Raisins, Soy Products Good for the Heart

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On the hunt for heart-healthy foods? Researchers say eating raisins and soy products on a regular basis can help lower blood pressure.

Raisins topped the list of the five most beneficial snacks for the heart compiled this week by ABC News. Next on the list came soy, followed by walnuts, avocados, and high fiber foods.

A study by the Louisville Metabolic and Atherosclerosis Research Center found that the potassium in raisins positively affected 46 randomly selected men and women who had borderline high blood pressure.

The patients ate a small pack of raisins three times a day.

"We monitored blood pressure, and when we did that and looked at the final result, we found that compared to the snack group, the raisin group showed a significant decrease in systolic blood pressure," said Dr. Harold Bays, who lead the study.

Soy products are rich in protein, which is also good for the heart.

In a separate study, researchers at Columbia University found that consuming as little as 2.5 milligrams of isoflavones day can lower blood pressure about five points. An 8-ounce glass of soy milk contains 22 milligrams of isoflavones.

The results also showed more significant improvements among African Americans.

Walnuts provide omega-3 fatty acids and high fiber foods help with the digestion of fats that can be dangerous to the heart. Avocados are a "super fruit" that's rich in vitamins, fiber, and potassium.

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