The Polarizing Protein That Can Help Lower Your High Blood Pressure – Health Digest

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The health benefits of sardines might surprise you. A can of sardines has 18 grams of protein and 8.5 grams of fat, with just a single gram of saturated fat. That’s because most of the fat in sardines comes from healthy unsaturated fat, with 737 milligrams of omega-3s. A can of sardines also has close to 300 milligrams of potassium, which lowers blood pressure by helping rid your body of excess sodium. Sardines are also good sources of calcium, iron, zinc, and magnesium.

According to a 2023 article in the journal Frontiers in Nutrition, sardines are also rich in arginine and taurine, two amino acids that improve the health of your heart and blood vessels. Arginine produces nitric oxide that relaxes blood vessels. Taurine works as an antioxidant to lower blood pressure, improve cholesterol, and manage blood sugar.

Angiotensin 2 is a substance that constricts your blood vessels and can increase your blood pressure. The angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) makes this substance, and many people with high blood pressure take ACE inhibitors to control their hypertension. A 2017 study in Food Research International found that the peptides in sardines combined with quercetin (a polyphenol found in plants such as apples and berries) can also inhibit ACE, thereby reducing inflammation and lowering blood pressure in laboratory models.

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