Foods Preventing Hypertension

Madison Woodard

Summary

In Karen Collins article, "Food-as-Protection and the Fight Against Hypertension”, she describes the different foods and nutrients that are commonly talked about being used to reduce hypertension. Magnesium is discussed as a specific nutrient that reduces blood vessel constriction but there are still observational studies that need to be done in order to prove that there is a connection with blood pressure. Also mentioned in her article was polyphenols and flavonoids increase nitric acid production increasing vasodilation. Foods such as green leafy vegetables offer these nutrients as well as Vitamin C and beta-carotene while berries and nuts are important for increasing blood flow and providing antioxidant protection. Chocolate and cocoa also come into play because of their flavanols, which help in endothelial function. The DASH diet is a pattern of diets that collectively can help lower blood pressure and has evidence to prove its effectiveness.

Food & Nutrition Website

Published 2/26/2016

Critique

Karen Collins is a registered dietician nutritionist who focuses on nutrition and how it affects the heart. Because this is her specialty, I think this article is credible and uses evidence to support its statements and conclusions. This website has many different articles and blogs which are written by different registered nutritionists and are also edited by them. Some major points in the article even stated that further research was needed to completely gather the effectiveness of certain nutrients and lowering blood pressure. Some of the article seemed like it could have used more research on the specific nutrients and statistics of how well they can reduce blood pressure. Adding statistics would have made the article seem even more reliable and given readers something to understand how well these foods actually can fight hypertension. Linked to the website is the Food & Nutrition Magazine that is very popular and has credible resources which makes this article very reliable because many people read and view this magazine. Overall, this article is very well-written and when discussing the foods, Collins explains in great detail exactly what the foods will do in the body and what components of the food are used. Writing about the nutrients and components of the foods first gives the readers a good background before beginning to actually say what foods are most beneficial to lowering blood pressure.