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Blood Pressure

3 Important Benefits of Flax Seeds

Posted by on Anti-Aging, Anti-aging, Antioxidents, Blood Pressure, Bloodsugar, Body fat, Bone density, bone loss, Diabetes, Flaxseeds, General Health, General Health, Glucose, Green tea, Happiness, HDL, HDL Level, Health, Health Risk | 0 comments

 

One of the impressive health benefits of flax seeds is the ability to decrease blood pressure (Rodriguez-Leyva D, et.al., 2013).

In a double-blinded, placebo-controlled study, 30 g of flax seeds daily for 6 months reduced the systolic blood pressure of 10 mm Hg and the diastolic blood pressure with 7 mm Hg.

 This is as good as some blood pressure medications, and instead of side-effects, you get even additional benefits.

13 g of flax seeds daily has shown to decrease blood glucose and insulin and improve insulin sensitivity in obese individuals with pre-diabetes (Hutchins AM, et.al., 2013).

Flax seeds can also lower cholesterol. 

In just 7 days a drink made of flax seeds lowered total cholesterol by 12% and LDL cholesterol (the bad cholesterol) 15% (Kristensen M, et.al., 2012).

Even if many people are not aware of these health benefits, it’s been known for a long time that flax seeds can reduce total cholesterol, LDL and decrease the blood glucose after a meal (Cunnane SC, et.al., 1993).

 

It is very important to keep the blood glucose in a good range even after a meal, it is not enough to only have good fasting blood glucose.

I recommend grinding 2 tablespoons of flax seeds in a coffee grinder and put them in a glass with water, stir it and drink it thick. You can of course also sprinkle it on food, like a salad if you prefer.

 

References

Cunnane, S. C., Ganguli, S., Menard, C., Liede, A. C., Hamadeh, M. J., Chen, Z. Y., … & Jenkins, D. J. (1993). High α-linolenic acid flaxseed (Linum usitatissimum): some nutritional properties in humansBritish Journal of Nutrition69(2), 443-453.

Hutchins, A. M., Brown, B. D., Cunnane, S. C., Domitrovich, S. G., Adams, E. R., & Bobowiec, C. E. (2013). Daily flaxseed consumption improves glycemic control in obese men and women with pre-diabetes: a randomized study. Nutrition research33(5), 367-375.

Kristensen, M., Jensen, M. G., Aarestrup, J., Petersen, K. E., Søndergaard, L., Mikkelsen, M. S., & Astrup, A. (2012). Flaxseed dietary fibers lower cholesterol and increase fecal fat excretion, but the magnitude of the effect depends on food typeNutrition & Metabolism9(1), 8.

Rodriguez-Leyva, D., Weighell, W., Edel, A. L., LaVallee, R., Dibrov, E., Pinneker, R., … & Pierce, G. N. (2013). Potent Antihypertensive Action of Dietary Flaxseed in Hypertensive PatientsNovelty and Significance. Hypertension62(6), 1081-1089.

1 Healthy Source Of Fat You Should Not Miss

Posted by on Blood Pressure, Diabetes, Diet, Eating, Fat, General Health, Nut consumption | 0 comments

 

Nuts are a very healthy source of fat for several reasons, and it is easy to add to your diet.

 

While all nuts provide health benefits, some offer more benefits than others.  

 

Pistachios are the best ones.

Research has documented that pistachios provide cardiovascular benefits by reducing LDL cholesterol, the so-called bad cholesterol and increase HDL cholesterol, the good cholesterol (Kasliwal RR, et.al.,2015). This was achieved with a daily consumption of 40 g of pistachios daily for 3 months, which also improved brachial artery flow-mediated vasodilation and carotid-femoral and brachial-ankle pulse wave velocity. These are measurements of the function of the inner lining of the blood vessels and arterial stiffness. In addition to all of this, the blood glucose levels also improved.healthy source of fat: pistachios

 

Even if you have diabetes, nuts can help you.  

