Natto for Blood Pressure
Those with pre-hypertension or stage 1 hypertension face a difficult decision when it comes to healthy living tips. Should they succumb to the side effects associated with prescriptions drugs, or should they follow healthy living tips and try to reduce their blood pressure naturally through diet?
If you have high blood pressure, and about 75 million Americans do, you have a higher risk of suffering a heart attack and stroke. High blood pressure is also likely to shorten your life. Statistics show that people with normal blood pressure readings, no higher than 120/80mm/Hg, have an expected life span of five years longer than those with hypertension. The good news is that by making some lifestyle changes and adopting some healthy living tips can quickly lower blood pressure and improve your health significantly.
Healthy Habits Include Eating Nattokinese
Studies on nattokinase (natto for short) found that this fermented food can be effective in preventing and lowering hypertension. Natto is a common food in Japan and is thought to be the main reason for their long and healthy lives.
Natto is made from soybeans soaked and then fermented with a bacterium (bacillus subtilis) for at least 24 hours. Although popular in Eastern cultures, natto does not appeal to westernized tastes as it has a powerful cheesy smell, a slimy texture and a strong flavor. However, it is high in protein and the taste can be disguised with soy sauce or karashi mustard and eaten with rice.
Studies on Natto
A joint clinical study by NIS Labs, Oregon and Machaon Diagnostics in Oakland, CA was performed on 79 people with elevated blood pressure of at least 130/90 mmHg. They ate natto daily throughout the eight-week study, or a placebo, and their blood pressure was measured.
The average diastolic reading was three points lower overall (from 87 mmHg to 84 mmHg) in those taking nattokinase compared to the placebo group which remained the same. The results were more pronounced in men than women. In males the average drop was five points, from 87mmHg to 81 mmHg, a remarkable reduction in just eight weeks.
Other studies found that eating 30 grams natto extract resulted in a 10% drop in blood pressure. This shows that healthy living tips such as eating natto can play an important role in controlling hypertension. It suggests that healthy habits such as including natto in your diet can significantly improve health by lowering blood pressure. For men, such healthy living tips are even more beneficial.
As with all healthy habits, those who are already taking medications to lower blood pressure should consult with their doctor before making any changes. However, increasing your exercise and adopting a heart-healthy diet are two healthy living tips that everyone can start right now!