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Pineapple Yogurt Smoothie

A pineapple smoothie with low fat yogurt is a perfect DASH diet meal. Pineapple may help to lower blood pressure. As a fruit, it is also a must-have on the DASH diet.

Try to use fresh pineapple rather than canned. There is just too much sugar in canned pineapple, not to mention the fact that all kinds of chemicals are seeping into the syrup from the interior surface of the can.
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Beet Salad Recipe For Hypertension

This is a traditional beet salad recipe  that is great for the DASH diet.  I brought it with me from the Ukraine. We like it. It’s simple and comforting. The beauty of this salad  is that every single ingredient is great for people with hypertension.

Russian Beet Salad With Prunes And Walnuts

Russian Beet Salad With Prunes And Walnuts

Let’s quickly go over the ingredient list:
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Pomegranate Juice For Hypertension

What would you rather take: 2 glasses of pomegranate juice per day or your hypertension medication? I’d opt for the pomegranate juice. Not only because it is tasty, but because medications have side effects while pomegranate juice has only “side benefits.” A new study has just reported a decrease of both systolic and diastolic blood pressure by an average of 6 mmHg achieved by drinking pomegranate juice in just ONE WEEK! Along with this result came other significant benefits….

Pomegranate juice benefits: lowering cortisol

Pomegranate Juice To Lower Blood Pressure

Pomegranate Juice To Lower Blood Pressure

This study has also shown that drinking pomegranate juice causes a significant drop (55% on average) in cortisol levels in blood and urine. Cortisol just got converted into another hormone that is not nearly as harmful.

What’s the problem with elevated cortisol?

Many problems in our body start with elevated cortisol, from insulin resistance and kidney problems, to excessive abdominal fat and hypertension. Cortisol gets produced from cholesterol in the adrenal glands and can increase blood pressure by altering salt and water balance in the kidneys and colon.
• Short term increase is the body’s natural  response to stress, for example, to exercise, and is a normal beneficial reaction of the body.
• Chronically elevated cortisol levels cause a lot of unwanted effects, one of which is hypertension. This is one of the reasons why it is very important to keep it down.
Chronic stress is what keeps cortisol levels up. But how can you do it if your life is just stressful and this is your reality, and it won’t go away anytime soon?

How to reduce cortisol and high blood pressure naturally?

You could meditate or undertake major changes in your life, such as changing your job or quitting a bad relationship. These changes take time; and, frankly, some stressful situations are not that easy to exit. You don’t stop caring for your elderly parents or unruly teenagers. You just deal with them and feel stressed. And as you deal with them, chances are your cortisol level is going through the roof.
At this point, two glasses of pomegranate juice to take it down by half can mean the difference between life and death. It is not hard to rely on antioxidant-rich pomegranate juice to keep your high blood pressure under control naturally.
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About the study

Researchers Dr. Emad Al-Dujaili, Catherine Tsang and Gillian Wood measured levels of cortisol before and after exercise in both pomegranate juice drinking group and placebo group.
This study’s results were presented at the 2001 Society of Endocrinology conference in Birmingham, UK on April 12, 2011. Abstract: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/221961.php

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1200 Calorie DASH Diet Picture

I find DASH diet servings very confusing, and what about you? The 1200 calorie DASH diet is by far the most confusing, because most sources won’t even consider talking about eating only 1200 calories per day. The 1600, 2000 and 2400 calorie meal  plans are much better explained.

But what if you have decided to to go on the 1200-calorie DASH diet? You can download  an example of a daily meal plan on this website.

And,  going even further, here is a picture that I have created in order to visually demonstrate how much food you can eat on the 1200 calorie diet for hypertension. Click on the image to enlarge it.

1200-calorie DASH diet infographics

What can you eat on 1200 calorie DASH diet?

If you feel hungry on the 1200 calorie diet, you can take one of the following routes:

a) Eat more vegetables. They are low in calories and help burn fat

b) Exercise and switch to 1500 calorie diet.

