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High blood pressure is a common affliction that increases your risk of suffering a heart attack or stroke.

Reducing blood pressure can be achieved through a variety of lifestyle changes.

Alongside regular exercise, limiting alcohol and not smoking, diet is an important avenue of controlling your blood sugar.

Certain foods have been experimented with for their potential to lower blood pressure.

Amaranth is a pseudocereal, aleve comparison which means a non-grass plant that can be prepared in the same way as cereal grains such as wheat.

The proteins found in amaranth differ greatly to wheat, millet or rice and some have been identified as having antihypertensive properties.

Some of the proteins found in amaranth grains inhibit an enzyme, Angiotensin-converting enzyme, that produces a hormone that constricts blood vessels and raises blood pressure.

These experiments have largely taken place in laboratory environments or in animal studies.

Studies conducted on rats have found that amaranth rich diets result in lower cholesterol levels.

At the end of a 28 day diet blood pressure was 18 percent lower and cholesterol levels were 16 percent lower.

Cholesterol is a form of fat that is soluble in blood.

It can adhere to blood vessel walls, forming plaques that constrict the artery and increase blood pressure.

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Amaranths fall into the group of whole grains which have been linked to other health benefits.

A meta-analysis published in Advanced Nutrition found that a diet rich in whole grains, fruits, vegetables and low-fat dairy was effective in preventing the development of high blood pressure.

This diet was also linked with a reduction in risk for type 2 diabetes.

Type two diabetes is a common comorbidity for hypertension, with both sharing risk factors such as being overweight.

Amaranth can be prepared similarly to other grains.

It can be prepared as a porridge with minimal effort.

Amaranth flour can be used in baking, but the lack of gluten means that baked goods will not hold their shape as rigidly unless a substitute binding agent is used.

Pseudocereals have a different nutritional profile, with many of them being higher in protein than grains like wheat and rice.

Alongside amaranth, other examples include quinoa and chia seeds.

They can serve as a healthy source of fibre, unsaturated fat, and multiple vitamins and vitamins.

Quinoa has been identified to also reduce blood pressure and other risk factors for heart disease.

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