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How to lower blood pressure

5 Natural Ways To Lower Blood Pressure

Lowering their blood pressure is a key step to heart health. The number of Americans at risk for heart attacks and strokes keeps getting higher. As of May 2018, an estimated 103 million U.S. adults have high blood pressure, according to statistics from the American Heart Association (AHA). That’s nearly half of all adults in the United States.

Most of us know that exercise, along with weight and stress management, can help us control blood pressure. However, only about one in five Americans gets enough exercise, and poor eating habits contributed to 45 percent of U.S. deaths from heart disease, stroke and Type 2 diabetes, according to AHA.

Small changes in the foods you eat can yield big results. Increase your intake of fish containing heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids, and eat more potassium-rich fruits for starters. But there’s one powerful superfood that is a must-have to keep your blood pressure under control.

The following natural techniques can help lower blood pressure. Speak with your health care professional to determine which approach is best for you.

Oats are famously rich in fiber, notably a fiber called beta-glucan, which appears may help lower high blood pressure.

Studies have shown that people with hypertension who add oats to their diet can significantly reduce systolic and diastolic blood pressure.

In one study, doing so reduced systolic blood pressure by 7.5 mm Hg and diastolic pressure by 5.5 mm Hg.

Bananas are known for their potassium: A medium fruit provides about 9% of the daily recommended intake of this mineral.

Potassium helps manage hypertension by reducing sodium in the body and easing tension in the walls of the blood vessels.

However, if you have kidney disease, your body may not be able to remove extra potassium as effectively, so speak with your healthcare provider before attempting to consume more potassium.

A 2015 study found that consuming salmon and other fatty fish may help reduce blood pressure in certain populations. Scientists believe the omega-3 fatty acids in fish—particularly docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)—cause this change. It’s best to stick with fish like salmon, sardines, Atlantic mackerel, and lake trout.

Flaxseed, sunflower seeds, chia seeds, and pumpkin seeds are good sources of potassium, magnesium, and fiber and therefore may help to lower blood pressure. Be sure to choose unsalted seeds for the most benefit.

Several studies concluded that drinking beetroot juice appears to lower blood pressure in both healthy people and those with prehypertension and hypertension. A 2015 study found that participants with hypertension who ingested 30 g of ground beets daily for six months experienced an average blood pressure reduction of 15 mmHg systolic and 7 mmHg diastolic. Red beets contain high levels of nitrates.


Julia Stanislavskaia, RD, cautions that those low-sodium labels can be misleading. “Remember that most salt comes from packaged goods, and what you add during cooking makes up only about 10 percent of our salt consumption, so check the nutrition label so you’re choosing foods that have less than 200 mg of sodium per serving,” she says.

Huston notes that while reducing your sodium intake to 1,500 mg per day has the greatest effect on lowering blood pressure, 2,000 to 2,300 mg per day may be more realistic for active individuals.

Stanislavskaia says cutting alcohol consumption causes an almost immediate reduction in blood pressure. Huston recommends a maximum of two standard drinks per day for men and one for women and smaller men. If you don’t currently drink, she doesn’t recommend you start.

Beet Juice

12 Health Benefits Of Beet Juice

The beet is a bulbous, sweet root vegetable that has risen to superfood status over the last decade or so, and for good reason. Research shows drinking beetroot juice may benefit your health. Here’s how.

1. Helps lower blood pressure
Beetroot juice may help lower your blood pressure. Researchers found that people who drank 8 ounces of beetroot juice daily lowered both systolic and diastolic blood pressure. Nitrates, compounds in beetroot juice that convert into nitric acid in the blood and help widen and relax blood vessels, are thought to be the cause.

2. Improves exercise stamina
According to a small 2012 studyTrusted Source, drinking beetroot juice increases plasma nitrate levels and boosts physical performance. During the study, trained cyclists who drank 2 cups of beetroot juice daily improved their 10-kilometer time trial by approximately 12 seconds, while also reducing their maximum oxygen output.

3. May improve muscle power in people with heart failure
Results of a 2015 study suggest further benefits of nitrates in beetroot juice. The study showed that people with heart failure experienced a 13 percent increase in muscle power two hours after drinking beetroot juice.