I hope this helps to visualize your portions.  You are welcome to download an example of a meal plan and start your 1200 calorie diet tomorrow.

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Hawthorn And High Blood Pressure

Hawthorn is used to lower blood pressure naturally both in traditional and folk medicine.

hawthorm tree with berries

Hawthorn - food that lowers blood pressure

When in  Ukraine, I noticed that every old woman (“babushka”) had a bottle of hawthorn extract. Together with valerian, hawthorn was one of the cheap and available means to deal with heart and hypertension issues, so common in old age.  Russian hawthorn is prescribed by doctors and available over the counter as well.

During WWII, when heart medications were in short supply, people turned to herbs and natural medicines like hawthorn.

In fact, the first mention of hawthorn health benefits was found in the book of ancient Greek philosopher Pheophast  in 372-287 BC.

Later, Dioskorid, a famous ancient doctor, recommended eating hawthorn berries to patients with kidney, stomach problems and obesity.

And it is accepted in Western orthodox medicine  as well.  Much to my delight, I found a recommendation to use hawthorn extract to fight hypertension in the Wellness Report By Dr. Blaylock (see page 11) , a neurosurgeon and the  author of many books including ”Excitotoxins: The Taste That Kills”

About Hawthorn Trees

Hawthorn trees look big and rich in colour, covered by bloody-red berries from top to bottom.  Even its Russian name, “Боярышник” (Bojaryshnik) came from the the word “боярин”, (Bojarin) – this is a title that respected members of old Russian society were addressed with.

More than 74 types of hawthorn grow on the territory of the former Soviet Union, and most of them are shorter than their American “cousins” . In the US and Canada, hawthorn looks more like a tree. For example, Duglas Hawthorn (C.dahurica) can grow up to 12 m tall with a trunk diameter of up to 1,5 ft.

In Canada,  hawthorn is widespread as well. This picture is taken at Sibbald Point Provincial park on Lake Simcoe, ON – I found a hawthorn tree  there:

Hawthorn Berries

Ontario Hawthorn Tree - Berries

Leaves, flowers, and berries of hawthorn are all beneficial for your health, although they are used to address different issues.

Hawthorn’s Health Benefits

Hawthorn’s health benefits go far beyond just fighting hypertension.

Hawthorn is used for heart problems, including angina, mild arrhythmias, and congestive heart failure, among others. Its main active constituents are antioxidant flavonoids, including quercetin, proanthocyanidins, and a number of other glycosides. It is used to normalize sleep. It acts primarily by increasing blood flow to the heart and improving its pumping action. For these reasons, it’s largely used for heart-specific pathology.

Not too many scientific studies are available about hawthorn’s effect on high blood pressure. The ones which are published, used very low doses and achieved moderate results. Please read more about this in the blog of Dr. Paddock, ND

Ways to use hawthorn

(Remember to consult with your physician or ND before you decide to use hawthorn for your own benefit.)

Interestingly enough, in Russia and Ukraine, hawthorn berries are used to make jam, either by themselves, or mixed with apples and other berries, for example, black currants. Hawthorn is so powerful that people know to use the jam in moderation. Even 4 tablespoons of hawthorn jam can cause significant drop in blood pressure.

  • Hawthorn extract is quite popular,
  • As is hawthorn berry syrup,
  • And so is hawthorn tea.
  • Hawthorn juice is easy to make if you have a juicer.
  • A jar of hawthorn blended with sugar can stay in the fridge for a while, and be used with tea or morning porridge.

Hawthorn tea is probably the safest way to introduce hawthorn into your anti-hypertensive diet.

When adopting the DASH diet, help your body normalize high blood pressure by adding hawthorn tea to your menu. Hawthorn tea is available in health stores and online.

