Pasta salad. Summer isn't complete without it. And here's the noodle you should use to do your blood pressure some good at the same time: whole-wheat pasta.

How's it work? Well, whole-wheat pasta contains glutamic acid, a vegetable protein that has been linked to better blood pressure in research.

Protective Protein

In a recently released study, the more glutamic acid people got in their diets, the better their blood pressure was. In fact, just a 4.7 percent increase in the proportion of protein people got from glutamic acid instead of other sources was associated with systolic numbers that were 1.5 to 3 points lower on average. And diastolic readings were lower, too, by about 1 to 1.6 points. The effect occurred in both men and women but was strongest in women.

Great Glutamate

Researchers aren't sure how glutamic acid affects blood pressure, but it's possible that components of glutamic acid enhance the blood-pressure-lowering effects of nitric oxide or help blood vessels relax. And whole-wheat foods are only one source. You also can get glutamic acid from rice, beans, and soy products like tofu. Here are a few more ways to lower your blood pressure:

The American Heart Association changed their blood pressure guidelines. The new guidelines have lowered the number for what’s considered high blood pressure, also called hypertension. Find out more about the new guidelines from the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology, plus how to check your numbers and lower your hypertension risk. New Blood Pressure Guidelines

Disclaimer: Content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.