Tag Archives: Lifestyle

Healthy foods which may help reduce your blood pressure.

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Controlling your blood pressure is one of the most important things if not the most important thing you can do to improve your health and increase your lifespan. Of course, most of us now know there are alternatives to popping pills: Many foods can lower blood pressure naturally. Rather than cutting things out, science shows that you can really benefit from adding these foods to your diet.

These are all healthy foods that can be part of your diet. But whether any one food can lower your blood pressure isn’t entirely clear and will likely depend on a host of variables including your current blood pressure, your genes, how much of the food you consume and how often, and other components in your diet and exercise.

Of course, never ever stop taking any prescribed medication for your Blood pressure without your doctors say so. Always discuss you diet plans with your doctor if you are on medication and also if he is prescribing medication and you have not yet started taking it then discuss it with him..Show him that you have done your research and what you plan to do to help and he should be receptive to this and monitor your Blood pressure for a period of time to see if what you are proposing lowers it…Always ask, more and more medical practitioners are looking at natural methods of treating some conditions.

Work with your doctor.

A healthy diet and adding certain foods to that diet may help further reduce your blood pressure.

You probably already know that a diet rich in foods containing potassium, calcium and magnesium may help prevent or help normalise high blood pressure. But are there specific foods?

Salt has always been thought to be a major player in reducing blood pressure ..however new schools of thoughts and current research into salt is raising doubts about this.

Myself I live in hot, humid climes and I need to keep my salt intake up..not in excess but not to cut it out as much as I can….my blood pressure has reduced since living here. I will admit it is lifestyle, diet and exercise which has all contributed to that. Nothing in isolation. While I am on the subject of salt in the diet this is a good  article about salt and the diet    

It doesn’t advocate cutting out salt completely or diving into the salt pot….Moderation not abstinence is what it is saying…

Below are some foods which if incorporated into your diet and some or most you may already be eating can help lower your blood pressure.

Leafy greens, which are high in potassium, include Romaine lettuce, arugula, kale, turnip greens, collard greens, spinach, beet greens, Swiss chard and broccoli.

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But PLEASE DON’T discount frozen vegetables as they contain as many nutrients as fresh vegetables, and they’re easier to store. You can also blend these veggies with bananas and nut milk for a healthy, sweet green juice.

Red Beets

Beets are high in nitric oxide, which can help open your blood vessels and lower blood pressure. Current research also found that the nitrates in beetroot juice lowered research participants’ blood pressure within just 24 hours.

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For a 2013 study in Nutrition Journal, Australian researchers looked at the effects of beet juice on blood pressure among healthy men and women.. Participants drank either beet plus apple juice or plain apple juice, then had their blood pressure monitored over 24 hours. The results: The researchers observed a reduction in systolic blood pressure six hours after participants drank beet juice, especially among the men. Beets naturally contain nitrates, which ease blood pressure

Servo, M., Lara, J., Ogbonmwan, I., & Mathers, J. C. (2013). Inorganic nitrate and beetroot juice supplementation

You can juice your own beets or simply cook and eat the whole root. Beetroot is delicious when roasted or added to stir-fries and stews. You can also bake them into chips.

Be careful when handling beets the juice can stain your hands and clothe and also colour your urine…

Oatmeal

Fits the bill for a high-fiber, low-fat way to lower your blood pressure. Eating oatmeal for breakfast is a great way to fuel up for the day.

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Overnight oats are a popular breakfast option. To make them, soak a cup of rolled oats and a cup of nut milk or milk of your choice in a jar. In the morning, stir and add berries, granola, and cinnamon to taste.

Bananas

Eating foods that are rich in potassium is in my book better than taking supplements.

Bananas

Slice a banana into your cereal or oatmeal for a potassium-rich addition. You can also take one to go along with a boiled egg for a quick breakfast or snack.

Salmon, mackerel, and fish with omega-3

Fish are a great source of lean protein. Fatty fish like mackerel and salmon are high in omega-3 fatty acids, which can lower blood pressure, reduce inflammation, and lower triglycerides. In addition to these fish sources, trout contains vitamin D. Foods rarely contain vitamin D, and this hormone-like vitamin has properties that can lower blood pressure.

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The only warning I would give on this is to make sure that fish is from a sustainable source and not farmed.

 Seeds

Unsalted seeds are high in potassium, magnesium, and other minerals known to reduce blood pressure. Enjoy a cup of sunflower, pumpkin, or squash seeds as a snack between meals…. a nice healthy snack.

