611 W. Union Street
Benson, AZ 85602
(520) 586-0800

LaFrontera
member support line
1-520-279-5737
M-F 5pm-8pm
24/7 weekends/holidays

AzCH Nurse Assist Line
1-866-495-6735

NAZCARE Warm Line
1-888-404-5530



SEABHS
611 W. Union Street
Benson, AZ 85602
(520) 586-0800

AzCH Nurse Assist Line
1-866-495-6735

NAZCARE Warm Line
1-888-404-5530


powered by centersite dot net
Wellness and Personal Development
Resources
Basic InformationLatest News
Even a Little Light in Your Bedroom Could Harm HealthWant Respect at Work? Ditch the EmojisAs Clocks Spring Forward, Keep Sleep on TrackSleep Experts Call for End to Twice-a-Year Time ChangesHigh Anxiety: Poll Finds Americans Stressed by Inflation, WarYour Houseplants May Help You Breathe EasierAHA News: Ready to 'Spring Forward'? Ease Into the Time Change With These 9 Health TipsSome Americans Gained Better Habits During Pandemic, Poll FindsStressed Out by Ukraine News? Experts Offer Coping TipsBegin Now to Protect Your Heart as Clocks 'Spring Forward'AHA News: Break Up Binge-Watching by Taking a StandApps: They Help Manage Health Conditions, But Few Use Them, Poll FindsLifestyle Factors Key to Keeping Good Vision With AgeExercise Helps You Sleep, But Which Workout Is Best?Fitbit Recalls Over 1 Million Smartwatches Due to Burn HazardAHA News: Understanding 'Black Fatigue' – And How to Overcome ItPandemic Didn't Dent Americans' Optimism, Polls FindHuman Brain Doesn't Slow Down Until After 60AHA News: Does Kindness Equal Happiness and Health?Apps Can Help Keep Older Folks Healthy — But Most Don't Use ThemAHA News: Want a Healthier Valentine's Day? More Hugs and KissesStudy Hints That Cutting Daily Calories Could Extend Healthy Life SpanHow Healthy Is Your State? New Federal Data Ranks EachMidwinter Blues Could Be SAD: An Expert Guide to TreatmentsSpice Up Your Meal to Avoid More SaltSearching for Good Sleep? Here's What You're Doing Right - and WrongPandemic Worsening Americans' Already Terrible Sleep, Poll Finds​AHA News: Fine-Tune Your Health With These 5 Music IdeasMelatonin's Popularity Rises, Along With Hidden DangersAHA News: Healthy Living Could Offset Genetics and Add Years Free of Heart DiseaseCould Everyday Plastics Help Make You Fat?Take These Winter Workout Tips to HeartStay Safe When Winter Storms Cut Your PowerAHA News: Sound the Fiber Alarm! Most of Us Need More of It in Our DietExtra 10 Minutes of Daily Activity Could Save 110,000 U.S. Lives AnnuallyWinter Blues? It Could Be SADOrdering Groceries Online? Good Luck Finding Nutrition InfoBinge-Watching Could Raise Your Blood Clot RiskDon't Snow Shovel Your Way to a Heart AttackCelebrities' Social Media Promotes Junk Food, Often for FreeWill Reading Books Make You Any Happier?Zoom Meeting Anxiety Doesn't Strike EveryoneDid Adding Calorie Counts to Restaurant Menus Make Meals Healthier?AHA News: Here's to a Fresh Start With Whatever You Do in '22Do You Have 'COVID-somnia'? These Sleep Tips Might HelpMake 2022 Your Year for a Free Memory ScreeningNew Year's Resolution? Here's How to Make it Stick12 Steps to the Best Holiday Gift: HealthAmericans Turning to Trendy Diets to Shed Pandemic PoundsAHA News: Can the Cold Really Make You Sick?
LinksBook Reviews
Related Topics

Smoking
Anger Management
Stress Reduction and Management

A Little Wine & Certain Foods Could Help Keep Blood Pressure Healthy

HealthDay News
by By Amy Norton HealthDay Reporter
Updated: Aug 24th 2021

new article illustration

TUESDAY, Aug. 24, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- An apple and a pear a day may help keep blood pressure under control — a benefit partly explained by gut bacteria, a new study suggests.

