THERE could be a tasty new means of lowering blood pressure – dig into into some Queen Garnet plums.
Developed by Queensland Government scientists to be very high in anthocyanins, is cementing its place as a superfood, with the first human trials demonstrating its ability to effectively lower blood pressure in adults.
Anthocyanins are a class of polyphenols found in the red, blue and purple pigmentation of fruits and in some vegetables.
Evidence is emerging that a diet high in foods that contain these natural chemicals is associated with protection against a myriad of health issues including inflammation and obesity, as well as improving glucose metabolism, and offering powerful antioxidant properties.
New research by the University of Wollongong, has shown that consumption of a single serving of 300ml of the plum juice resulted in a significantly lowered blood pressure over 24 hours, and that this effect was more marked in older adults.
The researchers attribute this effect to the fruit’s anthocyanins content as it has about two times the levels found in regular plums.
Nutrafruit, which holds the global licence to commercialise the Queen Garnet, said the research into the effects of anthocyanins contributed to a greater understanding of the role of plant foods in combatting lifestyle diseases.
Nutrafruit chief executive officer, Luke Couch, said the Queen Garnet has a significantly higher level of anthocyanins than any other plum variety, and has extremely high anthocyanin content compared to most other fruits.
“This research tested the unprocessed Queen Garnet plum and the effects the anthocyanin had on cardiovascular activities in humans,” he said.
“The results have been impressive and will now form the basis for larger human trials.”
In addition to a balanced diet, the anthocyanin in the Queen Garnet plum nectar could prove a simple way for Australians to help reduce their risk of heart disease.
“Elevated and high blood pressure is a major health concern, with one in four Australians having unmanaged blood pressure issues,” Mr Couch said.
“This research contributes to our understanding of the dietary ways in which people can reduce high blood pressure and reduce their risk of heart disease.”
Previous research conducted in obese rats showed the Queen Garnet plum juice assisted in reducing high blood pressure, and improving fatty livers, poor heart function and arthritis in eight weeks.
Further research is currently being undertaken by other organisations as well.
The University of Southern Queensland (USQ) is looking to identify food products for attenuation of ageing-related complications such as weaker bones, weaker muscles, cardiovascular problems and diabetes.
The Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation (including UQ, DAF and CSIRO) is aiming to provide initial research Into developing innovative nutrient dense fruit and vegetable products that are both visually attractive and flavoursome to consumers.
Victoria University is looking into the impact of consuming QG Nectar on reducing hypertension in otherwise healthy humans.
The University of Wollongong is researching into the impact of consuming QG Nectar on cognitive function through benefits to blood pressure and healthier gut microbiota profiles in elderly people.
This group is also investigating whether intake of QG Nectar improves memory to a greater extent in people with mild cognitive impairment that are taking part in a 6-week memory training group therapy.
- This story first appeared on Good Fruit & Vegetables.