Blood Pressure and Berries, A Winning Combination
It’s 2011 and the causative factors behind high blood pressure are still mystifying to most doctors and patients. Most people don’t know why they have high blood pressure and neither does their doctor. Integrative Medicine has a better shot at understanding the causative factors behind elevated blood pressure in an individual because of the length of time spent at each visit delving into a person’s intricate history, diet and lifestyle.
Even so, many factors have to be ruled out and ruled in to get to the underlying root of each person’s imbalance.
It seems that blood pressure always gets a certain amount of publicity since heart disease remains at the top of the list as the main cause of fatalities in the United States. Often the long-term effects of elevated pressure cause the damage that occurs inside the blood vessels that precipitated the dreaded attack.
This week I came across two studies on foods that have been found to lower high blood pressure.
High Blood pressure (hypertension) is a condition where the top systolic number is greater than 140 and the bottom diastolic number is over 90.
Posted just this week in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in a long-term Meta analysis of over 35,000 subjects with hypertension, those who consistently consumed dark skinned berries, namely blueberries and strawberries had an 8% reduction in risk of hypertension.
Dr. Purcell Note: It has been known for quite some time that dark colored fruits contain some very medicinal compounds within the skin. They are known as flavinoids and more specifically anthocyanins. These amazing compounds help strengthen the walls of weak vasculature, have effects on vascular blood flow & reactivity, and assist with glucose uptakes so fewer plaques are deposited within the walls of the arteries. So go ahead eat your Blueberries!
In another study, consumption of Whey protein was shown to yield a 6-point reduction in both systolic and diastolic blood pressures. High quality whey protein was also shown to reduce LDL “bad” cholesterol. LDL is known as the bad cholesterol because it goes into the vessels and sticks to the walls to repair damage that occurred to the artery. Over time these plaques build up and can cause blockages resulting in a serious cardiac event.
Dr. Purcell Note: Choose High quality filtered whey protein sweetened with stevia. Do NOT opt for artificial sweeteners or cheep milk protein known as casein.
For a heart healthy breakfast of champions:
1 c unsweetened almond milk
1 scoop natural whey protein
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 c fresh or frozen blueberries
3 ice cubes – Blend on high and drink. Ummmmm good