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How Drinking Beetroot Juice Daily Can Effectively Lower Blood Pressure

How Drinking Beetroot Juice Daily Can Effectively Lower Blood Pressure

High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is the leading health risk factor in the world. Uncontrolled hypertension can lead to a 70% increase in having a stroke and does not usually have any symptoms, which makes it a silent killer in the repository of ailments. In an evolving era of holistic healing, old discoveries about the health benefits of certain fruits and vegetables are resurfacing. According to a recent research, drinking a single glass of beetroot juice daily has a myriad of benefits, including a significant reduction in blood pressure.

This extensive research, led by Amrita Ahluwalia and her team, focused on the analysis of the effects of beetroot juice on 64 individuals ranging in age from 18 to 85. Some of the participants drank a glass of beetroot juice daily over a period of four weeks and experienced a significant reduction in blood pressure. Considering that beets are a staple at regular grocery stores, it seems the remedy for hypertension might be closer than the doctor’s office.

What is considered healthy blood pressure?

Blood pressure readings are often offered at the drugstore and can also be easily done at a physician’s office or walk-in clinic. The reading has two numbers, which represent your systolic (first, or top, number) and your diastolic (the second number) blood pressures. When your heart beats, it contracts and pushes blood through the arteries to the rest of the body. This force creates pressure on the arteries–this is the systolic blood pressure. The diastolic blood pressure indicated the pressure in the arteries when the heart rests between beats.

Healthy blood pressure is considered to be less than 120 over 80 (120/80).

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What causes high blood pressure?

There are a myriad of reasons why your blood pressure might be elevated. The most common are smoking, poor diet, lack of exercise, weight and stress, advanced age, and genetics. Some causes are more uncontrollable than others. Menopause causes bad cholesterol to creep up, leading to an elevated risk for heart disease. Your risk for high blood pressure also increases with age; the demographics show men over 45 and women over 55 are more at risk. Genetics and family history is another common cause to watch for.

Where the incredible benefits of beets come in.

Beets contain 20 times more nitrates than other vegetables and is loaded with other vitamins, minerals and powerful anti-oxidants. Another study conducted a few years prior in the Nutrition Journal found that those with higher blood pressure were more immediately impacted and experienced more noticeable blood pressure drop. The study notes the beneficial impact of daily consumption of beetroot juice even on those whose “high blood pressure is not controlled by drug treatment.” This finding proves that something as common and natural as beets can be as effective as prescribed medicine in the treatment of hypertension. The sentiment that improving health conditions through healthy eating echoes once more as Professor Ahluwalia states:

“It is hugely beneficial for people to be able to take steps in controlling their blood pressure through non-clinical means such as eating vegetables.”

Addressing high blood pressure through simple nutrition alleviates, and can possibly eliminate, the risk of stringent medication adherence, along with compounding medication costs.

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What else can it do for you?

Other benefits of drinking beetroot juice on a daily basis include an increase in stamina, which improves athletic performance and boosts cardiovascular health, due its high nitrate content. Nitrate is converted to nitrite and a gas called nitric oxide in the body, which increases oxygen flow. Along with lowering high blood pressure, beetroot juice also reduces the risk of dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, stroke, heart attack and other cardiovascular related diseases.

A simple beetroot recipe to help you beat HBP: (serves one person)

1 small to medium beet

1 apple

1 – 2 carrots (can be replaced with grapes for a sweeter taste)

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Optional:

1 lime or lemon (if you’re not too fond of the smell)

1 inch of ginger (peeled)

Kale (because…Kale!)

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Top off with some turmeric for an energy boost. Stir and enjoy!

Featured photo credit: Beets – Beta vulgaris/swong95765 via flickr.com

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Last Updated on October 15, 2018

Why Am I So Tired? 10 Reasons You’re Extremely Tired And How to Fix It

Why Am I So Tired? 10 Reasons You’re Extremely Tired And How to Fix It

“Why am I so tired?” is a question that people ask themselves pretty frequently. Everyone gets tired at one point or another, particularly after something like an illness, a long night up with a sick child, or a busy week at work. When tiredness is persistent, however — when you feel tired as soon as you wake up in morning or when sleep doesn’t seem to help, no matter how much rest you get— it may often indicate a deeper, underlying problem.

While there are a lot of possible reasons for tiredness, here’re some of the most common causes of fatigue:

1. Dehydration

If you want to boost your energy levels, first check whether you are dehydrated. The human brain is 85% water, and needs to maintain this level in order to perform its essential functions.

If you fail to drink enough water, the brain extracts fluids from your blood to compensate for the deficit. As a result, the oxygen levels in your blood drop, reducing the amount of energising oxygen available to your organs and tissues. Fatigue and sleepiness set in rapidly, leaving you more vulnerable to the 2 pm post-lunch crash that many of us experience.

You cannot cure this crash with caffeine – the only long-term, effective solution is to drink hydrating fluids throughout the day.

2. Lack Of Exercise

A workout will surely leave you feeling even more tired, right? Wrong! As counterintuitive as it may sound, physical activities have an energizing effect. Moving your body releases endorphins, increases your heart rate, and boosts your concentration.