25 g of pistachio nuts twice daily decreased fasting blood glucose, systolic blood pressure, and CRP, an inflammatory marker (Parham M, et.al., 2014). Not bad for snacking on some nuts twice a day.  

 

Another nut which is also among the best is walnuts.  

Walnuts measured the highest amounts of polyphenols when 9 types of nuts were compared (Vinson JA, Cai Y, 2012). Polyphenols are antioxidants that would inhibit oxidative processes leading to atherosclerosis.  

 

A high-fat meal has shown to decrease endothelial function, but if you add 40 g of walnuts to the meal, it will improve flow-mediated dilation (Cortes B, et.al., 2006). Walnuts will also decrease oxidized LDL cholesterol and inflammation. Oxidized LDL is the most dangerous LDL.

diabetes tacker: healthy source of fat

Do you have high cholesterol?

Even in people with high cholesterol, walnuts have shown to improve endothelial function and reduce total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol (Ros E, et.al., 2004).

 

You can even help to improve your brain function by eating walnuts. The polyphenol in walnuts has not only been found to reduce the oxidant and inflammatory exposure of brain cells but has also been found to improve interneuronal signaling (Poulose SM, et.al., 2014).

 

 


References:

Kasliwal RR, Bansal M, Mehrotra R, Yeptho KP, Trehan N. Effect of pistachio nut consumption on endothelial function and arterial stiffness. Nutrition. 2015 May;31(5):678-85. doi: 10.1016/j.nut.2014.10.019. Epub 2014 Nov 7. PMID: 25837212

Parham M, Heidari S, Khorramirad A, Hozoori M, Hosseinzadeh F, Bakhtyari L, Vafaeimanesh J. Effects of pistachio nut supplementation on blood glucose in patients with type 2 diabetes: a randomized crossover trial. Rev Diabet Stud. 2014 Summer;11(2):190-6. doi: 10.1900/RDS.2014.11.190. Epub 2014 Aug 10. PMID: 25396407

Vinson JA, Cai Y. Nuts, especially walnuts, have both antioxidant quantity and efficacy and exhibit significant potential health benefits. Food Funct. 2012 Feb;3(2):134-40. doi: 10.1039/c2fo10152a. Epub 2011 Dec 21. PMID: 22187094

Cortés B, Núñez I, Cofán M, Gilabert R, Pérez-Heras A, Casals E, Deulofeu R, Ros E. Acute effects of high-fat meals enriched with walnuts or olive oil on postprandial endothelial function. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2006 Oct 17;48(8):1666-71. Epub 2006 Sep 26. PMID: 17045905

Ros E, Núñez I, Pérez-Heras A, Serra M, Gilabert R, Casals E, Deulofeu R. A walnut diet improves endothelial function in hypercholesterolemic subjects: a randomized crossover trial.. Circulation. 2004 Apr 6;109(13):1609-14. Epub 2004 Mar 22. PMID: 15037535

Poulose SM, Miller MG, Shukitt-Hale B. Role of walnuts in maintaining brain health with age. J Nutr. 2014 Apr;144(4 Suppl):561S-566S. doi: 10.3945/jn.113.184838. Epub 2014 Feb 5. Review. PMID: 24500933


Learn To Eat Program:

Recommendations that work. Improve your lifestyle with the food you eat. This is not a regular diet program.

An easy way to reduce blood pressure.

Posted by on Blood Pressure | 2 comments

Changing to a healthy plant based diet will lower your blood pressure, but is there a way to do it without changing the way you eat?

According to this study there is, even if you already have developed high blood pressure (Kapil V, et al. 2015).

Patients with hypertension were given either 250 ml of beetroot juice per day which contained nitrate, or 250 ml of beetroot juice not containing nitrate, both for 4 weeks.

It was found that the beetroot juice (which contained nitrate) not only lowered the blood pressure, but also improved endothelial function by 20% and reduced arterial stiffness.

The only thing these patients did was to add beet juice every day.

This is how it works.

