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Right Balance Of These Two Nutrients In Your Diet Can Lower Blood Pressure Effectively

Right Balance Of These Two Nutrients In Your Diet Can Lower Blood Pressure Effectively

Heart disease is becoming much more prevalent in today’s society with stressful work lives and lifestyle choices that lead to conditions such as high cholesterol and high blood pressure. Reducing high blood pressure is one of the most important ways to keep our health in check. While exercise and choosing good foods to eat can help to lower our high blood pressure, calcium is one nutrient that plays an important role together with the right amount of magnesium to counteract its calcifying properties.

The Importance Of Calcium In Lowering Blood Pressure

Many past studies [1] led to the discovery that calcium plays a massive role in the process of lowering blood pressure. People who take more than 800mg of calcium each day have a 23 percent decrease in the risk of developing high blood pressure compare to those who consumed less than 400mg a day. Calcium can be taken through supplements and foods such as broccoli, kale, low-fat cheese, sardines and yoghurt.

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However, the high absorption of calcium can lead to calcification and the hardening of the arteries which is why many calcium supplements contain magnesium which helps to facilitate the absorption and discharge of calcium in the body. Up until now, it has been recommended to take calcium and magnesium in a 2:1 ration in order to get the optimal balance and absorption into the body but new research is overthrowing this to a 1:1 recommendation.

Why The Calcium-Magnesium Ratio Should Be 1:1

The key to optimal calcium absorption for lowering high blood pressure as well as other health benefits is to balance the amount of magnesium. Magnesium is critical for our health yet many of us are deficient, with most people’s calcium to magnesium ratio being 5:1 or higher and that’s a major problem over the long term.

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While calcium is needed, it’s calcifying properties need to be counteracted and this is where magnesium plays its part. Magnesium stimulates the hormone calcitonin which draws calcium out of the blood and soft tissues back into the bones, lessening blood pressure that could lead to heart attacks. Magnesium also contributes to muscle contraction and relaxation which is crucial in maintaining an optimal blood pressure.

It’s now thought that the old adage of a 2:1 ratio is not enough magnesium to aid the calcium in the blood and stop it causing detrimental damage.

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How To Get The Right Amounts In Your Diet

As said previously, getting the right levels of magnesium in the body can be fairly hard if we don’t consciously try to incorporate it. While supplements are great for upping our intake, it’s important to try and get our calcium and magnesium through food as much as possible.

Some people do get a bigger advantage from taking supplements such as African-Americans, elderly, pregnant women, menopausal women, people with salt-sensitivity, individuals with a high sodium intake, and those with Type II diabetes.

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Aim to get a magnesium and calcium intake of 700 mg a day from a good diet and a 300 – 400 mg magnesium supplement taken with calcium equalling the same amount.

While foods high in calcium are pretty easy to find, magnesium is a little more tricky but legumes, nuts and seeds are plant-based protein sources that are rich in magnesium. Dark leafy greens, fish, beans, whole grains, avocados and bananas can all add to your magnesium intake and are foods that you can consume alongside calcium-rich foods such as broccoli, kale, low-fat cheese, sardines and yoghurt.

Making sure you include a balanced amount of both nutrients will not only improve your overall health and complete a good counteracting balance, but it will help to keep any high blood pressure issues in check.

Reference

[1] http://www.healthcentral.com/high-blood-pressure/c/63485/69792/blood/

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Jenny Marchal

A passionate writer who loves sharing about positive psychology.

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Last Updated on January 21, 2020

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

    Why You Need a Vision

    Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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    How to Create Your Life Vision

    Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

    What Do You Want?

    The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

    It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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    Some tips to guide you:

    • Remember to ask why you want certain things
    • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
    • Give yourself permission to dream.
    • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
    • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

    Some questions to start your exploration:

    • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
    • What would you like to have more of in your life?
    • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
    • What are your secret passions and dreams?
    • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
    • What do you want your relationships to be like?
    • What qualities would you like to develop?
    • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
    • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
    • What would you most like to accomplish?
    • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

    It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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    What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

    Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

    A few prompts to get you started:

    • What will you have accomplished already?
    • How will you feel about yourself?
    • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
    • What does your ideal day look like?
    • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
    • What would you be doing?
    • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
    • How are you dressed?
    • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
    • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
    • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

    It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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    Plan Backwards

    It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

    • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
    • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
    • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
    • What important actions would you have had to take?
    • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
    • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
    • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
    • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
    • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

    Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

    It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

    Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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