Flaxseed has potent properties for lowering high blood pressure.
Flaxseed is one of the oldest fiber crops in the world. It is a rich source of micronutrients, dietary fiber, manganese, vitamin B1, and the essential fatty acid alpha-linolenic acid, also known as ALA or omega-3. Moreover, research has found that flaxseed can help lower the risk of diabetes, cancer, heart disease and hypertension.
To stay healthy, it is recommended to consume a certain amount of vitamins and nutrients on a daily basis. One quarter cup of ground flaxseeds contains the following essentials for human health: Omega-3 132.9 percent, manganese 17.5 percent, vitamin B1 15.3 percent, fiber 15.2 percent, magnesium 13.7 percent, tryptophan 12.5 percent, phosphorus 8.9 percent, copper 8.5 percent, calories 74 (4 percent).
The combination of ω-3 fatty acids, lignans, and fiber in flaxseed may provide benefits to patients with cardiovascular disease. A group of researchers who conducted laboratory tests have identified that patients with peripheral artery disease may particularly benefit from dietary supplementation with flaxseed. Since hypertension is commonly associated with peripheral artery disease, they decided to examine the effects of daily flaxseed ingestion on systolic and diastolic blood pressure in peripheral artery disease patients.
In their randomized trial, 110 patients ingested a variety of foods that contained 30 g of milled flaxseed or placebo each day over 6 months. Plasma levels of the ω-3 fatty acid α-linolenic acid and enterolignans increased 2- to 50-fold in the flaxseed-fed group but did not increase significantly in the placebo group. Patient body weights were not significantly different between the 2 groups at any time. Systolic blood pressure was ≈10 mm Hg lower, and diastolic blood pressure was ≈7 mm Hg lower in the flaxseed group compared with placebo after 6 months. Patients who entered the trial with a systolic blood pressure ≥140 mm Hg at baseline obtained a significant reduction of 15 mm Hg in systolic blood pressure and 7 mm Hg in diastolic blood pressure from flaxseed ingestion.
The antihypertensive effect was achieved selectively in hypertensive patients. Circulating α-linolenic acid levels correlated with systolic and diastolic blood pressure, and lignan levels correlated with changes in diastolic blood pressure. The concluded that “flaxseed induced one of the most potent antihypertensive effects achieved by a dietary intervention!”