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Sugar And High Blood Pressure

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Dr Ornish Diet Review

Salad on Dr. Ornish'es diet

Salad on Dr. Ornish Diet

Dr. Dean Ornish has created what’s called the Eat More, Weigh Less diet. If you have tried various diet and exercise programs with futile results, or are thinking of trying to diet, the claims that this program is heart-healthy and successful sound alluring. So what’s the buzz?

What Makes the Eat More, Weigh Less Diet Different?

The mantra for the Eat More, Weigh Less program is to consume foods low in fat, high in fiber, and mainly vegetarian. This, combined with 30 minutes of daily exercise and stress management techniques, improves a person’s metabolism and capacity to burn fat. It is not suprising that it also lowers blood pressure and cholesterol. All three components are important and proven to show remarkable results.

What can I eat on the Dr. Ornish Diet?

Unlike some diet programs, Dr. Ornish recommends eating certain foods until you’re satisfied, eating some others in moderation, and restricting other foods from consumption altogether. This way you’re not counting calories.

The unrestricted food group includes legumes, fruit, vegetables, grains and beans. The moderated foods include non-fat (or low fat) commercial products without sugar as an ingredient as well as non-fat dairy products. So what do you stay away from? Pretty much everything else – nuts, meats, oils, honey, alcohol, olives, and food with 2 grams of fat or more per serving. The end result is high fiber meals that keep you satisfied longer even if you eat smaller portions.

Peer Reviews

So what do the Medical and Nutritional communities think of this plan? The vast majority give Dr. Ornish diet reviews that compliment the scientific, health-centered approach of this program along with its simple to understand guidelines. Some reviews feel that following this diet can decrease things like heart disease and cancer too.

Participant Reviews

People who consider trying the Eat More, Weigh Less diet may find the dramatic change in their lifestyle a little daunting, not to mention the limited food options. The key, as with any such endeavor, is sticking with it long enough (several weeks) to see consistent results. Folks used to Western diets may quickly find themselves craving fats, which can deter their success. By comparison people who have already embarked on a vegetarian lifestyle find it easier to adapt to this program.

Another secret was uncovered and publicized by Dr. Ornish. Despite all odds, patients who did the strictest vegan diet, stuck to it better than those who followed the less strict vegetarian version. When they were interviewed, an interesting pattern emerged. Patients were able to do this because they saw dramatic results that they could never expect very quickly. For his very first group, Dr. Ornish recruited only people who survived at least one heart event, such as heart attack, stroke etc. Those who declined were a control group. People on a vegan diet started seeing results in one or two weeks, and this gave them motivation to continue.

People from the control group were almost all dead in ten years.

Patients from both vegan and vegetarian groups had much better survival rates. Not only longevity, but also quality of life improved. They were in much better health with blood pressure down, cholesterol down, angina disappearing and other good side effects.

This first experiment made young Dr. Ornish famous.

Summary

No matter the drawbacks, overall the medical community gives Dr. Ornish’s Eat More, Weigh Less the proverbial thumbs up as a healthy weight loss program that also helps keep the weight off for the long-haul.

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1200 Calorie DASH Diet: Low Fat Salad Dressing

When on 1200 calorie DASH diet, every calorie counts. Using low fat salad dressing is one of the best way to make sure you don’t use more oils in your diet than DASH diet requires of you. To remind, your diet allows you only 1.5 portions of fats AND sweets per day, which translates into one and a half teaspoon of olive oil ( and no sweets!).

Truth is, salad dressings contain a lot of oil. Much more than you want in your 1200 calorie DASH DIET.

Human mind works in funny ways. It knows that “salad is healthy” and subconsciously allows you to eat as much salad as you want. Dressing included. Even at the restaurant, as long as you ate salad, you feel safe about your food choices. You let your guard down.

All I can say, beware of salad dressing.

Low fat salad dressing made at home should become your only choice if you want to adhere to the 1200 calorie DASH diet.

If you have never made one, here comes…

how to make low fat salad dressing

Oil is what changes viscosity of the dressing. Without oil, it is simply a liquid. What can replace oil in your dressing?