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Try to fit in at least 30 minutes of medium-intensity exercise every day. It’s easiest if you can make this part of our everyday routine, either as soon as you wake up or right after work.

3. A Poor Diet

The food you eat has a direct impact on sleep quality and the amount of rest you get every night. For maximum energy, stick to protein, slow-release carbohydrates, and a moderate amount of healthy (unsaturated) fats. The majority of your food should be plant-based, high in fiber, and low in sugar. These choices will prevent blood sugar fluctuations, which can leave you feeling exhausted.

An easy way to make sure you stick to a good diet is through meal preparation. It’s easy to just get take-out when you’re tired after work, but if you have a meal ready for you in the fridge, you’ll be less tempted by pizza or cheese.

Find out more about healthy meal prep here: 10 Meal Planning Apps You Need To Have To Get Healthier Easily

4. Skipping Breakfast

Physician Dr. Nerina Ramlakhan advises that eating breakfast is key to maintaining a good level of energy throughout the day. When you eat breakfast, you are sending calming signals to the areas of the brain responsible for avoiding danger, along with those that instruct the body to conserve as much energy as possible.

Ingesting food signals to your brain that there is enough food available to ensure our survival. This encourages it to stay relaxed, which in turn, promotes restful sleep.

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Some great ideas for a healthy, filling, and make-ahead breakfasts include overnight oats, smoothies, and freezer-friendly breakfast burritos.

Or if meal-prepping isn’t your think, stock up on easy but healthy breakfast foods like multigrain cereal, yogurt, and fruit: 20 Healthy Breakfast Choices That Will Save You Time

5. Poor Quality Of Sleep

We all know that it’s important to wind down a couple of hours before bed. But did you know that it’s what you do throughout the day that promotes good-quality sleep? It’s not just about the number of hours you sleep, but how restful and deep that sleep is.

TO feel rested, try to regulate your everyday routine to make your sleep deeper and better. Get up at a regular time in the morning to ensure that you get regular sunlight.

Eat nutritious foods in moderate amounts, and make sure you stay hydrated. Go to bed at the same time. And before bedtime, avoid screens that can give off harmful blue light and also keep you stimulated when you need to prepare for a restful night.

Read more about how to develop a routine that will get you better sleep: Poor Sleep Quality Comes from All the Things You Do Since Morning

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6. Sleep Apnea (A Person’s Airways Get Blocked off While They Are Asleep)

Sleep apnea is a common sleep disorder where a person’s airways get blocked off while they are asleep, causing their oxygen levels to drop while they are asleep. This often causes people to stop breathing at night and then to jerk themselves awake (this can happen over 30 times an hour).

Because of this, people with sleep apnea can feel short of breath and have low energy levels. Mouthpieces and other devices to aid in breathing as well as the use of a special breathing machine to keep oxygen levels in a safe zone.

If you feel tired all the time and think you might have sleep apnea, consulting with a doctor is important. Do a sleep study, as this can often reveal if there is an underlying problem causing your tiredness — and once a diagnosis is made, treatment to help you get your energy back begins.

7. Depression

Depression is the most common mental health disorder in the United States (and in many other countries of the world as well). It is marked by persistent feelings of sadness or unhappiness but has physical symptoms, too. Apart from fatigue, people may also experience changes in sleeping and eating habits and difficulty concentrating.

Treatment can often center on anti-depressants, counselling and lifestyle changes like stress management to help manage this condition. You can take a look at these 15 Ways To Overcome Depression And Sadness.

Many people also benefit from activities like yoga and meditation, which help regulate both the body and mind.

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8. Hypothyroidism

If a person has hypothyroidism, their thyroid gland does not produce adequate levels of these important hormones— and the result can be a persistent and unrelenting fatigue, even if someone is getting enough sleep. Other common symptoms of this disorder include mood swings, weight gain and feeling cold all the time.

Fortunately, simple blood work can reveal if there is a problem and it can be treated with artificial thyroid hormone pills like Synthroid. Check here for signs of having a thyroid problem. If you suspect that you might have hypothyroidism, talk to your doctor.

9. Anemia

People with anemia are not able to make enough red blood cells to transport oxygen throughout the their bodies. This is often due to a lack of nutrients like iron or B-12 and can be caused by problems such as heavy periods, bleeding in the digestive tract or pregnancy (due to the increased demands of the growing baby).

However, in most cases, this can be resolved with treatments like changes in diet, iron supplements or B-12 shots.

While here are some drinks you can try to relieve symptoms of Anemia, it’s best to do a blood test and consult your doctor in case of any hidden medical conditions.

10. Cancer

While you shouldn’t be freaking out about cancer just because you are tired, it is a fact that fatigue is one of the symptoms of cancer. Other common symptoms can include unexplained weight loss and the presence of palpable lumps or growths. This disease is marked by the abnormal and uncontrolled growth of cells that can do damage to surround tissues and possibly spread to other parts of the body.

Diagnosis is usually by biopsy and treatment often focusses on radiation, chemotherapy or surgery— and generally when a diagnosis is made early, the outcomes for the patient are better.

Featured photo credit: Lily Banse via unsplash.com

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