Category Archives: blood pressure

Eating yogurt regularly found to help lower blood pressure

by Jonathan Benson, staff writer 

(NaturalNews) The benefits of consuming probiotic-rich yogurt extend a whole lot further than just promoting digestive health, according to a new study presented at a recent medical conference in Washington, D.C. It turns out that people who regularly eat yogurt as part of a healthy diet tend to have a lower risk of developing high blood pressure, a condition that can cause more serious problems like stroke, heart attack, congestive heart failure, kidney damage, or blindness later on down the road.

Researchers from Tufts University in Boston, Massachusetts, studied and tracked more than 2,000 adults who were part of the Framingham Heart Study, all of whom did not have high blood pressure at the start of the study. Participants answered questionnaires at three intervals during the study, and the study team evaluated and compared rates of yogurt consumption to rates of high blood pressure during a 14-year follow-up period.

Upon analysis, the team, which was headed by Dr. Huifen Wang, Ph.D., found that participants who ate the equivalent of at least one serving of yogurt every three days were 31 percent less likely to develop high blood pressure than participants who ate no yogurt at all. Levels of systolic blood pressure, which indicate the force of blood against arterial walls while the heart is beating, were also generally lower among those who ate yogurt compared to those who did not.

“Higher yogurt intake, as part of a healthy diet pattern, may be beneficial for blood pressure control and hypertension prevention,” said the research team about the findings.

Eating yogurt without taking blood pressure medication even more beneficial

Overall, the amount of yogurt consumed by participants that experienced blood pressure benefits was relatively low, averaging as little as one-third of a serving of yogurt per day. But even more surprising was the researchers’ observation that those participants who ate yogurt but were not taking any blood pressure medications actually fared better in the blood pressure department than those who ate yogurt as well as took the medications.

What this means is that blood pressure medication may be completely unnecessary for many people who simply revamp their diets to include foods like yogurt that appear to improve blood flow and ease arterial inflammation and other factors that can lead to high blood pressure. When consuming yogurt, be sure to look for organic, grass-fed varieties that have not been homogenized, and that preferably contain part or full fat content.

Cocoa consumption shown to reduce blood pressure


by J. D. Heyes 

(NaturalNews) Record heat and drought conditions across much of the country make it pretty difficult to think about the approaching winter, but once it gets here why not supplement your diet with a little cocoa?

Not only does it taste good, new research shows it could be very good for you as well.

According to data culled from 20 separate studies over the last ten years, researchers have discovered that consuming dark chocolate or cocoa daily – both of which are rich in plant compounds known as flavanols – could lead to a slight dip in your blood pressure for a short while.

People who consumed flavanol-rich cocoa products daily for a few weeks saw their blood pressure drop by about two or three points. And while that may not sound like much, consider a) cocoa tastes good; b) every little bit helps when it comes to lowering blood pressure because of its long-term, cumulative effect on your cardiovascular system; and c) see answer “a.”

Studies examined appear reliable

Medical experts aren’t quite ready to recommend cocoa supplementation over medications aimed at treating high blood pressure. But they are saying that the level of blood pressure reduction linked to daily doses of cocoa are the equivalent to the addition of “diet changes or exercise,” Reuters reported, citing the researchers.

Wait, though. That doesn’t mean you should drop exercise in lieu of eating more cocoa, says Dr. Elizabeth Jackson, a cardiologist and assistant professor of medicine at the University of MichiganHealth Systems in Ann Arbor.

“If I had to choose between cocoa and exercise, I would take the exercise,” said Jackson, who had no part in the new study. “To me this says a little bit of dark chocolate isn’t too bad, but you wouldn’t want to go overboard with the calories and eat a pound of chocolate,” she said.

The comparative study, the results of which were published in The Cochrane Library, researchers from Australia examined a number of online databases to find randomized controlled trials, which are considered the “gold standard” of medical research, comparing people who ate flavanol-filled cocoa products to people eating low-flavanol cocoa powder or products that contained no flavanol.

The researchers could not say flavanols are responsible for lowering blood pressure in participants of the study. But the compounds themselves, which are also found in other foods (green tea, red wine, berries) have been linked to the production of nitric oxide in the body which, the authors note, helps to relax blood vessels. That, in turn, lowers blood pressure.