  1. Mustard. Mustard gives salad dressing a smooth silky structure. Try honey mustard dressing with peppercorn.
  2. Blended berries. Thaw raspberry mix or use fresh strawberries. Blend a cup of berries, add balsamic or red wine vinegar, a couple of drops of oil and salt to taste- and voila! you have just made low fat salad dressing
  3. Water from boiled beans. This is a discovery made by one of the top chefs in Los Angeles, a co-author of Dr. Ornish’es book who took a challenge to create no fat salad dressings that suit the Ornish Diet. If you boil your beans in small amount of water, you will notice that it feels sort of starchy. Add some vinegar, dried herbs, pepper and salt, and your dressing is super healthy and very tasty.

There are at least two other super foods that are a great base for a low fat salad dressing. I will publish my own low fat salad dressing recipes in my new e-book: 1200 calorie DASH Diet Plan.

Hope you find these three tips helpful, and please come back for more.

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Ginger | Herbs that lower blood pressure

Ginger is one of the herbs that lower blood pressure. According to many researchers, herbs are effective against hypertension and are generally safe to use. Here are some essential facts about ginger’s healing powers and a popular recipe for ginger lemon tea with honey.

Ginger tea for High Blood Pressure

Ginger tea for High Blood Pressure

Find out how this herb works on your system.

Anti-cholesterol properties of ginger

Ginger lowers blood pressure in several ways. Ginger root has an anti-cholesterol property (Castleman et al). It helps to reduce the overall cholesterol level, including low density lipoproteins. Hence this herb helps to lower blood pressure by preventing plaque build-up and maintaining the elasticity of blood vessels. It also prevents inflammation of the blood vessel walls, thus lowering blood pressure by keeping  blood vessel walls healthy and elastic, so that they can regulate blood pressure properly by expanding and contracting.

Ginger prevents blood clotting

Ginger lowers blood pressure by maintaining a smooth blood flow, preventing the formation of blood clots which can clog the arteries and small blood vessels. The potency of this herb is even higher when combined with garlic and peppermint, according to Castleman.

Ginger fights hypertension by reducing the need for salt

A low sodium diet is effective, but very hard to follow. Ginger lowers blood pressure because you can use  it as an alternative when you need to restrict salt in your diet. It adds flavor to your food and helps you minimize the use of salt, thus helping to keep your blood pressure in a normal range.Many people make meals and teas with ginger part of their DASH diet meal plan.

Ginger and blockage of calcium channels

In the study of Ghayur MN, et al, ginger lowered blood pressure through the blockage of voltage-dependent calcium channels. They used a crude extract of ginger in this experiment, which caused a significant decrease in the arterial blood pressure.

Ginger: More health benefits

So are you enjoying the spicy taste of ginger? In addition to its anti-hypertensive properties, ginger has many health benefits that you can enjoy just as generations of people did before you.

It is believed that this herb has the highest antioxidant properties, and it is  effective in preventing colon cancer as well as in ovarian cancer treatment. Ginger is also used as a natural remedy for nausea among pregnant women; it relieves motion sickness, heartburn, and migraine attacks. Several studies showed its effectiveness in reducing inflammation and pain, because it blocks the prostaglandins that can cause pain perception.

Ginger also benefits patients with arthritis, and may help prevent diabetic nephropathy among diabetics. A researcher at Cornell University Medical College discovered its anti-blood clotting property, which is similar to that of aspirin.

Ginger essential oil has also been used to promote better digestion, for sore throat, loss of appetite, rheumatic pain, and for cold and flu relief and prevention. It can be used by adding to the bath directly, as a facial steam, or directly massaging the ginger oil into the affected area. Be cautious when using pure essential oils; it is recommended that they be diluted in another carrier oil (olive, almond, jojoba, etc) when applied directly to the skin or taken internally.

