Posts Tagged ‘High Blood Pressure’

A Tale of Two Macas

July 28, 2014 Written by JP

Many holistically-minded consumers have heard of and/or tried Maca – a root vegetable belonging to the mustard family which has been used medicinally for thousands of years in the Andean region of South America. In health food stores, you’ll frequently find it in supplements intended to support athletic performance, hormonal regulation and virility. In addition, Maca powder is sometimes featured in juices and smoothie concoctions for added nutrition and unspecified health benefits. In essence, Maca has taken on a similar reputation as ashwagandha or ginseng, as an adaptogen which promotes balance in various systems in the body. However, not all Maca products are created equal.

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Posted in Bone and Joint Health, Nutritional Supplements, Women's Health | 5 Comments & Updates

High-Intensity Interval Training

March 6, 2014 Written by JP

Last week, a column in the New York Times entitled, “How to Get Fit in a Few Minutes a Week” garnered quite a lot of attention. The idea of achieving physical fitness in such little time is appealing to just about everyone, myself included. But, is this claim supported by real science? Or is this a case of: “If it seems too good to be true, it probably is?”

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Posted in Alternative Therapies, Exercise, Heart Health | 9 Comments & Updates

Sour Tea for Diabetes and Hypertension

June 28, 2013 Written by JP

Recently, a Persian reader of this site relayed a positive testimonial about a traditional drink from his homeland called “sour tea”. When I was listening to his account of how he used this tart, vibrantly colored beverage to avert diabetes and high blood pressure, I thought to myself – sour tea? It sounds sort of familiar, but I can’t place it. As it turns out, sour tea is the commonly used name in Iran for hibiscus tea. The next question that popped into my mind was whether this gentleman’s experience could be bolstered and substantiated by reviewing the medical literature.

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Posted in Diabetes, Food and Drink, Heart Health | 8 Comments & Updates

A Case for Prunes

June 20, 2013 Written by JP

For whatever reason, prunes are often viewed in a different light than other dried fruits. These days, dried apricots, cranberries and mangos are commonly added to desserts or snacked on alone or as part of trail mix. But, dried plums or prunes might as well be shelved next to laxatives and psyllium fiber in the pharmacy section of supermarkets. And, while it’s true that prunes are an effective way of addressing constipation, they’re also much, much more than that.

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Posted in Bone and Joint Health, Food and Drink, Nutrition | 12 Comments & Updates

Stand Up for Health

February 22, 2013 Written by JP

Cost is one of the most popular excuses used to avoid good health practices. In some instances, there’s a kernel of truth to the assertion that money assists with the promotion of wellness. A few examples include greater access to medical care and a wider array of alternative and complementary therapies. On the other hand, exercising regularly, getting adequate sleep and stress management are usually completely free of charge. This past week, researchers from Kansas State University (KSU) added one additional, 100% free activity that just might save your life while, at the same time, lower projected health care spending. According to Dr. Richard Rosenkrantz, of KSU, “We know that with very high confidence that more physically active people do better with regard to chronic disease compared with less physically active people, but we should also be looking at reducing sitting”.

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Posted in Diabetes, Exercise, Heart Health | No Comments;

Healthier Cranberry Juice

September 25, 2012 Written by JP

Last week a slew of studies were presented at the American Heart Association’s High Blood Pressure Research 2012 Scientific Sessions. Among them, was a trial funded by Ocean Spray Cranberries, Inc. – a leading manufacturer of cranberry juice. The details of the study reveal that the daily consumption of “low calorie” cranberry juice moderately reduces blood pressure (by about 3 mmHg diastolic and systolic) as compared to a placebo beverage. But, before you go out to the market to stock up on low-cal cranberry “cocktails”, consider the details that weren’t included in the mainstream press converge.

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Posted in Diet and Weight Loss, Heart Health, Nutrition | 7 Comments & Updates

Non-Alcoholic Wine

September 12, 2012 Written by JP

Recently, an intriguing study published in the journal Circulation Research made headlines in the mainstream news. In the trial, a group of scientists from Barcelona, Spain compared the effects of conventional and de-alcoholized red wine in 67 men at risk for cardiovascular disease. The researchers also tested the impact of gin in a cross-over, randomized manner. The surprising results of the trial revealed that only the non-alcoholic red wine induced a significant reduction in blood pressure. Specifically, they noted a drop of 2 mmhg diastolic and 6 mmhg systolic blood pressure. In real world terms, this equates to an estimated 14% lower risk of coronary heart disease and 20% decline in stroke incidence.

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Posted in Diabetes, Food and Drink, Heart Health | 10 Comments & Updates

Is Maple Syrup Healthy?

July 23, 2012 Written by JP

Natural sweeteners, whether agave nectar, honey or stevia are often perceived and/or represented as reasonably healthy, especially when used in moderation. Support for this theory typically stems from two prevalent beliefs. The first asserts that natural substances are more compatible with the human body than synthetic counterparts, such as aspartame (Equal), saccharine (Sweet’N Low) and sucralose (Splenda). Secondly, there are claims that some natural sweeteners are actually good sources of nutrients. In both instances, modern science can help “separate the wheat from the chaff” when it comes to sweeteners of all kinds.

