Archive for April, 2012

You have high blood pressure and your doctor wants to put you on medication to bring it down. You hesitate because you know that you will end up taking this medication for the rest of your life. What are your other options?

If you suffer from high blood pressure, also sometimes referred to as hypertension, then finding ways to reduce it naturally can do your body a world of good. It helps to know that high blood pressure (HBP) is a medical condition that can be prevented if you take the proper steps to control it. Finding natural ways to lower your blood pressure is important because when it remains elevated for long periods at a time it can lead to heart attacks, strokes, kidney failure, aneurysms and a decline in cognitive function.

Shed Pounds:

The first thing you must do to lower your high blood pressure naturally is to lose weight if you’re obese or carrying in excess of 50 pounds. Weighing too much is not good for your blood pressure in any way! Eat less, eat healthier and start a regular exercise program.

Patients who suffer from hypertension who start walking briskly for at least 30 minutes a day, preferably at least five times a week (and more if possible) help their heart to work more effectively. This is because the heart does not have to work as hard to pump blood through the body and it uses its oxygen supply more efficiently. Challenge your heart a bit every day and this will help to strengthen it. Of course before starting any exercise program talk to your primary care physician. For a gentle program consider Dr Al Sears PACE Exercise Program – more here.

Natural Health Practices:

Practice deep breathing, yoga, tai chi or meditation. These natural health practices are remedies for high blood pressure because they reduce the level of stress hormones in the body which in turn makes it easier for you to relax. It also helps to learn to breathe from your diaphragm instead of your chest. Inhale as deeply as you can to allow your belly to expand a ball and then let it out. Just feel the tension leave your body. Your blood pressure will thank you for it!

Healthy Diet:

A lower blood pressure diet should include foods that contain plenty of the mineral potassium. As a natural way to lower blood pressure potassium-rich foods such as bananas, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, orange juice, cantaloupe, peas, kidney beans and honeydew melons win top marks.

Potassium can also be found in dried fruits. Examples of these include prunes and raisins. To naturally lower blood pressure you should try to keep your potassium levels around the 2,000 to 4,000 mg mark.

Here is an enjoyable way in which to improve your blood pressure; health- indulge in delectable dark chocolate. Chocolate of the dark variety (not milk chocolate) is composed of a healthy substance called flavanols that keeps the blood vessels strong and elastic. Eat no more than ½ ounce at a time as chocolate is high in saturated fat. Choose a variety that contains approximately 70 percent cocoa or more. This will help lower your blood pressure naturally.


Read Full Post »

Have you ever heard of decompression manipulation therapy? If you have ever visited a chiropractor than you may have and if you have not then it might be an alternative therapy that is unfamiliar to you.

What is it all about and can it help what ails you?

Decompression manipulation therapy is a kind of spinal manipulation that is gentle as well as safe. It does not necessitate drugs of any kind or any form of surgery. It is a therapy used by chiropractors that takes place on a decompression adjustment table. It has been shown to be a safe alternative to having surgery performed on the back for 95 percent of people who suffer from back pain, leg pain or both.

Also known as spinal decompression treatment, this natural therapy method is useful for those who suffer from a pinched nerve or nerves and/or pain in the lower back. This chiropractic treatment is capable of restoring normal motions to the spinal joints. It is also able to improve posture and bodily movements which can help to minimize pain and discomfort. It helps to relieve tension on the spinal nerves and discs by increasing the height of the discs. It also improves the circulation of blood to the discs and joints of the back, thereby improving the flow to the nerves.

Conditions it Helps:

There are certain health conditions that can benefit tremendously from this therapy. If you suffer from any of these conditions you may wish to seek out the decompression method of treatment. These conditions include but are not limited to:

  • Herniated discs
  • Stenosis
  • Sciatica
  • Leg pain
  • Failed back surgical syndromes
  • Inflammation of a nerve

A person interested in being treated as a patient with decompression therapy must first be examined by the chiropractor and a medical history must be taken. A diagnosis must be made and then a course of treatment can be embarked upon. It is important to note however that this therapy will not help every back related condition.

How it Works:

If a person is accepted as a patient for this alternative treatment method they will be instructed to lie face down on the decompression adjustment table. A short wave diathermy unit will then supply heat to the patient’s back. This is used instead of a hot pack because it penetrates much deeper.

The table is able to move in any number of directions. This aids the chiropractor in doing his or her work. The physician will carefully control all of the compression movements and will ensure that movements are administered to the patient in a manner that is slow, mild and as comfortable as possible.

The next stage of the treatment is for inferential electrical current therapy to be applied to the lower back region. This is used for many types of sports injuries and rehabilitative efforts. It is very beneficial for the healing of tissues, nerve repair and circulation.

A decompression manipulation treatment generally takes between 35 to 40 minutes to complete. Following the treatment, the chiropractor will recommend an exercise and strength program for the patient to do at home.

Clinical research has shown that it takes an estimated 12 decompression treatments for the maximum results of the therapy to be seen and felt. It may take up to 30 days before the patient begins to feel better. For those suffering from a torn disc it can take as many as three months for it to completely heal. The chiropractor will be able to let you know how long he or she thinks it will take to show success.


Read Full Post »

The human body needs the proper amount of vitamin C to be healthy. Many of the organs and tissues require it. An example of this would be the skin which needs it for the production of collagen. There are many different types of fruits and vegetables that contain vitamin C but some contain more plentiful amounts than others.

What should you be eating to ensure that you are getting enough vitamin C?