The nitrate in the beets is converted to nitrite by bacteria in the mouth, and nitrite is further converted to nitric oxide which causes vasodilatation (opening up) of the blood vessels.

Don’t use antibacterial mouthwash.

If you do, the beet juice will not work.

Kapil V1, Khambata RS1, Robertson A1, Caulfield MJ1, Ahluwalia A2. Dietary nitrate provides sustained blood pressure lowering in hypertensive patients: a randomized, phase 2, double-blind, placebo-controlled study. Hypertension. 2015 Feb;65(2):320-7. doi: 10.1161/HYPERTENSIONAHA.114.04675. Epub 2014 Nov 24.

smiling womanLearn to Eat: Recommendations that work. This is not a regular diet program.

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Change what you eat and lower your blood pressure

Posted by on Blood Pressure | 0 comments

There is more than one dietary factor that affects your blood pressure, but if you were to make only one change, you should reduce your sugar intake.

Research lasting 8 weeks or more showed the greatest changes (Te Morenga LA, et al. 2014).

Systolic blood pressure was in average reduced with 6.9 mm Hg and diastolic with 5.6 mm Hg.

This was independent of weight loss which also has shown to reduce the blood pressure.

If you made more changes and switched to a plant based diet with a low glycemic index, you can expect to see really big results.

The longer you eat that way, the more benefits you will see.

If you were taking blood pressure lowering medications, you would most likely have to reduce what you take, or maybe even stop taking them all together.

You should tell your doctor what changes you are making and be sure to have check-ups.

Te Morenga LA1, Howatson AJ1, Jones RM1, Mann J1. Dietary sugars and cardiometabolic risk: systematic review and meta-analyses of randomized controlled trials of the effects on blood pressure and lipids. Am J Clin Nutr. 2014 Jul;100(1):65-79. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.113.081521. Epub 2014 May 7.

smiling womanLearn to Eat: Recommendations that work. This is not a regular diet program.

Read More

 

Reasons we get deposits in the arteries, and how to reverse it.

Posted by on Blood Pressure, Cardiovascular disease & waist-hip ratio, Cholesterol, HDL Level, Heart disease, Inflammation, Waist circumference | 0 comments

 


Several factors contribute to atherosclerosis (deposits in the arteries).

Initially the endothelium which is the inner lining of the blood vessel wall is injured. This can be caused by substances in cigaret smoke, damage from elevated glucose levels(Wang J, et al. 2014), chronic inflammation(Montecucco F, Mach F, 2008), oxidized LDL cholesterol(Trpkovic A, et al. 2014), elevated blood pressure(Hollander W,1976) and oxidative stress(Alexander RW,1995).

More and more research is now documenting chronic low grade inflammation as a major risk factor.

When the endothelium is injured inflammation is triggered and white blood cells are attracted to the area together with platelets to repair the damage. Small LDL cholesterol particles which becomes oxidized together with clotting substances (fibrinogen) and other chemicals will bind together at the site and get buried in the vascular wall (endothelium). A fibrous cap is formed on top which can work for a while, even if it obstructs part of the artery, as long as this fibrous cap does not rupture. If it rupture, this highly inflammatory mix forms a clot, and if it is big enough, it may completely obstruct the blood flow and result in a heart attack.

How do you know if you are at risk for atherosclerosis (deposits in the arteries)?

You can have lab tests done and check your fasting blood glucose, Hemoglobin A1C, hs-CRP(an inflammatory marker), cholesterol, LDL, HDL and triglycerides. You can also check LDL and HDL particle size as well as LDL particle number, and also other things if you want to be really thorough. Checking for inflammation and how many LDL particles you have in your blood are emerging as some of the more important things you should check for.

There is however also a very easy way to get an idea about the thickness of the inner layers of the the carotid artery, the intima-media. That’s the artery going up to your brain.

You can measure your waist and divide that with your height. A waist to height ratio of more than 0.5 has been found to be significantly associated with an increase in carotid intima-media thickness(Ren C, et al. 2014). This was documented  in a fairly large study of 3381 participants were the carotid artery intima-media thickness was measured with high resolution ultrasound and correlating it with waist to height measurements.

