Friday, 4 January 2019

Have High Blood Pressure? Don’t Eat This Vegetable.

If there was one little bit of health advice you thought you could count on, it would most certainly be, “Eat your vegetables!” Veggies are certainly an important part of a nourishing diet (they’re loaded with nutrients that are beneficial to health), but they come with caveats, just like everything else.
At least nine different families of fruit and vegetables exist, each with hundreds of different plant compounds that affect the body in unique ways. This is a good thing (eating a varied diet means you’ll be more likely to give your body the mix of nutrients it needs) — that is, until disease comes into play. 
Cardiovascular disease — which affects tens of millions of Americans each year — is highly affected by diet. Green leafy vegetables like spinach and Swiss chard are strongly associated with decreased risk of heart disease and individuals who eat more than 5 servings of fruits and vegetables each day have a roughly 20 percent lower risk of high blood pressure, coronary heart disease and stroke than those who eat less.
However, for those who already have high blood pressure, the same plant compounds that help maintain balance in a healthy person’s body can have adverse effects. One of the greatest offenders? Beets.

Beets are rich in nitric oxide, which can help open your blood vessels and lower blood pressure — usually in a matter of hours. For those who don’t have heart disease, beet juice improves blood flow to one’s organs and muscles, making exercise easier and enhancing physical ability. So what’s the catch? It has to do with medication.
If you have high blood pressure and are taking high blood pressure medications like nitroglycerin, other nitrate preparations or phosphodiesterase type 5 inhibitors (which are often found in erectile dysfunction medications) alongside a beet-rich diet, you could experience an unsafe drop in blood pressure.
What should you do? Proceed with caution and set an appointment with a dietitian. They’ll be able to help you define a healthy diet that is appropriate for your individual needs. Remember: we are what we eat!

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