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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 November 11, 2019

How to Improve Memory and Boost Your Brainpower

How to Improve Memory and Boost Your Brainpower

Have you ever noticed that some people are able to effortlessly remember even the most mundane details and quickly comprehend new things? Well, you can too!

To unlock the full potential of your brain, you need to keep it active and acute. Wasting time on your couch watching mindless television shows or scrolling through facebook is not going to help.

Besides getting out flashcards, what can you do to help remember things better and learn new things more quickly? Check out these 10 effective ways on how to improve memory:

1. Exercise and Get Your Body Moving

Exercising doesn’t just exercise the body, it also helps to exercise your brain. Obesity and the myriad of diseases that eventually set in as a result of being overweight can cause serious harm to the brain.

Furthermore, without regular exercise, plaque starts to build up in your arteries, and your blood vessels begin to lose the ability to effectively pump blood. Plaque buildup leads to heart attacks and it also reduces the amount of oxygen and nutrients that your blood carries to your brain. When the nutrients don’t make it there, the brain’s ability to function is compromised.

To prevent this from happening, make sure you get moving every day. Even if it’s just a brisk walk, it’ll help you maintain and increase your mental acuity. Brisk walking, swimming and dancing are all excellent activities. Take a look at these 5 Ways to Find Time for Exercise.

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2. Eliminate Stressors and Seek Help If You’re Depressed

Anything that causes you major stress, like anger or anxiety, will in time begin to eat away the parts of your brain that are responsible for memory. Amongst the most brain-damaging stressors is depression, which is actually often misdiagnosed a a memory problem since one of its primary symptoms is the inability to concentrate.

If you can’t concentrate, then you might feel like you are constantly forgetting things. Depression increases the levels of cortisol in your bloodstream which elevates the cortisol levels in the brain. Doctors have found that increased cortisol diminishes certain areas of the brain, especially the hippocampus which is where short-term memories are stored.

Prolonged depression can thus destroy your brain’s ability to remember anything new. Seek professional help to combat your depression – your brain will thank you.

3. Get a Good Night’s Sleep and Take Naps

Getting a consistent 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night will increase your memory. During sleep, the brain firms up memories of recently acquired information.

Getting enough sleep will help you get through the full spectrum of nocturnal cycles that are essential to optimal brain and body functioning during the waking hours. Taking a nap throughout the day, especially after learning something new, can also help you to retain those memories as well as recharge your brain and keep it sharper longer.

4. Feed Your Brain

Fifty to sixty percent of the brain’s overall weight is pure fat, which is used to insulate its billions of nerve cells. The better insulated a cell is, the faster it can send messages and the quicker you will be thinking.

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This is precisely why parents are advised to feed their young children whole milk and to restrict dieting – their brains’ need fat to grow and work properly. Skimping on fats can be devastating even to the adult brain.

Thus, eating foods that contain a healthy mix of fats is vital for long-term memory. Some excellent food choices include fish (especially anchovies, mackerel and wild salmon) and dark leafy green vegetables. Here’re more brain food choices: 12 Foods that Can Improve Your Brain Power

Deep-fried foods obviously contain fat but their lack of nutritional value is not going to help your brain or your body, so think healthy foods and fats.

5. Eat Breakfast and Make Sure It Includes an Egg

According to Larry McCleary, M.D., author of  The Brain Trust Program, an egg is the ideal breakfast. Eggs contain B vitamins which help nerve cells to burn glucose, antioxidants that protect neurons against damage; and omega-3 fatty acids that keep nerve cells firing at optimal speed.

Other foods to add to your breakfast include fruits, veggies and lean proteins. Avoid trans fats and high fructose corn syrup. Trans fats diminish the brain cells’ ability to communicate with each other and HFCS can actually shrink the brain by damaging cells.

Having a healthy breakfast in the morning has been shown to improve performance throughout the day. If you’re too busy to have a healthy breakfast, this maybe just right for you: 33 Quick And Healthy Breakfasts For Busy Mornings

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6. Write it Down

If there’s something you want to remember, writing it down can help.

It may sound like a no-brainer, but do you really know why? Writing it down creates oxygenated blood flow to areas of your brain that a responsible for your memories and literally exercises those parts of it. Here’s How Writing Things Down Can Change Your Life.

You can start a journal, write yourself emails or even start keeping a blog – all of these activities will help to improve your capacity to remember and memorize information.

7. Listen to Music

Research shows that certain types of music are very helpful in recalling memories. Information that is learned while listening to a particular song or collection can often be recalled by thinking of the song or “playing” it mentally. Songs and music can serve as cues for pulling up particular memories.

8. Visual Concepts

In order to remember things, many people need to visualize the information they are studying.

Pay attention to photographers, charts and other graphics that might appear in your textbook; or if you’re not studying a book, try to pull up a mental image of what it is you are trying to remember. It might also help to draw your own charts or figures, or utilize colors and highlighters to group related ideas in your notes.

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Here, you can learn How to Become a Person Who Can Visualize Results.

9. Teach Someone Else

Reading material out loud has been shown to significantly improve memory of the material. Expanding further upon this idea is the fact that psychologists and educators have found that by having students teach new concepts to others, it helps to enhance understanding and recall.

Teach new concepts and information to a friend or study partner, and you’ll find you remember the information a lot better.

10. Do Crossword Puzzles, Read or Play Cards

Studies have shown that doing crossword puzzles, read or play cards on a daily basis not only keep your brain active but also help to delay memory loss, especially in those who develop dementia.

So pick up the daily newspaper and work on that crossword puzzle, read a book or enjoy a game of solitaire.

Pick one to two of these tips first and start applying them to your everyday life. Very soon you’ll find yourself having better memories and a clearer head!

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Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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