The American Heart Association says a persons’ systolic blood pressure – that’s the top number – should be lower than 120 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg), while their diastolic, or lower, number should be around 80 mm Hg or less.

There are some variables, but overall it seems to work

The studies examined followed people who were generally healthy for between two and 18 weeks. Researchers say that of 856 participants, 429 of them ate between three grams and 100 grams of cocoa or dark chocolate that contained anywhere between 30 mg to 1080 mg of flavanols every day.

The remaining 427 people were put in groups that ate low-flavanol cocoa powder and other products that did not contain them at all.

At the end of the studies, the flavanol-rich group saw systolic blood pressure drops of about 2.8 mm Hg and diastolic decreases of about 2.2 mm Hg.

There were some additional factors to consider regarding the results, experts noted.

For one, it’s not clear exactly how much of the flavanol-rich cocoa should be consumed daily in order to substantially reduce blood pressure or even if larger doses would have greater effects. Also, not all cocoa products are created equal; Some contain more flavanols than others.

And, experts noted, the effects seemed to be greater in younger adults, a finding that led Jackson to comment that she wasn’t surprised since blood vessels tend to become less elastic as people get older.

Nevertheless, the study’s lead author sounded a positive note overall.

“Moderate, regular dosages of flavanol-rich cocoa products such as dark chocolate may be part of a comprehensive lifestyle plan to optimizing health,” Dr. Karin Ried of the National Institute of Integrative Medicine in Melbourne, told Reuters.

Sources:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com

http://www.reuters.com

http://www.cbsnews.com

10 health benefits of cucumbers

cucumbers

by Alexandra Du Toit, TRUE Earth Mama 

(NaturalNews) Cucumbers are the fourth most cultivated vegetable in the world and known to be one of the best foods for your body’s overall health, often referred to as a superfood. Cucumbers are often sprayed with pesticides so it is important to buy organic or even better, grow them yourself.

Here are 10 Benefits of cucumbers:

1.Quick pick me-up – Cucumbers are a good source of B vitamins. Put down your sodas and coffee and eat a cucumber slice.

2. Rehydrates body and replenishes daily vitamins – Cucumbers are 95 percent water, keeping the body hydrated while helping the body eliminate toxins. Cucumbers have most of the vitamins the body needs in a single day. Don’t forget to leave the skin on because the skin contains a good amount of vitamin C, about 10 percent of the daily-recommended allowance.

3. Skin and hair care – If you don’t like to eat the skin, it can be used for skin irritations and sunburns as aloe would be used. Place a slice over puffy eyes and its anti-inflammatory properties help reduce puffiness. The silicon and sulfur in cucumbers help to stimulate hair growth.

4. Fight cancers – Cucumber are known to contain lariciresinol, pinoresinol, and secoisolariciresinol. These three lignans have a strong history of research in connection with reduced risk of several cancer types, including breast cancer, ovarian cancer, uterine cancer and prostate cancer.

5. Home care – Eliminates a foggy mirror. Before taking a shower, rub a cucumber slice along a mirror and it will eliminate the mirror fogging up. Instead of WD40, take a cucumber slice and rub it along a squeaky hinge and your door will stop squeaking.

6. Relieves bad breath – Take a slice of cucumber and press it to the roof of your mouth with your tongue for 30 seconds, the phytochemcials will kill the bacteria in your mouth responsible for causing bad breath.

7. Hangover cure – To avoid a morning hangover or headache; eat a few cucumber slices before going to bed. Cucumbers contain enough sugar, B vitamins and electrolytes to replenish many essential nutrients, reducing the intensity of both hangover and headache.

8. Aids in weight loss and digestion – Due to its low calorie and high water content, cucumber is an ideal diet for people who are looking for weight loss. The high water content and dietary fiber incucumbers are very effective in ridding the body of toxins from the digestive system, aiding digestion. Daily consumption of cucumbers can be regarded as a remedy for chronic constipation.

9. Cures diabetes, reduces cholesterol and controls blood pressure – Cucumber juice contains a hormone which is needed by the cells of the pancreas for producing insulin which has been found to be beneficial to diabetic patients. Researchers found that a compound called sterols in cucumbers may help reduce cholesterol levels. Cucumbers contain a lot of potassium, magnesium and fiber. These work effectively for regulating blood pressure. This makes cucumbers good for treating both low blood pressure and high blood pressure.

