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Top 5 Diets for People with High Blood Pressure

Top 5 Diets for People with High Blood Pressure

Eating healthy can be a good way to bring down high blood pressure numbers. There are many eating plans that you can follow, but some of them are targeted toward people who have high blood pressure.

While others aren’t targeted toward people with high blood pressure, these diets are structured in a way that makes them better at lowering blood pressure levels. One of these diets is the DASH diet, which stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension.

This diet works by factoring in the gender and age of the person following the diet. It also targets what a dieter should eat by how much exercise they do or don’t do.

Using criteria to match the caloric intake with the user, the DASH diet will propose a specific eating plan. This eating plan contains nutritious and healthy meals chosen from the food pyramid.

The diet is easy to follow because it does a lot of the prep work for you. It plans out the first few days for you to get you started and it includes helpful recipes and teaches users how many servings of each type of food he or she should eat.

The TLC diet stands for Therapeutic Lifestyle Change. This is a diet that focuses on changing what you currently eat to make healthier meals. It concentrates on limiting the kinds of fats that can contribute to heart disease.

Success with this diet is found by eating according to your gender and current weight. It guides users toward healthier food choices by limiting processed foods. It’s a good diet because it lowers your cholesterol, which is often raised in people with high blood pressure. Plus, it helps you lose weight – which also works to lower your blood pressure if you’re overweight.

Another healthy diet for people with high blood pressure that helps lower the levels is the Mediterranean Diet. On this eating plan, you’ll eat plenty of fruits, vegetables and grains.

You can eat fish and poultry, but will have to cut back on the amount of red meat that you eat. This diet is healthy for people with high blood pressure because it replaces the use of salt with spices and flavorful herbs.

Weight Watchers is a diet that focuses on the overall body. It emphasizes keeping your weight at a healthy level. Losing extra weight can often bring the numbers of your blood pressure readings under control.

Healthy eating by consuming fruits, vegetables, grains, plenty of fiber rich foods and lean meats is how the Weight Watchers diet helps. It offers low sodium meal planning and teaches the importance of exercise and cutting out bad habits that are linked to high blood pressure.

Finally, following a vegetarian diet can lower your blood pressure. Eating a plant based diet can lower cholesterol levels as well. Since there’s very little saturated fat in a vegetarian diet, it’s also good for your heart health.

The focus of this diet is on healthy eating with plenty of high fiber. If you don’t think that you can give up meat, you can choose the flexitarian way and choose a vegetarian eating lifestyle with occasional servings of meat.

What Causes High Blood Pressure?

What Causes High Blood Pressure?

Anyone can develop high blood pressure – even someone in his or her early twenties isn’t immune to this condition. That’s because high blood pressure can be caused by a number of different things.

Some things are within a person’s control and some aren’t when it comes to having high blood pressure. Genetics is one of the reasons high blood pressure can develop – and the one thing you can’t do anything about.

The genes that were passed down to you will determine what health issues you’ll have to deal with. Your family history is what will decide if you’ll have high blood pressure or not.

If your parents had it, then you’ll more than likely have it as well. Some diseases that can run in families can contribute to causing high blood pressure and these are said to be secondary hypertension.

That means that you have high blood pressure as a direct result of some other health problem. For example, someone who has kidney disease can, in turn, have high blood pressure as a result of that kidney disease.

Other diseases can also cause high blood pressure. If you have adrenal problems, that can cause elevated readings and so can thyroid diseases. Sometimes, a cyst that grows on a gland like the adrenals or the thyroid can lead to high blood pressure.

Removing the growth will sometimes stabilize the blood pressure within normal range, but not always. Many causes of high blood pressure are related to how a person lives his or her life.

People who are overweight, even if they’re not technically obese, can have blood pressure levels that are in the hypertension range. People who develop high blood pressure as a result of being overweight often find that their levels return to the normal range if they lose the weight.

This is because the heart no longer has to work as hard to pump the blood. Sometimes people who are not overweight will be diagnosed with high blood pressure because of their lifestyle choices.

Eating a poor diet that’s high in saturated fat and sodium is linked to high blood pressure. Drinking too much and smoking are both habits that have also been linked to causing high blood pressure.

Having too much stress in your life can give you high blood pressure. This is because when you’re under stress, your body feels the onslaught of a constant state of “fight or flight” hormone that your adrenals produce.

This will constrict the blood vessels. Chronic stress can cause your adrenals to consistently release the hormones that keep your blood pressure raised.  Your age can also play a role in what your blood pressure readings are.

