Finding it hard to regulate your hypertension? Eating a balanced diet, including protein from a variety of sources, may help adults lower the risk of developing high blood pressure, according to new research.

Hypertension or high blood pressure is one of the leading contributors to cardiovascular disease. When left untreated, high blood pressure damages the circulatory system and is a significant contributing factor to heart attack, stroke, and other health conditions.

The study, published in the journal Hypertension, showed that those people who ate four or more protein foods which include whole grains, refined grains, processed red meat, unprocessed red meat, poultry, fish, egg, and legumes, had a 66 percent lower risk of developing high blood pressure compared to those who ate less than two.

"The heart health message is that consuming a balanced diet with proteins from various different sources, rather than focusing on a single source of dietary protein, may help to prevent the development of high blood pressure," said Xianhui Qin, from the National Clinical Research Centre for Kidney Disease at Nanfang Hospital, Southern Medical University in China.

"Nutrition may be an easily accessible and effective measure to fight against hypertension. Along with fat and carbohydrates, protein is one of the three basic macronutrients," Qin added.

Increase protein intake to stay healthy
Increase protein intake to stay healthyIANS

There is a strong association between poor diet quality and increased risk of cardiovascular disease and death from cardiovascular disease. In its 2021 dietary guidance to improve cardiovascular health, the American Heart Association advises people to eat healthy sources of protein, mostly from plants, and may include seafood and low-fat or fat-free dairy products, and, if desired, lean cuts and unprocessed forms of meat or poultry.

The American Heart Association also recommends eating one to two servings, or 5.5 ounces, of protein daily.

protein rich food
Protein rich food. [Representational image]Creative Commons.

The team analyzed health information for nearly 12,200 adults living in China. A trained interviewer collected 24-hour dietary information over three days in the same week during each round of the survey.

The analysis found more than 35 percent of the nearly 12,200 participants developed new-onset high hypertension during follow-up.