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Chillies

For those who know me can just imagine the smile on my face …I love chilli and for anyone with high blood pressure, chilli peppers might be just what the doctor ordered, according to a study reported in the August issue of Cell Metabolism, a Cell Press publication. While the active ingredient that gives the peppers their heat – a compound that is known as capsaicin might set your mouth on fire, it also leads blood vessels to relax, the research in hypertensive rats shows.

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For those who can’t tolerate spicy foods, there might be some hope for there is the existence of a mild Japanese pepper, which contains a compound called capsaicinoid that is closely related to capsaicin limited studies shows that these capsaicinoids produce effects similar to capsaicin.

 Garlic

Garlic can help reduce hypertension by increasing the amount of nitric oxide in the body. Nitric oxide helps promote vasodilation, or the widening of arteries, to reduce blood pressure.

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To read more about the benefits of garlic then click here

 Dark chocolate

2015 study found that eating dark chocolate is associated with a lower risk for cardiovascular disease (CVD). The study suggests that up to 100 gms per day of dark chocolate may be associated with a lower risk of CVD.

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Dark chocolate contains more than 60 percent cocoa solids and has less sugar than regular chocolate.  So you can enjoy your chocolate without feeling guilty it is healthy

 Olive oil

Olive oil is an example of a healthy fat. It contains polyphenols, which are inflammation-fighting compounds that can help reduce blood pressure.

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It’s also a great alternative to canola oil, butter, or commercial salad dressing.

Virgin Coconut Oil

new study looking at Virgin Coconut Oil and Hypertension was just published in Malaysia in the journal Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine. The study compared a diet of “five times heated palm oil” with Virgin Coconut Oil, and a control group.

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Pomegranates

Pomegranates are a healthy fruit that you can enjoy raw or as a juice. One study concluded that drinking a cup of pomegranate juice once a day for four weeks helps lower blood pressure over the short-term.

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Pomegranate juice is tasty with a healthy breakfast. Be sure to check the sugar content in store-bought juices, as the added sugars can negate the health benefits.

GREEN COFFEE

Coffee beans are naturally green, but roasting turns them brown. So in essence, green coffee is just another name for unroasted coffee.

While roasted coffee beans have a similar chemical composition to green coffee beans, the roasting process destroys much of its chlorogenic acid. This is the active ingredient that gives green coffee beans additional health properties. It’s also the ingredient extracted for use in supplements such as green coffee bean extract.

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While green coffee bean extract may not be the “weight-loss miracle” Dr Oz claimed, it does appear to benefit blood flow, at least in the short-term.

One 12-week study using 480 ml green coffee extract (equal to 140 ml of chlorogenic acid) found it reduced heart rate and blood pressure by about 8 percent. These benefits were maintained for 12 weeks of supplementation, but only in those who began with high blood pressure. What’s more, benefits were lost once supplementation stopped.

 

Theoretically, drinking more green coffee should have much of the same benefits as supplementing, but it depends on the chlorogenic acid concentration. Doses used in these studies were equivalent to 120-300 ml of chlorogenic acid.

Try swapping your regular coffee for green coffee and then checking for any blood pressure changes after a month.

While this list is not exhaustive of foods which can help lower your blood pressure it gives you a starting point and please speak to your doctor about your plans you may be pleasantly surprised how receptive doctors are when you want to help yourself rather than just popping some pills.

You will also feel much better…I can vouch for that because I most certainly do and I still have the odd cake and biscuit it is about moderation…


Photos used in this post are taken by me(Carol) or from Pixabay and no attribution is required.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Healthy Eating …

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I try to eat healthy or as much as I can or I want to…I like the occasional treat and why not???

I am careful about what I feed my family and my cooking methods and I do what I reasonably can… I check out things or products I am not sure of and make my own mind up as to whether I buy it or not.

I believe it is all about balance and not being fanatical as that just makes you miserable and laughter is good for you as well.

I know it is hard to check and there is a mine of information out there and some very believable I will say…But I love digging and not just the garden and sometimes I get really frustrated and just save the links for another day when my brain is clearer…

What annoys me most and there is one in particular that when I see his name connected to a statement of supposedly valid, 100% true facts….I read, double-check and read again….I also came across and interestingly…and no I am not going to name drop…I believe he has a regular tv show … But the other week I  was reading something which stated a fact and provided the name of the organisation which conducted the research… BUT… it wasn’t a clickable link..an error??? We all make those…

So  I copied and pasted the link…. yes there was a study and it totally contradicted the statement this doctor had made…

My conclusion was that he is very famous and a lot of people hang on his every word and take it as gospel and wouldn’t click the link if they had been able to anyway…Total faith in his word.

