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Lower Blood Pressure – How Celery Can Be Used to Lower Blood Pressure

Posted by Lisa Nelson, RD, LN on August 10, 2009

When you think of celery, you probably immediately think “diet” and snacking on carrots and celery instead of the food you really crave!

Well, celery does much more for your heart than simply trimming your waistline. A Chinese study found blood pressure to fall significantly in 14 out of 16 individuals with high blood pressure when they were given celery.

Exactly how celery works to lower blood pressure is not completely understood. Scientists have found celery to contain apigenin. Apigenin is a substance known to help lower high blood pressure. Celery also exhibits properties similar to diuretics and ACE inhibitors, both effective medications to lower blood pressure. Celery has been used to treat a variety of conditions – congestive heart failure, fluid retention, anxiety, insomnia, gout, and diabetes.

Mark Houston, a well-known cardiac physician, recommends eating either 4 celery stalks daily, 8 teaspoons of celery juice 3 times a day, 1000 mg celery seed extract twice a day, or ½ to 1 teaspoon of celery oil 3 times a day in tincture form. I say go with the celery stalks. The cost is low, calories minimal, taste good, and potential benefit great.

The risk of excess celery is almost non-existent, so this is a safe treatment option if you are struggling to lower high blood pressure. However, don’t counteract the benefits by slathering your celery in a high fat dip or dressing. If you need added flavor, opt for a low fat dressing or possibly peanut butter. Peanut butter provides a good source of heart healthy unsaturated fats and protein.

FYI – Non-animal sources of protein, such as beans and soy, promote lower blood pressure levels. Studies have found that individuals who consume 30% higher than average protein intake (such as 1.0 – 1.2 grams per kilogram of body weight) have reduced blood pressures. The average reduction was 3.0 mm Hg reduced systolic blood pressure and 2.5 mm Hg diastolic. So, added bonus to combine peanut butter with your daily celery intake!

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All the best,
Lisa Nelson RD

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How to Lower Cholesterol: Step 2

Posted by Lisa Nelson, RD, LN on March 28, 2009

In the last post I gave you the first step towards lowering cholesterol. Here is the second. Remember, by implementing these basic steps, you’re establishing a solid foundation that will support heart health and increase the effectiveness of medications and supplements.

Step 2: Adopt a heart healthy lifestyle.

This means eating a diet that support heart health and including physical activity as part of your daily routine.

Here are some basic guidelines for a heart healthy diet to lower cholesterol:

  • Saturated fat intake should be limited to less than 7% of your total daily calories.
  • Daily trans fat intake should be less than 1% of your total calorie intake.
  • Cholesterol should be limited to less than 300 mg/day.
  • Eat 25-35 grams of dietary fiber. The needs to include an adequate intake of soluble fiber, which will promote lower LDL levels.
  • Include sources rich in omega 3 fatty acids to your diet. Some benefits of omega 3 fatty acids include lower triglycerides, increased HDL cholesterol, and slower build-up of arterial plaque.

Here are basic guidelines for physical activity to lower cholesterol.

  • Include at least 150 minutes of physical activity each week.

This is the latest recommendation of The Health and Human Services Department. In order to see substantial health benefits, include at least 150 minutes, 2 ½ hours, of moderate-intensity activity each week. If times a factor, you can see the same benefits by bumping up the intensity and being vigorously active 75 minutes (1 hr. 15 min.) each week.

By include regular physical activity you will raise HDL cholesterol and lower triglycerides.

Stay tuned for step 3.

All the best,
Lisa Nelson RD

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