So, is kiwi the new "wonder" fruit?
"There is biological plausibility, but I would not go and grab three kiwis a day," said Dr. Nehal Mehta, a preventive cardiologist at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. "They are not easy to find or one of those fruits that people readily grab."
Moderation is the key with kiwis or any food, he said. "Three kiwis a day or 21 kiwis a week does not seem like moderation, and I would caution against eating that much," he said.
The new study may just "put kiwis on the map," he said. "When we say 'eat more fresh fruit,' we stick to the tried-and-true or anything that is handheld and peeled, but these findings suggest that a kiwi can be part of a heart-healthy diet," he said.
In addition, the study looked at the whole fruit, not individual nutrients. Don't start popping lutein in supplement form based on these results, he noted.
Dr. Suzanne Steinbaum, a preventive cardiologist with Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, agreed. "Kiwi is not the wonder fruit, but certainly adding kiwi to your diet can help decrease mildly high blood pressure levels."
Dr. Elliott M. Antman, a professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School in Boston, said that while promising, the new study is small. "Don't count on this to be the complete answer to high blood pressure," he said. Whatever you do, "do not stop taking your blood pressure medications without talking to your doctor," he added.
Because this study was presented at a medical meeting, the data and conclusions should be viewed as preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal.
The Dash diet is often recommended to lower blood pressure levels.
SOURCES: Suzanne Steinbaum, D.O., preventive cardiologist, Lenox Hill Hospital, New York City; Nehal Mehta, p
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