Purple Potatoes: Your New Blood Pressure Medicine

A study reveals the potent nutritional benefits of purple potatoes.

Emily Main September 1, 2011

All it takes is a few purple potatoes at dinner to bring down high blood pressure.

RODALE NEWS, EMMAUS, PA—Want to lose weight and lower your blood pressure? Pick a peck of purple potatoes. In a new study by Joe Vinson, PhD, a chemistry professor at the University of Scranton, purple potatoes were found to lower blood pressure as well as oatmeal can without adding unwanted pounds, due to the high levels of phytochemicals found in purple potatoes. His study involved 18 participants who ate six to eight golf ball–sized purple potatoes twice a day for a month, and by the end of the study, their blood pressure levels had dropped about 4 percent.

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This isn't the first study to reveal the nutritional potency of potatoes. A study published earlier this year in the Journal of Nutrition revealed that people eating red, purple, and other pigmented potatoes had lower levels of oxidative stress and inflammation, two conditions that are linked to chronic disease.

Although potatoes often get a bad rap for being calorie laden and high in carbohydrates, you may not want to nix them from your diet. To learn more about how potatoes can lower your blood pressure, see our potato slide show, Colorful Spuds Are Full of Disease-Smashing Antioxidants, Study Shows.

And considering that a long weekend full of backyard barbecues looms ahead, toss some purple potatoes (which are specialty crops you'll most likely find at farmer's markets) into these 5 Rib-Sticking Recipes with Nutrient-Packed Potatoes.