4. May slow the progression of dementia
According to a 2011 studyTrusted Source, nitrates may help increase blood flow to the brain in older people and help slow cognitive decline. After participants consumed a high-nitrate diet which included beetroot juice, their brain MRIs showed increased blood flow in the frontal lobes. The frontal lobes are associated with cognitive thinking and behavior. More studies are needed. But the potential of a high-nitrate diet to help prevent or slow dementia is promising.

5. Helps you maintain a healthy weight
Straight beetroot juice is low in calories and has virtually no fat. It’s a great option for your morning smoothie to give you a nutrient and energy boost as your start your day.

6. May prevent cancer
Beets get their rich color from betalaines. Betalaines are water-soluble antioxidants. According to a 2014 study, betalaines have chemo-preventive abilities against some cancer cell lines. Betalaines are thought to be free radical scavengers that help find and destroy unstable cells in the body.

7. Good source of potassium
Potassium is a mineral electrolyte that helps nerves and muscles function properly. If potassium levels get too low, fatigue, weakness, and muscle cramps can occur. Very low potassium may lead to life-threatening abnormal heart rhythms.

Beets are rich in potassium. Drinking beetroot juice in moderation can help keep your potassium levels optimal.

8. Good source of other minerals
Your body can’t function properly without essential minerals. Some minerals boost your immune system while others support healthy bones and teeth. Besides potassium, beetroot juice provides:


9. Provides vitamin C
Beetroot juice is a good source of vitamin C. Vitamin C is an antioxidant that helps boost your immune system and protect cells from damaging free radicals. It also supports collagen production, wound healing, and iron absorption.

10. Supports your liver
If your liver becomes overloaded due to the following, it may lead to a condition known as nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. Beetroot contains betaine, a substance that helps prevent or reduce fatty deposits in the liver. Betaine may also help protect your liver from toxins.

11. Good source of folate
Folate is a B vitamin that helps prevent neural tube defects such as spinal bifida and anencephaly. It may also decrease your risk of having a premature baby. Beetroot juice is a good source of folate. If you’re of childbearing age, adding folate to your diet can help you get the 600 mcg recommended amount.

12. May reduce cholesterol
If you have high cholesterol, consider adding beetroot juice to your diet. A 2011 study on rats found that beetroot extract lowered total cholesterol and triglycerides and increased HDL (good) cholesterol. It also reduced oxidative stress on the liver. Researchers believe beetroot’s cholesterol-lowering potential is likely due to its phytonutrients like flavonoids.

Your urine and stools may turn red or pinkish after consuming beets. This is harmless. But it may be startling if you don’t expect it.

If you have low blood pressure, drinking beetroot juice regularly may increase the risk of your pressure dropping too low. Monitor your blood pressure carefully.

Beets are healthy no matter how you prepare them. But juicing beets is a superior way to enjoy them because cooking beets reduces their nutritional profile. If you don’t like beetroot juice straight up, try adding some apple slices, mint, citrus, or a carrot to cut through the earthy taste.

If you decide to add beetroot juice to your diet, take it easy at first. Start by juicing half a small beetroot and see how your body responds. As your body adjusts, you can drink more.

Damaged skin

Your Daily Cup Of Coffee May Be Aging Your Skin

Maybe you take all the right steps to care for your skin. But simple, seemingly innocuous habits like a daily cup of coffee may be undermining your best efforts, according to New York City dermatologist Dr. Deborah Wattenberg. Here’s what to avoid to keep your skin looking young and healthy.

1. Seriously, stop smoking.

“Smoking is probably the worst thing you can possibly do for your body, including your skin,” Wattenberg explains — yet 20 percent of Americans are still lighting up.

Here’s just one reason to consider kicking the habit: Nicotine and other chemicals found in cigarettes destroy the skin’s elastin and collagen, leading to wrinkles and fine lines. Smoking also takes a toll on the skin’s blood vessels, restricting oxygen flow and subsequently causing your skin to appear dull and sallow. Habitual smoking can also lead to those pucker lines around the mouth, Wattenberg says.

