How’s your blood pressure?

Blood Pressure Cuff

Blood pressure is one of the primary meaurements for health assessment. Although it has no symptoms of its own, high blood pressure is a major risk factor for heart attack, stroke, aneurysms and kidney failure.

What are the numbers?

You most often will see blood pressure numbers written with the systolic number above or before the diastolic number, such as 120/80 mmHg. (The mmHg is millimeters of mercury—the units used to measure blood pressure.) In general, someone has high blood pressure if several measurements of blood pressure show readings of 140 systolic or 90 diastolic or higher.

Systolic blood pressure corresponds to the pressure generated by your heart as it pushes the blood through the blood vessels. Most of the resistance to blood flow (75%) comes from an intermediate blood vessel called an arteriole. Arterioles are very sensitive to adrenaline.  Stress produces adrenaline and stress alone is a common cause of high blood pressure where only the top number is too high.

The bottom number is the diastolic blood pressure. It represents the pressure exerted upon the heart when it is at rest, drawing in blood to pump out to the rest of the body. Toxins in the bloodstream such as fat, sugar, salt, alcohol and nicotine may cause high diastolic blood pressure. The kidneys and lungs are organs that excrete toxins from your body. High levels of toxins elevate diastolic blood pressure and place stress on these delicate organs. This may cause organ failure.

Where both numbers are too high, inflammation in the bloodstream is a common cause. Hardening of the arteries is a common reason why both systolic and diastolic numbers are too high.

Blood pressure doesn’t stay the same all the time. It lowers as you sleep and rises when you wake up. Blood pressure also rises when you’re excited, nervous, or active. If your numbers stay above normal most of the time, you’re at risk for health problems.

Contributing factors

Here are some of the factors that contribute to high blood pressure:

  • age (blood pressure usually increases with age)
  • diet
  • excessive alcohol consumption
  • lack of exercise
  • obesity
  • sleep apnea
  • stress

What should you do?

High blood pressure is a medical emergency. Get medical help immediately.

Once your type of high blood pressure has been diagnosed, there are several things you may do to help bring it under control. Blood pressure tends to rise with age. Following a healthy lifestyle helps some people delay or prevent this rise in blood pressure.

Lifestyle tips

  •  control alcohol intake (no more than 2 drinks per day to a maximum of 9 per week for women, or 14 per week for men)
  • cut down on your salt consumption
  • eat more fruits, vegetables, grains, and fibre
  • get regular physical activity – at least 150 minutes (2 and a half hours) of physical activity per week in sessions of at least 10 minutes
  • lose weight
  • stop smoking

Take charge of your health and enjoy life!

Let’s talk about weight management

First, let’s acknowledge this: weight management is not easy. There are simple steps that you can take. However, it takes motivation, hard work and dedication.

Here are some simple changes that can get you started.
1. Change what you eat. Cutting out, or seriously reducing your intake of red meat can make a major impact on losing weight. Selecting fish and poultry can make a difference as long as they are prepared properly. Watch the sauce selection! Choose herbs and spices that enhance flavor and nutrition without adding calories. Enjoy soup or salad to start. It’ll stave off the hunger pangs and help minimize intake. Replace cake and cookies with fruit.
2. Fruit and vegetables include an abundance of fibers, vitamins and antioxidants. Eat a minimum of five servings of fruits and vegetables every day. Besides curbing your appetite, this keeps your calorie count low.
3. Be diligent about portion sizes. You do not need to finish your restaurant meal and clean off the plate every time. Ask your server for a container to take home the leftover.
4. Eat regular meals. Skipping meals is self-defeating. Eating smaller, more frequent meals is especially helpful in balancing your intake throughout the day. It also keeps your blood sugar level balanced.
5. Packaged and fast foods are often higher in sodium and fat content. Pack a home-cooked lunch to work instead of eating out and you’ll notice the difference.
6. Use moderation. Allow yourself your occasional favorite treat. Just avoid making it a frequent habit. However, totally refraining from rewarding yourself usually results in an early relapse.
7. Become a student of food labels. “Fat-free” does not equal low in calories. Also, “low-sugar” or “low-carb” does not always equal low in fat or calories. So, always pay attention to the nutrition label on the package.
8. Limit your intake of sugar in drinks such as juices, pop, sugar in your coffee or tea. Instead, drink at least 8 glasses of water a day. In addition to providing hydration to your body, it will also help you feel full.
9. Keep track of your food intake. Keeping a food journal helps you watch your eating habits and will enable you to make the required changes.
10. Exercise routinely: Make 30 – 60 minutes of physical activity part of your daily routine. Include weight-bearing exercises at least 2 times a week. This will help burn some of those calories.
11. Enhance the process with a quality supplement.

