Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Purple Potatoes for Lower Blood Pressure

purple potatoes for lower blood pressureA new study came out last month that showed purple potatoes may lower blood pressure in overweight people.  Okay, let’s break this down and see what the study REALLY says..
First, the sample size was pretty small…only 18 overweight people who had high blood pressure.
Second, they were asked to microwave 6 -8 small purple potatoes with skins on for lunch and dinner (about 215 calories total) for 4 weeks.
Half the participants had the purple potatoes – half did not – for 4 weeks.  Then they switched.
Across the board – during the purple potato regime, participants blood pressure dropped 3-4%  in both diastolic and systolic measurements – without gaining weight!
Even on those already taking blood pressure medication!
Pretty impressive – but of course, a larger study needs to be done.
Purple potatoes have a higher level of polyphenol antioxidants  than white potatoes, which may help explain it, although some researchers think it may work with other potatoes, too.
The trick of course, is not to cook them in a way that depletes all those good antioxidants, which is why they microwaved them.
And don’t forget – they ate them twice a day for 4 weeks to get that 3-4% drop.
I would hope that other methods – like roasting with herbs and a little olive oil, would work, too.  Because plain microwaved potatoes just have no appeal to me.  And since I’m currently on a pretty low-carb diet, I’ll probably pass on this anyway.  I might have them as a treat sometime – but EVERY day?  I think not…
For those of you interested in getting purple potatoes, I hear Whole Foods and Costco carries them.