress, obesity, alcohol intake, smoking, sedentary lifestyle and salt abuse.
One of those healthy practices should be the intake of a balanced diet in which fruits should not be missing. Many of them due to their properties and nutrients help prevent the development of diseases and in this case the kiwi is favorable to help control this condition.
This fruit has an important nutritional composition, with a small percentage of protein, abundant fiber and very little fat. In addition, according to the Cuerpo Mente portal, it provides a wide variety of minerals, including potassium and calcium; abundant vitamin C along with other vitamins such as folic acid or vitamin E; and, above all, different antioxidant compounds such as lutein or zeaxanthin that enhance their properties.
Kiwi, against hypertension
By consuming this fruit regularly, daily, it helps control blood pressure. This is because it is rich in potassium and fiber. This mineral helps to counteract and expel sodium from the body, a compound that has a great impact on the behavior of blood pressure in the arteries. Additionally, potassium helps to relax blood vessels, says the health and well-being portal Tua saúde.
In an investigation published in PubMed, a website that provides scientific information, it is indicated that kiwi contains bioactive substances that can lower blood pressure and improve the functioning of the endothelium, which is found inside the veins and arteries.
For their analysis, the scientists evaluated the effects of adding kiwi to the usual diet on 24-hour ambulatory and office blood pressure and endothelial function.. The study involved 118 people with high normal blood pressure or stage 1 hypertension. One group ate three kiwis a day and the other ate an apple a day for eight weeks. After that time, blood pressure was lower in the group assigned to the intake of kiwis.
Other contributions to health
The list of kiwi health benefits is long. For example, it is rich in fiber so it helps control cholesterol levels. The fibers decrease the absorption of fats from food at the intestinal level, favoring the control of fats in the blood. In addition to that, kiwi is rich in vitamin C and beta-carotene, bioactive compounds with antioxidant action that fight excess free radicals, preventing the oxidation of fat cells.
That same fiber makes the person feel full, so the inclusion of this fruit in a diet aimed at losing weight can be very favorable. Similarly, kiwi has a low glycemic index, which increases the absorption time of sugar from food, balancing blood glucose levels and avoiding insulin resistance and diabetes, says Tua Saúde.
Finally, its richness in vitamin C offers several benefits. On the one hand, it helps strengthen the immune system; and, on the other, this nutrient facilitates the absorption of iron in the body, which prevents the development of conditions such as anemia.