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Weight Management Supplement

Let’s talk food safety

What can we do to protect the integrity of our food supply? Food contamination and safety concerns are often in the news. That’s a fact of life and the situation will never be perfect. However, there are some preventive measures that we can implement.

Food Hygiene

The five key principles of food hygiene, according to the World Health Organization are:

  1. Prevent contaminating food with pathogens spreading from people, pets, and pests.
  2. Separate raw and cooked foods to prevent contaminating the cooked foods.
  3. Cook foods for the appropriate length of time and at the appropriate temperature to kill pathogens.
  4. Store food at the proper temperature.
  5. Use safe water and raw materials

To complement this, here are 15 tips on making your food safer, from the market to the table.

  1. Consider your source. Eating locally grown food is becoming more popular, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s safer than supermarket produce. Keep yourself informed.
  2. Plan your grocery shopping route. Gather nonperishable items first, fresh or frozen goods last. That strategy minimizes the time that perishable goods sit in your shopping cart instead of in a freezer or refrigerator.
  3. Be selective. Select fresh produce that isn’t bruised or damaged. Check that eggs aren’t cracked. Look for a clean meat or fish counter and a clean salad bar. Don’t buy bulging or dented cans, cracked jars, or jars with loose or bulging lids. If fresh-cut produce (such as half a watermelon or bagged salad mixes) is on your shopping list, choose those that are refrigerated or surrounded by ice.
  4. Pack separately. At the grocery store, bag fresh fruits and vegetables separately from meat, poultry, and seafood products.
  5. Bring a cooler to keep frozen or perishable items if it will take more than an hour to get those items home. Put the groceries in the air-conditioned passenger area of your car instead of putting them in the trunk, which may not have air-conditioning.
  6. Keep your kitchen clean. Wash your cutting boards, countertops, refrigerator, pots, and utensils regularly in hot, soapy water, especially after they’ve been in contact with raw meat, poultry, and seafood.
  7. Check your cutting boards. They shouldn’t have lots of cracks and crevices where bacteria can lurk.
  8. Sanitize. Periodically sanitizing your cutting boards, countertops, and kitchen sink drain with a mixture of one teaspoon of chlorine bleach to one quart of water. Sponges and dishcloths can house bacteria, so wash them weekly in hot water in the washing machine.
  9. Store your food properly. Refrigerate frozen and perishable items as soon as possible. Don’t store foods near household chemicals or cleaning products.
  10. Check the refrigerator and freezer temperature. Set the refrigerator temperature to 40 degrees Fahrenheit, 4 degrees Celsius; set the freezer to zero degrees Fahrenheit, -18 degrees Celsius. Use a refrigerator thermometer to check those temperatures periodically.
  11. Wash your hands. Before you handle food, wash your hands and nails thoroughly with warm running water and soap. Dry hand thoroughly and cover cuts and infections on hands. Repeat after handling produce, meat, poultry, seafood, or eggs.
  12. Wash fruits and vegetables in running water. A small scrub brush may help, but don’t use soap or other detergents to wash produce. What about produce washes? Water is generally the most effective, safest, and cost-effective way to wash produce.
  13. Thaw foods in the refrigerator, not on the countertop. It may take longer, but it’s Cook foods thoroughly. Use a meat thermometer to make sure meat is fully cooked. Never put cooked meats on an unwashed plate or platter that has held raw meat.
  14. Store leftovers safely. Refrigerate leftovers in tight containers as soon as possible and use them within three days. When in doubt, throw it out.
  15. There’s no such thing as a totally eliminating risk. Be aware and keep informed
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Experience wellness,

Dennis Turner

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Why nutritional supplements?

Why do we need nutritional supplements?

I regularly hear statements like, “I can do without supplements. I don’t really need to take them.”

It’s so easy to base the self-evaluation of our health on how we feel. Feeling healthy and perfectly fit does not mean we don’t require supplements.

A number of factors must be considered:

  • Few people today commit themselves to a balanced diet from the recommended food groups.
  • Fast paced lifestyle leads to higher consumption of fast, convenient, and processed foods.
  • Much of our “fresh” foods lose a portion of their nutritional value through
    transportation and storage.
  • Environmental conditions often expose us to harmful toxins.

Nutritional supplements are not a replacement for a proper nutrition. They are a complement to a good diet. Without supplements, deficiencies can easily develop over a period of time. This makes us more vulnerable to illness and reduces our ability to
recover quickly.