10. Promotes joint health, relieves gout and arthritis pain -Cucumber is an excellent source of silica, which is known to help promotes joint health by strengthening the connective tissues. They are also rich in vitamin A, B1, B6, C & D, Folate, Calcium, Magnesium, and Potassium. When mixed with carrot juice, they can relieve gout and arthritis pain by lowering the uric acid levels

Sources for this article:

http://www.gardeningchannel.com/the-health-benefits-of-cucumbers/
http://www.healthonlinezine.info/15-health-benefits-of-cucumber.html
http://www.eatingwell.com
http://www.naturalnews.com/035719_cucumbers_anti-aging_vegetables.html

About the author:
Alex is a TRUE Earth Mama, helping others tune into their most natural state while bringing harmony and balance into all areas of their lives in order to THRIVE.

Pomegranate



Fights Breast Cancer
Studies in Israel show that pomegranate juice destroys breast cancer cells while leaving healthy cells alone. It may also prevent breast cancer cells from forming.

Lung Cancer Prevention
Studies in mice show that pomegranate juice may inhibit the development of lung cancer.

Slows Prostate Cancer
It slowed the growth of prostate cancer in mice.

Keeps PSA Levels Stable
In a study of 50 men who had undergone treatment for prostate cancer, 8 ounces of pomegranate juice per day kept PSA levels stable, reducing the need for further treatment such as chemotherapy or hormone therapy.

Protects the Neonatal Brain
Studies show that maternal consumption of pomegranate juice may protect the neonatal brain from damage after injury.

Prevention of Osteoarthritis
Several studies indicate that pomegranate juice may prevent cartilage deterioration.

Protects the Arteries
It prevents plaque from building up in the arteries and may reverse previous plaque buildup.

Alzheimer’s Disease Prevention It may prevent and slow Alzheimer’s disease. In one study, mice bred to develop Alzheimer’s disease were given pomegranate juice. They accumulated significantly less amyloid plaque than control mice and they performed mental tasks better.
Lowers Cholesterol
It lowers LDL (bad cholesterol) and raises HDL (good cholesterol).

Lowers Blood Pressure
One study showed that drinking 1.7 ounces of pomegranate juice per day lowered systolic blood pressure by as much as 5 percent.

Dental Protection
Research suggests that drinking pomegranate juice may be a natural way to prevent dental plaque.

Source: healthdiaries.com

BBC News – Arm blood pressure differences ‘predict death risk’

Measuring blood pressure

A large difference between the blood pressure in each arm suggests a bigger risk of dying early, researchers claim.
A study of 230 high blood pressure patients found those with big differences in systolic pressure were more likely to die from heart attack, stroke or other causes.
More heart health checks may be needed in those with different readings, says the British Heart Foundation.
Not all medics follow national guidance to measure blood pressure in both arms.
Dr Christopher Clark from the Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry at the University of Exeter, who led the study, published in the British Medical Journal, said the message to doctors was simple.
“Sorry guys, but you really need to follow the guidelines by measuring both arms when you’re assessing blood pressure,” he told the BBC.
He said patients with high blood pressure who routinely checked their blood pressure at home should also follow the advice.
“If they are being treated on the basis of their blood pressure, it’s important to know if there’s a difference between arms so they know their treatment is based on the correct measurements in the future.”
A previous analysis of 28 study papers in The Lancet also found that a large difference in readings could mean an increased risk of vascular disease and death.
Maureen Talbot, senior cardiac nurse at the British Heart Foundation, said: “This study supports national guidelines, which recommend that blood pressure readings are taken in both arms. It is normal to have a small difference in your blood pressure readings between arms.
“However, a big difference between your readings may carry risks, so more tests could be needed to check your heart health. If you want to find out your blood pressure, visit your GP or practice nurse to have it measured.”
People with different readings in each arm may have peripheral vascular disease, which often shows no symptoms.
Stopping smoking, or medication to lower blood pressure or cholesterol, may help reduce the risk of heart problems or stroke in these patients.

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