2. Wine, candy and coffee are aging your skin.

Turns out, all of your favorite vices — alcohol, junk food and caffeine — are wrecking your skin, too. “Alcohol and caffeine … act like a diuretic and prevent you from holding on to water, so your skin looks sort of prune-like. It can get dry and get washed out,” Wattenberg says. “Junk food contains a lot of preservatives and that will do the same thing.”

So if you’re drinking a lot of caffeine or alcohol, remember to stay hydrated. We need about six to eight glasses of water per day, anyway, but if you’re drinking a lot of lattes to get through the day, you’ll need to drink even more water to keep your skin looking pretty.

3. Your lack of sleep is written all over your face.

Actually, if you’re drinking caffeine to stay alert throughout the day, we need to talk about that, too. You may think you’re getting away with six hours of sleep a night, but your skin tells the real story.

“When you don’t sleep, stress causes the release of the hormone cortisol, (which) makes your skin oily (and) causes acne, which makes your skin look less attractive,” Wattenbergy says.

4. Be nicer to acne-prone skin.

This is counterintuitive, but Wattenberg says when your skin breaks out, make sure you don’t scrub your face too aggressively. “The worst thing you can do when you have acne is to try to scrub away your acne,” Wattenberg says. “People try to do that all the time, and come in with irritated faces as a result of scrubbing or overwashing.”

Acne, she explains, isn’t caused by dirt or uncleanliness — it’s hormones that are more likely making you break out. So instead of rubbing your face raw, wash gently, using products that are going to target the acne like salycilic acid. “And you don’t want to pick and squeeze — it causes scarring, pigmentation and makes it worse because you can drive the bacteria deeper into the skin and create infections,” Wattenberg says. Yikes.

5. You’re not wearing enough sunscreen.

Yes, we know it’s winter. But you still need to apply sunscreen — several times a day, Wattenberg insists. “Once a day is probably one of the worst things you can do for your skin, because the sun is still really strong, and people spend a lot of time outdoors,” she explains.

Especially in parts of the country where the weather is turning snowier and icier, remember to reapply your sunscreen — the sun reflects off the snow and ice, and you can get burned easily. “Sunscreen is the key to youthful skin,” she says.

OK, now we know what not to do. But let’s focus on the positive here. Check these 6 coffee alternatives to start your morning off right.

Foods that may cause cancer

5 Foods That May Cause Cancer

Your chances of developing cancer are primarily influenced by your genetics and lifestyle. There is nothing that you can do about your genetics. However, you can definitely adopt certain lifestyle changes that can help in cancer prevention. For instance, there are certain foods and drinks that are associated with increased chances of developing cancer, such as:

1. Processed and cured meat

Processed meat includes sausage, hot dogs, meat jerky and cold cuts. You should limit your intake of these foods because they can increase the risk of cancer. Experts believe that the reason that this meat can increase the risk of cancer is because carcinogens are formed when meat is cooked at a high temperature. There are many substitutes available. For example, you can have salmon, tuna or hummus.

2. Sugary drinks

There are several ways that sugar can increase your risk of cancer. Sugar has a tendency to feed the cancerous cells in your body. You are also more likely to gain weight if you consume too much sugar. It is a good idea for you to check the labels before you buy anything.

You should also look out for hidden sugar, such as fructose. When many people think about sugar, they only think about cakes, cookies and pies. However, it is important for you to be mindful of the amount of sugar that you consume in your drinks. Sugary drinks and sodas are just as bad as sugary foods.

3. Red meat

Red meat includes things like goat, venison, pork and veal. You don’t have to avoid those foods completely. However, you will need to limit your intake of them. One study showed that people who eat this meat are 28 percent more likely to develop colon cancer.

4. Alcohol

Alcohol can increase the risk of breast cancer, colon cancer, liver cancer, throat cancer and stomach cancer. The more alcoholic beverages you consume, the higher your risk of cancer will be.

5. Fast foods

Fast food is a staple part of many people’s diets. It is easy for you to over-indulge on fast food if you are busy. However, you will need to avoid fast food and processed food as much as possible. Fast foods tend to be high in sugar and sodium. Processed food, which is food that comes in a can or package, is also high in sodium. Furthermore, processed food and fast food tend to be low in the nutrients that you need to stay healthy. That is why it is best for you to eat as much fresh food as you can.

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