As you get older, your blood vessels undergo changes. Your body has baroreceptors that can tell what the blood pressure is. When it’s not normal, these baroreceptors send messages that help to regulate the pressure. As you get older, these baroreceptors aren’t as quick to pick up the changes in pressure.

Here’s a great video that explains it all

The Best Juicing Plan for Weight Loss

The Best Juicing Plan for Weight Loss

If you’ve decided to start juicing to lose weight then all the options can be overwhelming. Should you do a juice fast? Should you just incorporate juicing into your regular diet? Which juicer should you buy? What should you juice? And on the questions go!

Before getting started, just remember that there’s no magic cure for weight loss. Juicing isn’t a quick fix, and it works differently for different people. It can help you lose weight, but it’ll take some time to find the best way for you, and it’ll also take some effort. That said, here are some tips to help you get started.

Should You Do A Juice Fast?

Many people see a juice fast as a quick fix for losing weight, but this is dangerous. Sure, when you’re fasting you’ll take in fewer calories since you won’t be eating your regular meals. This will lead to weight loss, but it’s not something you can sustain, and shouldn’t be the be all and end all of your weight loss efforts.

Instead, you should see a juice fast as a chance to get out of any bad habits you might have, and then cleanse your system. It’s tough, but if you can get out of the other side of a juice fast then you can surely make effort to improve your diet afterwards. Once the fast is over, you can also combine regular meals with regular juicing.

Top Vegetables to Juice for Weight Loss

As to what you should put in your juice, it’s basically more of the healthy foods you should be eating normally. By juicing them, you can create combinations that make certain foods tastier (by mixing them with fruits, for example), and you can also take in WAY more than you’d be able to by eating them.

When you’re just getting started you may want to juice a lot of fruit. It tastes way better than those crazy vegetable concoctions, so it’s a good way to ease yourself in. That said, fruits do contain sugar and you’ll want to watch how much you take in. Try to mix in more and more vegetables as time goes on.

You may want to pay particular attention to cruciferous vegetables. This family of vegetables is known to come with a number of health benefits, such as helping to boost your metabolism and reduce the risk of cancer. The only downside is that they are known as a trigger for IBS sufferers.

Some examples of cruciferous vegetables include:
•    Box Choy,
•    Broccoli,
•    Brussels sprouts,
•    Cauliflower,
•    Cabbage.

Note that many cruciferous vegetables are also known as “leafy greens”. If you’re planning on using the leafy kind then you’ll have to be careful to find a juicer that can handle them well – many centrifugal juicers struggle to process these effectively.

So remember, juicing isn’t a miracle weight loss cure but it’s a tool that can greatly improve your diet and give you the energy you need for your workouts!

How Does Food Affect Your Workout?

How Does Food Affect Your Workout?

Not reaching your fitness goal could be, in part, about what you eat. To work at maximum efficiency, the body needs food that contains these three macronutrients:
•    protein
•    carbohydrates
•    fats

However, just eating all three is not enough; you also need the right type and amount of each macronutrient to get the maximum benefit from your workout.

Protein

As you exercise, tiny tears occur in your muscle fibers; protein not only helps repair these tears, but it helps build muscle too, so your body is ready for your next workout. To get the maximum benefit from this macronutrient, 20% of your daily calorie intake should come from a low saturated fat protein source, such as lean red meat, pork, poultry, beans, seafood, eggs or dairy products.

Carbohydrates

The body produces energy from carbohydrates by breaking them down into glucose. Glucose is then converted into energy at the cellular level through a process called metabolism. However, there are two types of carbohydrates: simple and complex. Of the two, the complex type is the best for you when you work out because they break down slower thus providing your body with more energy over a longer time. An average of 50% of your daily calories should come from carbohydrates; however, only 10% of these calories should come from simple carbohydrates, which are most of the sugars. Good sources of complex carbohydrates include potatoes and whole grains, such as whole wheat bread and pasta, and brown rice.

Fats

For a long time the fats got a bad rap. However, multiple studies have shown that we need about 30% of our daily calories from fat (and the right type of fat) for our bodies to work efficiently. Because certain nutrients are only fat-soluble, those nutrients are flushed from the body unprocessed if you are not eating enough fat.

There are three types of fats:
•    saturated
•    unsaturated
•    trans

Trans fat
Trans fat is a manufactured fat found in highly processed foods, such as baked goods. It shows up on nutrition labels listed as either hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated vegetable shortening. However, because the body does not metabolize trans fats, it ends up staying in the blood stream and can eventually cause heart disease. Avoid trans fat at all costs!