What are some basic benefits of supplements in optimizing health and reducing risk of disease?
Here are a few:

  • Antioxidants help get rid of toxins
  • Vitamin A helps your eyes adjust to light changes
  • Vitamin B is the “feel good” vitamin
  • Vitamin C helps avoid colds
  • Vitamin D is essential for utilizing calcium
  • Vitamin E reduces aging, protects the skin and helps healing
  • Calcium helps reduce bone weakness and fractures
  • Chromium is essential for the metabolism of carbohydrates
  • Copper promotes a healthy thyroid
  • Iodine is an essential trace element for normal development
  • Magnesium helps with solving or preventing osteoporosis, heart
    attacks, hypertension, constipation, migraines, leg cramps, kidney stones
  • Potassium is essential to keeping heart, brain, kidney and muscle tissues in good order
  • Selenium may reduce mortality from cancer including lung, colorectal, prostate and skin cancer
  • Zinc helps the proper function of immune system, digestion, control of diabetes, improves stress level, and energy metabolism

Many people choose supplements by price rather than quality. Don’t be disappointed by the results from your supplements. For optimal results, be sure to choose the right supplement.

Experience wellness,

Dennis Turner

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Create a healthy lifestyle

Regardless of who you are, living a healthy lifestyle should be your top priority. After all, you owe it to yourself and those you love. Leading a healthy lifestyle will both improve your quality of life and your longevity.

If you have had poor living habits for a long time, it may be a challenge to get started, but once you get on track it becomes easier. And, it will be definitely worthwhile! So, where should you start?

  1. Develop a positive mental attitude. Being healthy is related to happiness. Associate with positive people and have a positive self image. Smile more!
  2. Make small changes in your daily living. Making a drastic change all at once is self-defeating because it becomes too monumental to maintain. Having an extra glass of water and adding fruit to your cereal are examples of easy ways to start.
  3. Add a little physical activity to each day. Turn off the TV and take a walk, or do some gardening. You can build up to more strenuous exercise later as you condition your body.
  4. Pay attention to the nutritional content when you are grocery shopping. Switch to skim milk or fat-free yogurt.

Take small steps today and enjoy your day. Life is not a dress rehearsal, so make the most of it!

Experience wellness,

Dennis Turner

PS. May I offer you a window of opportunity to discover WHealth?

 

Let’s enjoy those herbs & spices

Featuring Cayenne Pepper

Cayenne pepper has been prized for thousands of years for its healing power.  Folklore from around the world recounts amazing results using cayenne pepper in simple healing and in baffling health problems. But cayenne pepper is not just a healer from ancient history.

Recent clinical studies have been conducted on many of the old-time health applications for this miracle herb. Again and again, the therapeutic value of cayenne pepper has been medically validated.

In a recent letter to the editors of the New England Journal of Medicine, three Italian doctors describe how they were able to reduce patients’ reported dyspepsia symptoms by more than half -  by prescribing red pepper powder. In a study of 30 patients with  functional dyspepsia, half of the participants received a placebo, while the other half took 2.5 grams of red pepper powder each day (divided into capsules taken before each of three meals). Both groups took their respective treatments for five weeks, and rated their symptoms each day on a scale of zero  to three (higher scores indicated more severe symptoms). By the third week, the red pepper group showed a significant advantage over the control group. And by week five, the pepper group’s symptoms had declined 60 percent from their baseline scores – while the control group’s scores had only decreased about half as much. The symptom scores included ratings for pain, a feeling of fullness, nausea, and an overall score. The red pepper powder produced significant gains in all four areas.

Many herbalists believe that Cayenne is the most useful and valuable herb in the herb kingdom, not only for the entire digestive system, but also for the heart and circulatory system. It acts as a catalyst and increases the effectiveness of other herbs when used with them.

Cayenne is a medicinal and nutritional herb.  It is a very high source of Vitamins A and C, has the complete B complexes, and is very rich in organic calcium and potassium, which is one of the reasons it is good for the heart.

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Enjoy salmon this weekend

One 4-ounce serving of cooked salmon contains 168 calories and only 4 grams of fat. Salmon has no carbs and is an excellent source of protein with 28 grams per 4-ounce serving. In addition to being rich in omega-3 fatty acids, salmon is also an excellent source of tryptophan, vitamin D, and selenium. Salmon is a very good source of vitamins B12 and B3. Salmon is also a good source of phosphorus, magnesium and vitamin B6.

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Experience Wellness,

Dennis