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How kitchen can help you control your Blood Pressure

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By  Amar Chandel

Don’t let the high blood pressure that you have been diagnosed with scare you out of your wits. It is not exactly a disease, but only a warning sign that the food you have been eating and the lifestyle you have been leading have clogged your blood vessels and your heart is having to exert extra pressure to keep blood moving through it.

Just as the bad lifestyle caused it, the better one can cure it. Medicines are only an aid. The main job has to be done by your food and those are quite tasty to boot. So please go into your kitchen for treatment. Certain bounties of nature are excellent in opening up your arteries and those should be a regular part of your diet from now.

The most potent of them is beetroot juice. A glass of this shimmering liquid should be a daily part of your intake for life. Treat this as your daily medicine. You might see a drop in your readings in as little as three hours.

Beets are full of nitrates which cause blood vessels to expand. Besides reducing BP, these eliminate toxins. Taking nitrate in natural form is a hundred times better than taking a nitrate tablet.

Nitrites in killer foods like hot dogs gave you the disease; nitrates will cure it.

Those who happen to have kidney issues should mix it with carrot juice. Regular use may give a sharp color to your urine. Don’t be scared. That is completely harmless.

Please note that the results will not come in a day. It took you some 15 years to clog your arteries. Please give your system at least 15 months to undo the damage. Of course, medicines can show results in a matter of days, but you have to account for side-effects also. So follow a two-pronged strategy. Let medicines do the SOS job. The long-term cure will come only through dietary wisdom.

Another prescribed diet is blueberries, raspberries and strawberries. Natural compounds in them called anchocyanins are your insurance against hypertension. Eat them like crazy every day of your life. Fresh will be the best, but the dried ones will also do. Besides, those are full of antioxidants.

I know it will not make you very popular with friends, but garlic too has to be added to your menu. The organosulphur compound allicin that it has reduces hypertension and is also antibacterial and anti fungal. The pungent clove is also very good for those with heart conditions.

Other good foods for those with BP are bananas, dark chocolate (and I mean really dark, at least 85 percent), spinach, cabbage and coconut water. Plus spice up your food with rosemary, cumin seeds, cinnamon, basil, bay leaves, saffron, turmeric, ginger and black pepper.

But the best antidote for blood pressure is weight management. If you are on the plump side, you are almost sending a written invitation to BP. (IANS)

Amar Chandel is a health specialist and author of ‘Stress to Serenity’ and ‘Perfect Health in Twenty Weeks’.

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Benefits of spicy food: Reduces risk of heart attack, BP & stroke, New Research Suggests.

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Spicy chinese food
Benefits of spicy food: Reduces risk of heart attack, BP & stroke, New Research Suggests.(Image:wikipedia)

Beijing, October31’2017: If you enjoy eating spicy Chinese food, there are greater chances that you would crave less for salt and have lower blood pressure, potentially reducing the risk of heart attack and stroke, new research suggests.

“Previously, a pilot study found that trace amounts of capsaicin, the chemical that gives chili peppers their pungent smell, enhanced the perception of food being salty,” said senior study author Zhiming Zhu, Professor at the Third Military Medical University in Chongqing, China.

“We wanted to test whether this effect would also reduce salt consumption,” Zhu added.

The study enrolled more than 600 Chinese adults and determined their preferences for salty and spicy flavours. Researchers then linked those preferences to blood pressure.

The findings, published in the journal Hypertension, showed that compared to those who least enjoyed spicy foods, participants with a high spicy preference had lower blood pressure and consumed less salt than participants who had a low spicy preference.

They also used imaging techniques to look at two regions of the participants’ brains — the insula and orbitofrontal cortex — known to be involved in salty taste.

The researchers found that the areas stimulated by salt and spice overlapped, and that spice further increased brain activity in areas activated by salt.

This increased activity likely makes people more sensitive to salt so that they can enjoy food with less of it, the researchers said.

“If you add some spices to your cooking, you can cook food that tastes good without using as much salt,” Zhu said.

“Yes, habit and preference matter when it comes to spicy food, but even a small, gradual increase in spices in your food may have a health benefit,” Zhu said.(IANS)

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