Saturated Fat

For over 60 years, we have known too much saturated fat is not good for you. Commonly found in marbled red meats, whole dairy products, butter and certain oils, such as coconut, palm and palm kernel, only 7% of our daily fat requirement should come from saturated fat.

Unsaturated Fat

These are the good fats – polyunsaturated and monounsaturated – and they should make up the rest of your daily fat requirement.  Sources include some types of oils, such as olive, canola, safflower, sunflower and soy, along with avocados, most nuts, and the oily fishes: salmon, tuna and mackerel.

By eating the right types of macronutrients (and in the right quantities), not only will you have the energy to get you through a workout, but also what it takes to repair and build muscle, and refuel your body for the next workout.

Can Juicing Help Improve Fitness?

Can Juicing Help Improve Fitness?

Fitness is always a hot topic. Whether we want to get fit to lose weight, to have more energy, or to feel better about ourselves, we’re always looking for ways that’ll make the whole process easier. Juicing is one health trend that’s really taken off in recent years, but does it really work to improve your fitness?

Diet Changes to Break Through Plateaus

The secret to improving your fitness level is to keep your body guessing. This means never stick to the same exercise or diet routine. In reference to a diet plateau, this happens when you consume the same types of foods, such as whole grains and fresh, raw foods for a long period of time. When you have plateaued your diet needs a jump-start. This is when you can begin introducing the process of juicing. Juicing restarts your body so you can continue to work hard at improving your fitness goals.

Nutrient Delivery

Juicing is a form of concentrating fresh, organic fruits and vegetables that assist in keeping your fitness routine on track. Just one glass can help you get more nutrients in your body and improve your fitness. Juicing is able to increase your metabolism, get you physically stronger, reduce the chance of injury, and your ability to reach and maintain your fitness goals will increase.

Inflammation Reduction

When working on a fitness routine, there is a possibility that you may become injured. When you are injured, inflammation is likely to occur in the joint areas.  Juicing neutralizes the acidity of the injured area and reduces the inflammation. Through this process, as you continue juicing, you will also experience other benefits, such as a rise in your metabolism, ability to process the nutrients from juicing to provide you with increased energy that will not be stored as fat, and a strong body with a reduction in injuries.

Energy Improvement

Including juicing in your fitness program will show you the power it has of increasing your physical energy so you can perform more efficiently. As energy increases, your hormones balance out and your digestion improves. This is not energy that comes with highs and lows. It is a sustained energy to support you through all your workouts, where you have the ability to exercise with great effort.

But remember – juicing alone is not what’ll make you fit. You must combine it with exercise!

Common Dental Care Struggles Associated with Aging

Common Dental Care Struggles Associated with Aging

Aging doesn’t simply affect your skin. It also affects your dental health. As you get older, since your immune system can weaken, you’re more likely to have dental issues. Some common conditions are associated with aging.

Having a dry mouth is common in older people usually because of medications that they have to take. This is called xerostomia. To treat it, you can keep your mouth moist by keeping water on hand to drink frequently.

Chew gum, too – because that stimulates saliva production and keeps your mouth from becoming dry. Watch out for decongestants because these can worsen dry mouth as well as cause it.

Another thing older people can deal with dental wise is losing their sense of taste. You might notice you start having to use more sugar or salt to actually taste the flavors in your food.

Both of these are relatively minor issues that can happen. However, they can lead to bigger problems.  More serious conditions with dental care are also common as you get older.

Root decay can happen because your gums change as you age. They can shrink back to expose the roots of the teeth. This allows cavities to form on the roots of the teeth. One of the causes of gum shrinkage is dry mouth. This is why it’s important to keep the mouth moist.

Oral thrush is a condition that’s common to older adults and can lead to an inflammation if not treated. Gum disease is common as you grow older and this can lead to tooth loss.

Many people choose to get dentures when they’re older because of dental problems they’ve experienced. Wearing dentures can also be a problem because it can cause the gum to become inflamed from an infection.

Developing oral cancer is also something that is associated with aging. When an older person gets any type of dental issue, it can lead to them having trouble eating what they should eat. When an older person doesn’t eat a healthy diet, this in turn can make their bodies more susceptible to illness and disease.

Besides some common problems with dental issues in people as they grow older, there are other issues that can be a deterrent. As someone gets older and enters the retirement stage of life, their income level can drop drastically.