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Posted in Diabetes, Diet and Weight Loss, Food and Drink | 8 Comments & Updates

Kiwi Fruit Revelations

February 6, 2012 Written by JP

Nutritionists often advocate more fruits and vegetables in the average person’s diet. This is good, albeit incomplete advice. It’s kind of like saying, “Walking is a great form of exercise”. However, walking in a lush park is far more advisable than walking alongside a polluted downtown street. Likewise, increased consumption of just any fruits and vegetables won’t necessarily promote better health. Rather, focusing on low-glycemic, nutrient dense produce is a much better strategy. In practical terms, this means opting for leafy green vegetables instead of potatoes and fruits like kiwis instead of bananas.

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Posted in Food and Drink, Heart Health, Women's Health | 12 Comments & Updates

Red Beet Juice Power

September 23, 2011 Written by JP

In the field of athletics, the term “performance enhancers” has taken on a negative connotation of late. The very mention of it frequently conjures up images of professional athletes “juicing up” on anabolic steroids or synthetic stimulants. Fortunately, in recent years, scientists have uncovered an all natural and much safer alternative that may just improve physical capacity and support cardiovascular health.

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Posted in Exercise, Food and Drink, Nutritional Supplements | 17 Comments & Updates

Healthy Potatoes?

September 9, 2011 Written by JP

A presentation given at last week’s national meeting of the American Chemical Society made headlines that you may have heard or read about. The claim made was that eating two daily servings of potatoes can lower blood pressure so that the “undeserved bad reputation” of potatoes ought to be reassessed. To that I say, not so fast. There are several key details that are important to note when considering this research and topic: 1) The variety of potatoes used in the current trial (purple potatoes) contain antioxidant pigments, similar to those found in blueberries and red wine, which may reduce blood pressure in and of themselves.¬† 2) Some research suggests that purple potatoes contain higher potassium content than more popular varieties such as white Idaho potatoes. 3) Diets rich in foods containing potassium are capable of lowering hypertension whether they contain potatoes or not. 4) There are many other ways of managing high blood pressure naturally, such as switching from common table salt to any number of salt alternatives which feature essential minerals including magnesium and potassium.

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Posted in Food and Drink, Heart Health, Nutrition | 14 Comments & Updates

Polypill News and Research

May 30, 2011 Written by JP

The types of products that doctors recommend and manufacturers produce reveal a lot about what they think of us as health care consumers. A prevalent view in both alternative and conventional medicine is that most patients would rather take a so-called “magic bullet” that improves disease markers and/or symptoms rather than address the root cause of ¬†illnesses. The idea is that patients are either too busy or unmotivated to make the dietary and lifestyle changes that are necessary to improve health. Sadly, this widely held notion is often based in reality.
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Posted in Alternative Therapies, Heart Health, Nutrition | 10 Comments & Updates

Preeclampsia Alternatives

May 25, 2011 Written by JP

Think of all the pregnancies that take place during the course of a given year. Thankfully, most are relatively free of serious complications. But, about 5% to 8% of all expectant mothers must contend with a condition known as preeclampsia (PE) that threatens both woman and child. Preeclampsia is characterized by a dangerous rise in blood pressure that occurs after the 20th week of pregnancy. Some of the possible symptoms include abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, blurred vision with the appearance of auras and spots, and swelling in the eyes, face and hands or edema. According to the Preeclampsia Foundation this contributes approximately seven billion dollars a year in US health care spending alone. Worldwide, it may account for as many as 76,000 deaths annually. (1,2,3) Read more »


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Posted in Children's Health, Nutrition, Women's Health | 15 Comments & Updates

Salt Sensitivity

May 11, 2011 Written by JP

There’s nothing like a controversial study to stir up the hornet’s nest that is modern medicine. If you think politics is contentious, just try going up against decades worth of health care policy and theories. That’s exactly what a small group of researchers from the University of Lueven, Belgium and the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) did recently.
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Posted in Food and Drink, Heart Health, Nutrition | 7 Comments & Updates

Aerobic Interval Training

April 18, 2011 Written by JP

Aerobic interval training is by far my favorite form of cardiovascular exercise. It doesn’t matter if I’m on a treadmill, in the gym or walking on the beach. I could be alone or training a group of clients. The bottom line is that if I’m working out, part of my routine is almost certainly composed of walking at variable inclines and speeds. That’s essentially what aerobic interval training (AIT) is. Instead of walking at a constant pace for prolonged periods of time, you simply push yourself to walk faster/harder for shorter intervals followed by less intense intervals in between. Read more »


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Posted in Diabetes, Exercise, Heart Health | 7 Comments & Updates

Pedometer News You Can Use

March 14, 2011 Written by JP

How many steps do you take on any given day? Most people can’t answer that question with any sense of accuracy unless they use a pedometer. Up until this past Saturday, I know I couldn’t tell you how many times my feet moved forward or backwards per day. No clue. 1,000 steps? Possibly. 4,000 steps? Maybe on a good day. Well, on Saturday the figure was 8,670 steps. To be more specific, that was the total number of steps I took while at the Anaheim Convention Center – the site of this year’s Natural Products Expo West.
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Posted in Diabetes, Exercise, Heart Health | 3 Comments & Updates