Today I read a post that mentioned him, Two in fact …One interested me as it was the topic of a post I am currently writing…. This is where the red mist took over… My husband always used to tell the kids it was “tin hat” time…lol

Real life medical doctors have investigated claims made on this show and stated that not even half of the recommendations made were based on any proven evidence at all….Now that is scary..don’t you think????

Rant over ..normal service will resume with a smile with my next post and I promise I will research everything as much as I can but please..check for yourself…Promise me that…. You owe it to yourself and your families…

Until next time…Stay safe, laugh a lot and ASK a question.

 

 

 

 

 

Who can you trust??

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How reliable is the information that you read online? Particularly if it is about your health or the health of a loved one?

It is a veritable minefield out there and so many sites write anything to either sell their product or get your e-mail address so they can sell you their product or so they can flood your inbox with what they think you want to hear and sell you that information.

If you are looking for something and are faced with page after page of information then firstly remember you can PAY to be at the top of a search engine so just because they are top and not on page 105 doesn’t mean that what they are saying is true.

It is very easy to be taken in when you dearly want a “cure” or ” remedy ” but please it is not nice to have your hopes dashed when the product doesn’t work or causes a bad reaction.

CHECK: 

If you’re visiting a health website for the first time, these 5 quick questions can help you decide whether the site is a helpful resource.

Who?      Who runs this website? Can you trust them?

What?     What does the site say? Do its claims seem too good to be true?

When?    When was the information posted or reviewed? Is it up-to-date?

Where?   Did the information come from? Is it based on scientific research?

Why?      Does the site exist? Is it selling something?

Don’t rely completely on online resources if you are considering alternative methods of treatment. Talk to your health practitioner they often know of tried and tested alternatives or an alternative that runs alongside conventional treatments.

As I stated in a previous post ” one size doesn’t fit all” What works for your friend’s friend may NOT work for you.

If It is a cure for cancer the Organisations like the Macmillan organisation would be a good starting point for accurate information.

https://www.macmillan.org.uk/

Marie Curie is another well-known organisation

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marie_Curie_(charity)

These large organisations have the funds and the knowledge and would likely know or have heard about any conventional cures or natural cures.

Health food so much info on the market ..where to go? Who to talk to? Is what you ARE reading on Social media True or false? As a general rule if the website it leads you too ends in .gov or .edu they are a trusted source although e-mails received ending in edu may not always be. It is definitely a minefield out there.

I promise you that when I am giving you facts about fruit and food then I double-check the information or have used it myself.

I even check an e-mail from my bank before I open it that is how much I distrust anything sent to me or when I read an article I check either on the news or a publication that I know is always up to date. As the date is important as well, just because it has been posted now doesn’t mean that the news is current…always question and look that little bit further….It is your health and your families at risk so trust your gut and do the basic checks.

The internet is a wonderful source of information it is also a dark source of incorrect information.

Please be one of the growing number of consumers who are aware, who are not being taken in by so-called celebrity endorsements of which there are so many. Be one of the ones who makes a decision on your family’s health and the food they eat by being informed and making that decision yourself.

Be happy and confident that you have done your best and made the best information on your own findings and there are some wonderful blogs and websites who give out fully researched information.

And have fun when you are researching …I know I have …I have discovered some wonderful fruits and vegetables with so many medical benefits.

BUT…. MODERATION UNTIL YOU KNOW IT SUITS YOU.

Thank you for reading this I was prompted by two articles I saw online today and had been shared by someone I knew and were blatant untruths and it took me all of 10 seconds to suss them out…..

 

 

 

 

 

 

Salt of the earth…

 

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Salt seems to be a topic of conversation around here at the moment so I have decided to resurrect this post from aunt juju which I reblogged over a year ago.

Since then I have purchased a salt block as a present for my daughter and am awaiting feedback as she has had it for a good few months now.

This article by aunt juju is a very good comprehensive view of salt block cooking backed up by some wonderful recipes. So please take a look you will love it as much as I do… I just know you will.

Once I self-host this blog I will be offering these amongst other things for sale…..I will not have loads of ads all over the place but the sale items will be relevant to my posts. Which means folks you will still get recipes and hopefully some good advice to get you thinking about your health alongside them.