When an older person lives on a fixed income, it can make it difficult for them to be able to afford dental care. With the cost of dental care rising, they may have trouble finding a dental insurance plan that they can afford on their income.

Besides the cost, if the older person struggles to get around, they may have difficulty getting themselves to the dentist. They might not be able to physically visit the dentist and might not have the transportation means to get there.

Must-Have Medical Screenings as You Grow Older

Must-Have Medical Screenings as You Grow Older

As you grow older, you should begin looking into medical screenings that are considered must-haves for your age group. Those who are over fifty years old have to pay closer attention to blood pressure, cholesterol, and a large amount of other important functions for your body.

Although some of these screenings may not be something you want to do, getting the right tests done can help catch problems early and can lead to a longer and healthier life.

Colonoscopies are never high on anyone’s to do list, but they should be. A colonoscopy is the test often used to search for colon cancer in both men and women.

It also allows for a doctor to see any subtle bleeding that may be occurring without your knowledge. For males, a colonoscopy can also alert your doctor if you have prostate cancer.

As you get older, it’s important that you don’t slack on breast exams. Starting at the age of forty, women should have regular mammograms done once a year, although some doctors advise it less frequently now.

The risk of breast cancer increases with age, so skipping out on breast exams and mammograms can cause a serious health risk. If you have a family history of breast cancer, your doctor may suggest an exam twice a year instead of just once.

As you age, your bones can weaken and begin to lose density. This is why it’s important you take a bone density test as you grow older. These tests are usually recommended for men and women who are over sixty, but if you’re at a higher risk, it may be needed before that age.

One of the high risk factors is osteoporosis, a condition where bones become brittle. When you have osteoporosis, you’re more likely to fracture or break bones, making a bone density test even more important. With this condition, a fall when you’re older can be more serious.

For women, a pap smear may be just as important as a breast exam or mammogram. Women in their fifties and sixties are just as susceptible to cervical cancer as young women are.

Pap smears are recommended for women every two years regardless of whether or not you’re sexually active. These screenings aren’t just for cancer – they can also help your doctor check for irregular bleeding or other problems.

One of the most important tests, a cholesterol screening, should not be omitted from a physical checkup. Men are more prone to high cholesterol, but studies show that women over the age of fifty tend to develop high cholesterol over the years. High cholesterol is one of the leading causes of heart attacks and strokes. As you grow older, make sure your cholesterol levels are checked periodically.

Are You Having Balance Problems As You Age?

Are You Having Balance Problems As You Age?

Many people experience balance problems as they age. You may feel lightheaded when you change from a seated to a standing position. You may feel like the room is spinning or that the objects around you are in motion.

If your dizziness is severe enough, you may have difficulty walking and fall easily. There are several things that can make you experience balance problems and dizziness.

One of the most common causes of balance problems is prescription medication. Dizziness is a common side effect in many of these medications. If you suspect your medicine is causing balance problems, don’t suddenly stop taking it. Instead, call your pharmacist and ask about side effects.

Sometimes, dizziness and balance problems are the result of starting a new medication and these symptoms will subside after a few doses. However, you should talk to your doctor if the dizziness is severe or it hasn’t gone away after several days.

Another frequent cause of balance problems is blood pressure that’s too elevated. High blood pressure causes your heart to work harder than it should have to.

Along with dizziness, this condition can give you visual problems that can compound your balance issues. If you suspect you have blood pressure that’s spiking, talk to your doctor about treatment options. It’s a condition that can be managed so that you live your life without balance issues.

Inner ear problems are common as people age and are another overlooked reason for balance issues. The inside of your ear has a delicate system that helps you stay balanced.

If something happens to that delicate system, it can make you feel like the room is spinning – but that doesn’t mean the condition is permanent. Even a simple problem like inflammation of the inner ear can make it hard for you to keep your balance.

Blood sugar issues can also cause balance problems. You can experience dizziness and vertigo with high or low blood sugar levels. It’s important that your doctor monitors your blood sugar levels since some people with high blood sugar go on to develop Type 2 diabetes.

Something else that can cause balance problems as you get older is a lack of enough oxygen to the brain. This can be caused from not getting the blood supply the brain needs.

It happens because as you get older, the blood vessels in your legs lose tension, which allows blood to pool rather than flow to the brain and the heart the way that it should. If this is the cause of your balance issues, there is also medication that can help treat this.

How to Motivate Yourself to Exercise Each Day

How to Motivate Yourself to Exercise Each Day

Some days, getting up to exercise just doesn’t seem to be in the cards for that day. You know you should, but the drive and determination isn’t there.