Most of us have a certain amount of buildup in the arteries.

The good news is that you can do a lot to prevent atherosclerosis and even reverse it. Research has shown that by eating the right type of food, exercising and incorporating meditation, it has been possible to reverse atherosclerosis(OrnishD, et al. 1990).

I will explain more how food can reverse atherosclerosis in the next article, but if you want to get started right away, here is a link to a program which will explain and show you how to eat by incorporating the information in the studies producing the best results.

 

 

Alexander RW1. Theodore Cooper Memorial Lecture. Hypertension and the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis. Oxidative stress and the mediation of arterial inflammatory response: a new perspective. Hypertension. 1995 Feb;25(2):155-61
Hollander W. Role of hypertension in atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease. Am J Cardiol. 1976 Nov 23;38(6):786-800.
Montecucco F1, Mach F. New evidences for C-reactive protein (CRP) deposits in the arterial intima as a cardiovascular risk factor. Clin Interv Aging. 2008;3(2):341-9.
Ornish D1, Brown SE, Scherwitz LW, Billings JH, Armstrong WT, Ports TA, McLanahan SM, Kirkeeide RL, Brand RJ, Gould KL Can lifestyle changes reverse coronary heart disease? The Lifestyle Heart Trial. Lancet. 1990 Jul 21;336(8708):129-33.
Ren C, Zhang J, Xu Y, Xu B, Sun W, Sun J, Wang T, Xu M, Lu J, Wang W, Bi Y, Chen Y. Association between carotid intima-media thickness and index of central fat distribution in middle-aged and elderly Chinese. Cardiovasc Diabetol. 2014 Oct 30; 13:139. doi: 10.1186/s12933-014-0139-2.
Trpkovic A1, Resanovic I, Stanimirovic J, Radak D, Mousa SA, Cenic-Milosevic D, Jevremovic D, Isenovic ER. Oxidized low-density lipoprotein as a biomarker of cardiovascular diseases. Crit Rev Clin Lab Sci. 2014 Dec 24:1-16. [Epub ahead of print]
Wang J1, Wu J1, Zhang S2, Zhang L3, Wang C1, Gao X4, Zhou Y1, Wang A1, Wu S5, Zhao X6 Elevated fasting glucose as a potential predictor for asymptomatic cerebral artery stenosis: a cross-sectional study in Chinese adults. Atherosclerosis. 2014 Dec;237(2):661-5. doi: 10.1016/j.atherosclerosis.2014.10.083. Epub 2014 Oct 23.

Higher intake of this important mineral shows reduced risk for metabolic syndrome.

Posted by on Blood Pressure, Blood triglycerides, BMJ Formula, Cholesterol, Insulin resistance, Supplements | 0 comments

magnesium buttonPeople with metabolic syndrome have a cluster of symptoms. They are usually insulin resistant, they usually have high blood pressure and also high cholesterol and triglycerides.
The reviewed research included a total of 24,473 individuals and 6,311 cases of metabolic syndrome(Dibaba DT et al. 2014). The participants with the highest dietary intake of Magnesium were compared with the ones with the lowest intake.

The results showed that for every 100 mg per day increment in magnesium intake the overall risk of having metabolic syndrome was lowered by 17 percent.

Magnesium is a very important mineral, but all minerals should be taken together with other minerals since they affect each other. For example, magnesium regulates intra and extra cellular calcium levels, and if you only take zinc, you will lose copper.

The most common form of magnesium is magnesium oxide which is very poorly absorbed and irritates the gastrointestinal tract.

Magnesium in the form of an amino acid chelate does not have that effect and is also much better absorbed and is a better choice.

 Dibaba DT, Xun P, Fly AD, Yokota K, He K. Dietary magnesium intake and risk of metabolic syndrome: a meta-analysis. Diabet Med. 2014 Nov;31(11):1301-9. doi: 10.1111/dme.12537.

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