According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 65 million Americans have high blood pressure with approximately 74 percent taking medication to treat high blood pressure.
Research presented at the 61st American College of Cardiology’s Annual Scientific Session found internet-based telemedicine to lead to more effective medication prescriptions, improved blood pressure control, and a reduction in cardiovascular risk when compared to traditional, periodic office visits.
Telemedicine to monitor blood pressure refers to patients reporting blood pressure readings more frequently via web-based platforms. This led to more efficient and timely treatment plan adjustments if needed from their health care team.
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Typically cranberry juice is thought of as a home health remedy to treat urinary tract infections (UTI’s). Some recent research indicates cranberry juice may also promote lower blood pressure levels.
Let me begin by stating these study results are preliminary. More research needs to be conducted. The study, funded by Ocean Spray Cranberries, was published as an abstract and the results have not yet been peer-reviewed and published in a journal. Results were reported at a meeting of the American Heart Association in Washington, DC.
Placebo Controlled Study
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If you keep heart healthy foods on hand and easily accessible you will be much more likely to see success in your efforts to lower cholesterol and blood pressure. If you keep unhealthy foods within reach you will make it much harder to achieve your heart health goals. Don’t rely on will power! Stock you kitchen for success. Here are some essentials to keep on hand:
Whole grains, such as barley, oats, rice, buckwheat, and quinoa, are rich in fiber, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. These nutrient dense grains promote a healthy heart.
Continue reading ‘How to Stock a Heart Healthy Kitchen’ »
We are three weeks into the new year, how are you doing with your New Year’s resolution?
If you are working to improve your health, physical activity must be a part of your plan. There are numerous benefits associated with physical activity, such as weight loss, lower blood pressure, improved arthritis, pain management, and improved cardiorespiratory fitness.
Research indicates that you need at least 150 minutes of moderate level activity each week in order to see the benefits of exercise. This can be broken down into 20 minutes each day or 30 minutes 5 days a week and should include both aerobic and strength training.
This isn’t a lot of time, but if your days are already packed scheduling time for a workout can be a challenge. Here are five tips to keep in mind as you plan your workout routine.
- Workout in the morning if possible.
Research has shown those who exercise in the morning tend to see more success. This is partly due to getting exercise out of the way first thing before obstacles can get in the way.
Continue reading ‘5 Tips for Planning Your Workout Routine’ »
Your daily intake of salt has a direct impact on your blood pressure. For some individuals who are salt sensitive the impact on blood pressure levels is even greater.
Restock Your Spice Rack
Spices are a wonderful way to add flavor to your foods so you are less tempted to reach for the salt shaker at the table. However, you need to purchase the right spices. For example, replace garlic SALT, which contains 320 mg of sodium per ¼ teaspoon, with garlic POWDER which contains 1 mg per 1 teaspoon.
The same goes for onion salt, replace it with onion powder and any other ‘salts’ you may have in your cupboard.
Continue reading ‘Which is better to lower blood pressure? Garlic SALT or Garlic POWDER’ »
There are some studies that suggest a higher intensity interval workout routine, such as those used by athletes, may be beneficial for patients with heart conditions.
High intensity interval training involves short bursts of intense exercise at 85-95% maximum heart rate. These short bursts are alternated with periods of moderate exercise. This workout method is frequently used by athletes to improve speed and endurance.
If this type of training were to be recommended for heart patients it’d be a change from the standard protocol of steady aerobic exercise at 70% maximum heart rate. This lower level of intensity is intended to work the heart without risking chest pain, heart attack, or other complication.
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Let’s cover five ways you can lower high blood pressure through dietary changes.
1. Increase your intake of fruits and vegetables
The DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet is a very effective meal plan to lower blood pressure. The diet is high in fruits and vegetables, including 4-5 vegetable servings and 4-5 fruit servings everyday.
Fruits and vegetables are rich sources of fiber and phytonutrients essential to heart health and promotion of a lower blood pressure. The more the better!
2. Decrease sodium intake
Continue reading ‘Lower High Blood Pressure: 5 Ways’ »
I’ve shared information previously on the benefits of a high potassium diet and reduced blood pressure. However, another study has found an increased risk of death from heart disease to be linked to a diet high in sodium and low in potassium.
High sodium, low potassium equals increased risk of death
According to research Elena V. Kuklina, consuming a diet high in sodium and low in potassium results in a 50% increased risk of death from any cause and almost doubles the risk of death from heart disease. The study I’m referencing was published in the Archives of Internal Medicine.
Researchers followed over 12,000 US adults. The participants did not follow a reduced salt diet nor did they have a history of heart conditions or stroke. Participants were followed for 15 years. During this time 2,270 participants died. Out of this number, 1268 died from cardiovascular disease.
Continue reading ‘Sodium & Potassium – Are you getting too much or too little?’ »
Maintaining a physically active lifestyle that includes regular exercise is one step towards preventing heart disease and promoting low blood pressure.
Benefits of Exercise
Here are a few health benefits linked to exercise:
- Stronger heart and cardiovascular system.
- Improved circulation.
- Reduce symptoms of heart failure.
- Boost energy levels.
- Increase endurance.
- Increase strength & muscle tone.
- Better balance and flexibility.
- Stronger bones.
- Decreased stress, anxiety, & depression.
- Decreased body fat.
- Better sleep.
How Much Exercise
Continue reading ‘How much exercise to lower blood pressure?’ »
Here’s a question submitted by a reader of The Heart of Health.
Question: I have been following alot of your advise, thank you. I was back to a consistent blood pressure around 120/80. It seems to be creeping up a bit now. I think maybe a glass a wine more frequently in summer parties and gatherings is the only change. I typically only have wine on Friday and Saturday (2 glasses max). Could a few more evenings of a glass of wine make that much difference? I see stress as less in summer as I work much less.
Continue reading ‘Blood Pressure & Wine: Will an extra glass of wine increase my blood pressure?’ »