So do you give in and skip exercising that day or do you reach deep inside and convince yourself otherwise? Here are 6 tips that you can use to motivate yourself when the going gets tough:

1) Set Goals

Most people don’t get up in the morning just for the sake of exercising. They have a bigger purpose in mind – a goal if you will. Exercising is merely a path to that goal. Keep in mind goals should be reasonable and attainable.  If you set a goal that is so high that you have zero chance of attaining it, you’ll soon lose your motivation and quit. Instead set a small goal and when you achieve that one, set one just a little higher.

2) Write Your Goal in a Visible Place

Goals are a great motivator, but if they exist only in your mind, they are soon forgotten. Write down your goal and post it where you will see it each day or several times per day. On the refrigerator makes a great place to post your goal.

3) Celebrate Success

Regardless of how small a success, celebrate it. Taking this celebratory step is an important part of closing out that achieved goal so you can set a loftier one. Just make sure the celebration doesn’t sabotage the success. For example if you are exercising to lose weight and achieve your goal, don’t celebrate with a meal full of calories and saturated fat. You can celebrate with food, but be smart about it and stay on track.

4) Search Out Inspiration

Keeping to a rigorous daily exercise program not only involves a lot of perspiration, but inspiration too. Search out blogs and articles written by people trying to achieve similar goals. Go to YouTube and watch videos to see how people achieved their goals. Feed off of that knowledge and enthusiasm in your quest.

5) Focus on Benefits

If you focus on the exercising itself, you’ll soon become disillusioned and maybe even quit. Instead, focus on the benefits derived from your daily effort. What do you hope to get from your daily grind? It might be to lose weight, get healthier, stronger, a more toned body or a host of other benefits. Keeping an eye on the benefits will help pull you through the rough times.

6) Exercise With a Friend

Nothing will give you more motivation than exercising with a friend or family member. On the days when you don’t feel like working out, you will anyway because you don’t want to let down your exercise buddy. The truth be known, s/he may not want to exercise that day either, but they do it for you. Accountability to another person is a strong motivator and a great way to stay on track to your goal. Once achieved, then you can both celebrate success together.

Staying motivated over the long haul is hard. And there will be times when you feel your enthusiasm waning. Using these tips will give you the motivation to continue even when you don’t otherwise feel like it.

Here’s a fun video I suggest you watch too:

The Benefits of Challenging Yourself to Master 100 Situps

The Benefits of Challenging Yourself to Master 100 Situps

Performing situps as a physical fitness exercise has so many benefits. Aside from requiring no expensive or special gym equipment, you improve your overall core strength. And though many searching for sexy six-pack abs focus on situps for that reason alone, the well-rounded exercise actually involves more of your muscles and a larger range of motion than crunches.

Muscles in your chest and legs, connecting stabilizer muscles and hip flexors are all employed, giving you a full body workout. And when you challenge yourself to reach the level where you can consistently perform 100 situps at a time your benefits are even greater.

Mentally, your brain has the advantage of endorphins which are released every time your body detects stress. Performing multiple situps at once sends these endorphins to your brain, and the response from your brain raises your heart rate and metabolism. This “fight or flight” response from your mind also means that your mental alertness and awareness are peaked.

With that increased heart rate comes higher metabolism and a better ability to burn fat and maintain a healthy body weight. There is also the high level of self-esteem which comes from performing 100 situps without stopping. This impressive physical achievement is rare among human beings to say the least. Additionally, a side benefit that you may not have considered is the desire to push yourself in other ways physically.

You have worked up from 10 consecutive situps to 20, and 50, and finally 100. The boost of energy and self-pride you feel will quickly have you pushing yourself to perform 100 pushups without stopping. Then you will want to run 1.5 miles in under 10 minutes, and bench press 1.5 times your body weight. When you see such an impressive achievement as a reality in your life, suddenly, running a marathon or participating in a triathlon seems well within your grasp.

A body at rest tends to stay at rest, and a body in motion tends to stay in motion. While this is one of Newton’s scientific laws of motion, it applies as well to human beings. Your mind tends to adapt your entire behavior according to your most consistent activities. This means that when you master 100 consecutive situps, you subconsciously program your mind to spend less time sitting and more time standing, less time lounging and more time exercising.

The overall health benefits include a longer and healthier life span, cardiovascular and core strengthening, and healthy weight and fat loss. You also feel great emotionally and mentally when others comment on your new, slim, trim and powerful body, which creates even a greater desire to continue to challenge yourself physically.