Just adding a few beans to your daily diet could be enough to reduce your blood pressure, and lower your risk of heart disease.
Scientists have discovered that a 4 per cent increase of glutamic acid - found in beans, pasta, whole grain rice or tofu - reduces systolic blood pressure (measured when the heart beats), and may take it out of the danger zone. Across the US, this small dietary change would save 8,600 lives a year from stroke, and 17,800 lives from heart attack.
In a study of 4,680 people aged between 40 and 59, researchers found that a 4.72 per cent increase in glutamic acid - which accounts for a quarter of the protein in vegetable protein - lowered systolic blood pressure by 1.5 to 3 millimeters of mercury (mmHg), and average diastolic blood pressure, when the heart rests, fell by 1 to 1.6mmHg.
(Source: Circulation, July 6, 2009: doi: 10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.108.839241).