Researchers found that adults who regularly ate certain foods — apples, pears, berries and red wine — tended to have lower blood pressure than their peers.

One thing those foods have in common is a high content of antioxidant plant compounds called flavonoids. Studies have suggested flavonoids can be a boon to heart health, by lowering blood pressure and cholesterol, and improving blood vessel function, among other things.

The new findings add another layer: Flavonoid-rich foods were linked to greater diversity in the gut microbiome — the vast collection of bacteria that naturally dwell in the digestive system.

And microbiome diversity seemed to partly explain the foods' benefits on blood pressure.

Gut bacteria play an important role in processing flavonoids so they can do their job, explained senior researcher Aedin Cassidy, a professor at Queen's University in Belfast, Northern Ireland.

At the same time, she said, people vary widely in the composition of their gut microbiome. It's possible that variability could help explain why some people seem to gain greater heart and blood vessel benefits from flavonoid-rich foods than others, according to Cassidy.

Researchers are just beginning to understand the complex ways in which the gut microbiome affects human health. Studies in recent years have found that the microbes play key roles in a range of normal body processes — from metabolism to immune defenses to brain function.

Exactly what constitutes a "healthy" microbiome is not yet clear. But experts believe that greater diversity in gut bacteria is generally better.

In the new study, Cassidy's team found that people who ate the most flavonoid-rich foods had, on average, more gut bacteria diversity. Greater diversity in certain bacteria was, in turn, tied to lower systolic blood pressure (the "top" number in a blood pressure reading).

The findings — published Aug. 23 in the journal Hypertension — are based on 904 German adults between 25 and 82 years of age. All completed a detailed dietary questionnaire and gave stool samples so their gut bacteria could be analyzed.

On average, the study found, the one-third of participants with the highest flavonoid intake had a 3-point lower systolic blood pressure than the one-third with the lowest flavonoid intake.

Next, the researchers delved into certain foods that were popular sources of flavonoids. They found that people who had one to two servings of apples, pears or berries each day shaved 2 to 4 points off their systolic blood pressure, compared to folks who avoided those foods.

Similar benefits were seen among people who drank just under three glasses of red wine per week.

Overall, the study found, diversity in gut bacteria explained up to 15% of the link between those flavonoid-rich foods and lower blood pressure.

Studies like this are helping researchers better understand exactly how diet affects health, according to Linda Van Horn, a volunteer expert with the American Heart Association (AHA).

But for the average person, the focus should be on overall diet quality, said Van Horn, who is also head of nutrition at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, in Chicago.

"People eat food, not individual nutrients, and there is synergy across foods that make nutrients more bioavailable," Van Horn said.

That, she added, means that nutrients are better absorbed, and used, when they are in the presence of certain other nutrients.

Similarly, the gut microbiome can be influenced by a range of dietary factors. One recent study found that people who ate plenty of vegetables and fruit, fish, nuts and fiber-rich grains generally had more gut bacteria that fight inflammation.

In contrast, people who favored meat, processed foods and sugar tended to have clusters of gut microbes that promote inflammation — a state associated with many disease processes.

All of that is in line with diet recommendations for heart health: According to the AHA, people should strive for nine daily servings of vegetables and fruit — of all kinds — along with six servings of high-fiber whole grains.

That's not only for the sake of a diverse microbiome. Eating whole foods instead of processed foods will help people cut down on added salt and sugar, Van Horn said.

And while modest amounts of red wine were tied to benefits in this study, the AHA urges caution: There are risks to drinking, and people should not start a red-wine habit in the hopes of gaining heart benefits.

More information

The American Heart Association has advice on a following a heart-healthy lifestyle.

SOURCES: Aedin Cassidy, PhD, professor, nutrition and preventive medicine, Institute for Global Food Security, Queen's University, Belfast, Northern Ireland; Linda Van Horn, PhD, RD, chief, nutrition, department of preventive medicine, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, and volunteer expert, American Heart Association, Dallas; Hypertension, Aug. 23, 2021, online