Sunday, July 31, 2011

Taming High Blood Pressure With Veggies

High blood pressure is a known risk factor for cardiovascular disease.  Sodium is thought to increase the likelihood of high blood pressure.  However, potassium, an important mineral found in fruits and vegetables, can offset the negative effect of sodium on high blood pressure and its effect on heart disease.  Higher potassium intake resulted in a lower risk of mortality from heart disease.  Elevated sodium levels had the highest risk of death.

The best way to improve the sodium/potassium ratio is to eat more fruits and vegetables.  The goal should be 4,700 milligrams of potassium daily.  Processed foods are loaded with sodium, so they should be eaten sparingly.  You can substitute the processed foods with foods that are high in potassium like spinach, bananas, potatoes, plain yogurt and prunes.  Avoiding the processed foods and eating vegetables may even result in some weight loss, which is a great side benefit.  Excess weight is also a risk factor for cardiovascular disease.

From an Ayurvedic standpoint, the ratio interplay of sodium and potassium demonstrates how balance allows the body to heal and/or strengthen itself.  A change in diet can significantly benefit heart health without the need to resort to pills with their side effects and expense.  Your Mom always said vegetables were good for you and she was right.

Stay healthy & well,

No comments:

Post a Comment