Here’s my short list:

Foods with LOTS of Vitamin C:  

Vitamin C is most plentiful in green peppers, citrus fruits, strawberries, tomatoes, broccoli, turnip greens and other leafy greens, sweet potatoes, white potatoes, cantaloupe, watermelon and cabbage. Getting enough of these foods on a regular basis should adequately provide your body with sufficient amounts of vitamin C.

However these are not the only sources of vitamin C. Other foods that contain vitamin C include grapefruit, lemons, mangos, Brussels sprouts, kale, papayas, spinach, cauliflower, red peppers, pineapples, winter squash, tangerines, watercress, rose hips, blueberries, raspberries, black currants and cranberries. The list is long.

Vitamin C and Iron Absorption:

If you require extra iron then it is wise to take an iron supplement with a vitamin rich food or a vitamin supplement. The reason for this is because vitamin C helps the body to absorb the iron. Do so only under the recommendation of your doctor.  It is worth knowing that one 500 mg vitamin C tablet equals four cantaloupes, seven oranges, 10 cups of pineapple juice, 10 cups of asparagus, and one to one half cups of hot chili peppers.

Citrus Fruits and Juices:

Citrus fruits and juices tend to be the most popular source of vitamin C for most people. In fact citrus juices such as orange juice contain approximately twice the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) in a glass that is eight ounces.

Many people wonder just how much vitamin C is in a container of orange juice? The standard amount of vitamin C in eight ounces of juice ranges from 80 to 160 milligrams. How much is dependent on a number of factors which include the type of oranges that are used to make the juice (the majority of orange juice producers make use of a variety of kinds), how ripe the oranges are, the climate they are grown in, and how the oranges were handled, processed, packaged and stored.

Orange Juice – Which Type is Most Nutritious?

As a general rule, freshly squeezed orange juice has the highest content of vitamin C which is then followed by frozen or canned forms (which can retain their vitamin C content for months at a time), and then there is the chilled cartons and lastly, the mini-boxes that are not refrigerated when they are purchased. Cartons of orange juice that are chilled gradually have a lesser quantity of vitamin C and also have a shorter shelf life.

If you do buy a chilled carton of orange juice, always make note of the date of the product, which should show the last day it can be safety sold (the expiration date). This date is approximately 27 days after the product was packaged. If the date on the juice is either close or has passed then there will be a reduction of vitamin C in the product and taste is likely to be affected as well. Do not buy it.

Storing and Reading Labels:

Juice needs to be stored properly at all times. A carton that requires refrigeration is good for approximately two to four weeks, which are also true of frozen juice that is reconstituted, and canned juice after it has been opened. Freshly squeezed juice tends to be the tastiest and also the most costly. Frozen orange juice comes in at a close second.

Learning to read labels on bottles and cartons is so important. In order for companies to classify something as a juice it must qualify as a juice on a 100 percent basis. However when you see the words, “beverages”, “drinks”, “juice blends”, “punches”, “-ades”, and “juice cocktails” be aware that these items contain little nutritious value and instead contain  high percentages of water and sugar, often in the form of corn syrup.


Read Full Post »

When you do not take in enough vitamin D and calcium through the foods you eat problems with your health can arise. You need both to be healthy and strong. Here we look at some of the health conditions that can develop when you exhibit a deficiency of one or both of these important elements.

While it is called a vitamin, vitamin D is technically a hormone because the body is able to manufacture it due to sun exposure. Therefore in theory human beings should not require vitamin D from the foods they eat as long as they receive enough sunlight. Often known as the “sunshine nutrient” vitamin D is both unique as well as vital to the health of the human body.


Rickets is primarily a disorder found in childhood that involves soft, weak bones. This disease is usually caused by a low intake of calcium and sometimes phosphate. Making sure that a child maintains a healthy quantity of calcium, vitamin D and phosphorus can easily prevent this health condition.

In children who have gastrointestinal and/or other stomach related disorders, a calcium or vitamin D supplement may be in order.


Osteomalacia is a medical condition that is caused by either a lack of vitamin D or the body’s inability to metabolize this vitamin properly. Osteomalacia shows itself in the form of soft bones, weakness in the muscles and pain in bones that is very diffuse. This disease is most commonly felt in the hip area. Bone fractures are also common with individuals who suffer from osteomalacia.

The symptoms of this health problem are directly associated with low amounts of calcium in the body. The symptoms include a heart rhythm that is abnormal in nature, spasms occurring in the hands, feet or both, numbness around the mouth and numbness in the arms and legs.

Often both a bone x-ray as well as a bone biopsy is needed to diagnose osteomalacia.


A low intake of both calcium and vitamin D can contribute to the development of osteoporosis, which tends to be more common in women than in men.

Osteoporosis is defined as the “thinning of bone tissue and loss of bone density over time.” This is especially the case for women going through menopause or for those who are postmenopausal because bone depletion picks up speed as a woman ages. Taking supplements of calcium and vitamin D for high-risk groups is a means of maintaining density of the bones as well as a way to help prevent bone fractures.

Studies have shown that in the case of serious bone fractures of the hips, an extra supply of calcium helps to slow the loss of bone. It is recommended that even those individuals who are presently taking a medication that helps to ward off osteoporosis should also take a calcium and vitamin D supplement on a daily basis.

Calcium is also theorized to have the benefit of improving the level of lipids in the bloodstream that serve to keep the heart in top form and also help to prevent a person from putting on unwanted pounds.

It is important to bear in mind that vitamin D protects against this disease only in conjunction with calcium.


Read Full Post »