Young Sally also penned a very good post on salt and our health and I discovered salt farming as some of you know on my proverbial doorstep.   So much to do and discover in this little corner of Thailand.

Salt is definitely being featured in our corner of the world of WP and is worth a look as that and so many other things which we were advised to steer clear of consuming don’t seem to be really as bad for us….What are your thoughts on all this backtracking?

A short post to read as you drink your morning coffee…well depending on where you live…ha ha ….coupled with some interesting links for when you put feet up later.

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I hope you enjoy all of this and it links everything together for you….Do you have any What are your thoughts on Salt and your health?

We would love to know so please comment and if you have used salt blocks ..tell me your experience did you love it or hate it?….Good or bad…. I would love to know.

Thank you for reading I hope it gave you food for thought? Stay safe and laugh a lot..it’s free and it releases all those good endorphins which are responsible for our feeling of wellbeing…. it is the biochemical of the substrate aka ” The Spice of Life”

Until next time……..

 

 

 

 

Beat the Blues with food.

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Is depression on the increase? Is medication the answer? Sometimes.

Depression is not caused by just one factor but can WE help ourselves by eating well?

Can we help control our depression by diet?

A new trial from Deakin University http://www.deakin.edu.au/about-deakin/media-releases/articles/world-first-trial-shows-improving-diet-can-treat-major-depression  has shown for the first time that improving diet quality can treat major depression.

Just cutting out sugar, caffeine and drinking more water can have a huge effect on our moods.

Well, I don’t know about you but I love good food…

I love proper food, meals the whole family can eat and not pick at, meals I can knock up quickly for one or for 6 people. Food which is not expensive and I can easily obtain or grow myself even if I only have a window box.

1.Dark, leafy greens:

The healthiest greens on the planet are Kale, high in Vitamins,  folate and potassium with Collard greens,Spinach Brocolli and sprouts following close behind they all promote good brain function.

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But I don’t like greens.

Well, mix lightly steamed, thinly sliced collard greens into your mashed potatoes. Layer your lasagne with spinach which is low in calories and high in vitamins. Better cooked than raw although great in salads. Forthe best sprout recipes ever sprouts with garlic, chilli..ha ha snuck that one in…lol

  https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2014/dec/20/our-10-best-brussels-sprouts-recipes  You will never notice you are eating greens.

2.Fish:

Salmon, trout, mackerel, snapper all high in omega 3 oils, they can be grilled, baked or steamed. Packed with protein, vitamins and potassium all healthy for your well-being.

Thai Salmon Trout.

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Ingredients:

180gm Trout or Salmon fillet.( per person)

For Topping:

1 spring Onion finely chopped.

2/3 stems Coriander chopped finely…I use the stem as well.

1 red birds eye chilli finely chopped help promote the release of pleasure-boosting endorphins in the brain.

1 tbsp Fish Sauce.

A cheek of lime.

Mix ingredients together.

Put fish on foil and spoon topping on reserve some topping to add when serving. Seal foil and put in the oven on 180 for 10/15 mins until cooked.

Serve with steamed rice, boiled new potatoes or over noodles.

3.Walnuts: 7 a day may be all it takes to improve your health. The walnut is a little powerhouse packed with Vitamin E, folate, melatonin and omega 3 oils all of which support good brain health.

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4.Tomatoes: Packed with lycopene and antioxidants that reduce stress and repair damaged brain cells eating a tomato a day is said to reduce the blues by 52%.

My favorite recipe sun-dried and beautiful tomatoes and here is how https://blondieaka.wordpress.com/2015/06/06/yesterday-i-was-clever-so-i-wanted-to-change-the-world-today-i-am-wise-so-i-am-changing-myself-rumi/

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Just words of caution tomatoes are acidic and as with anything moderation is advised because it may cause heartburn in some individuals.

5.Beans: Packed with nutrients copper, folate, magnesium, zinc and calcium.You can use beans in a lovely chilli, salads, add tinned beans to soups and stews. Make a chick pea hummus to dip your veggies in.

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6.Berries: Some of the healthiest food on the planet, juicy, brightly coloured, sweet or sour, fresh or frozen add them to smoothies, yoghurt, a compote on porridge, pancake batters or in salads.

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These foods are easily available everywhere and will help decrease depression and work alongside prescribed medication.

Does Junk food shrink your brain??  http://www.deakin.edu.au/about-deakin/media-releases/articles/does-junk-food-shrink-your-brain

This study thinks it just might!


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Salmon image is from my own personal photo collections.

All other images are Pixabay and no attribution is required.