Use fresh ginger, avoid dry and wrinkled ones, and wash it very well with clean water before using it. Use in moderation while enjoying its amazing health benefits!

Please be sure to consult with your doctor whenever you use this herb, especially if you are taking other medications such as blood thinners (warfarin). Combining medications with too much ginger can cause side effects such as upset stomach and nausea.

As you can see, ginger is popular not only for its unique spicy taste, but also for its wide array of health benefits.

Ginger recipes

There is a variety of simple ginger recipes that you can try at home. Ginger tea is one of them.

Simple Ginger Lemon Tea Recipe

Start by making 10 to 15 slices of fresh ginger root; add 2 cups of water, one slice of lemon and one or two teaspoons honey. This ginger recipe is widely used because it is the most convenient and the easiest to prepare. It comes out a bit concentrated, so that you can add enough water to your taste. Prepare it once and use it for a day or two. How much more convenient can it get?

And if you don’t feel like making your own ginger tea, check this out:

 

 

Other ginger recipes:

Check out this simple Ginger rice recipe:

Ginger Rice

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Kale Juice Recipe for 1200 calorie DASH diet

Here is a kale juice recipe perfect for your 1200 calorie DASH diet or the 1600 calorie DASH diet. It uses pineapple – a fruit that lowers blood pressure. The pineapple diet for hypertension is becoming popular and is said to help because pineapple introduces a high amount of Potassium into your diet while being very low in Sodium.

You should treat any diet that uses a single “miracle ingredient” with caution. The 1200 calorie DASH diet made with whole foods, including fruit like pineapple, is much more beneficial and scientifically proven to work. I must correct myself – the Harvard research used the 2000 calorie DASH diet, but they did not restrict the weight or gender of participants. Losing weight was not a part of the research. That’s why the 2000 calorie DASH diet was used – it provides enough calories for the majority of the study’s subjects.

The 1200 calorie DASH diet is one of your best choices if

  • you are a woman,
  • you are not tall and averagely built,
  • you are leading a sedentary lifestyle,
  • and you want to lose weight and lower blood pressure.

If all these conditions are met,  the 1200 calorie DASH diet will create the right calorie deficit and you won’t starve yourself. Just make sure you don’t restrict calories for too long.

This Pineapple Kale Juice recipe is very good for individuals with dry and aging skin. It hydrates dry skin from within. If you drink it regularly, you may get a 33% improvement of micro-circulation in your skin.

It also contains cancer-fighting and anti-inflammatory agents.

Not to mention that taking 500mg of Vitamin C daily lowers high blood pressure by 5 points according to a new study by Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Both kale and pineapple contain a lot of vitamin C.

Pineapple Kale Juice Recipe For 1200 Calorie DASH Diet

Pineapple Kale Juice Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1 small pineapple, cleaned
  • 8 leaves of curly kale
  • 1/2 of English cucumber
  • 1 slice of lemon (optional)

Directions

  1. Clean the pineapple and cut it in pieces that fit your juicer. You don’t need to core it.
  2. Wash cucumber and cut it lengthwise. You can clean the skin if you feel concerned about pesticides.
  3. Feed pineapple and kale (alternate pieces) into the juicer.
    Throw the pulp away. If your pineapple is ripe and sweet, you can add
    one slice of lemon to your juice. However, most pineapples bought at
    the store are not sweet enough, so lemon juice is not needed.
  4. Juice the cucumber. Mix well.

This amount produces about 750 ml of juice. You can store kale juice in a tightly closed jar for up to two days.

If you don’t have time to juice kale and pineapple every day, the shortcut is to juice kale and freeze it in an ice cube tray, then add it daily to a cup of Dole pineapple juice. Fresh prepared juices are always better, but don’t let this perfectionist thinking get in the way of you drinking canned juice to lower blood pressure. In my opinion, it’s better to do this than to drink no juice at all.

What recipes do you use to lower blood pressure? Leave a comment and help other people improve their diet.

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