Food as medicine

D o you have high blood pressure? Ideal blood pressure is 120 over 80. And high blood pressure means you have a blood pressure more than 140 over 90.
By shifting to a whole food plant based diet (WFPH), plus regular walking of 30 minutes to one hour a day and seven to eight hours of sleep in total darkness, a loving and forgiving behavior, you can bring down your blood pressure to normal.
WFPH means your carbohydrate sources will come mainly from eating whole grains like unpolished rice (brown or red or black rice), whole wheat bread and complex carbohydrates (also known as oligocarbohydrates) like boiled sweet potatoes (kamote), cassava, taro or purple yam (ube).
Your fat calories will come from coconut oil, coconut milk and other coconut derivatives, olive oil and fruits like avocado.
For your protein sources, rest assured you can have enough protein to build and repair your muscles and bones, with beans (white, red and black beans), roasted nuts, toasted peanuts, cashew and pili nuts, which are mainly grown in the Philippines.
All foreign sources of nuts are good also, like almond, walnut, pistachio, macademia, hazel nuts.
Other good protein sources are tofu, tokwa, taho and soya milk with a bonus of their isoflavones, a powerful anti-oxidant; lentils like mongo beans, togue or bean sprouts, sweet peas and chick peas; and legumes like sitaw, bataw, patani, sigarilyas, winged beans or string beans. All these are also excellent sources of calcium, magnesium, iron and folic acid.
All fruits are good for high blood pressure. Contrary to popular thinking that sweet fruits contribute to high blood sugar and ergo raise blood pressure also, the latest research of the Food and Nutrition Research Institute of the Department of Science and Technology says that Filipino fruits are low to medium in glycemic index, which is the capacity of a food to raise the blood sugar.
Sweetness, by the way, is measured by the term “brix” and is no way related to glycemic index.
While all fruits are good, there are fruits that are superiorly best for high blood presure. These are papaya, pineapple and bananas. Guyabanos and guavas are next in line.
Philippine berries are exceptionally good, like lipote, bignay, duhat, siniguelas and aratiles.
All vegetables are very good for hypertension. The more vegetables eaten, the faster blood pressure becomes normal.
There are also vegetables that are better than others. Notable are shoots or tops of sweet potato, kangkong, amaranth (/uray), malunggay, leaves of siling labuyo (Capsicum frutescens) and saluyot.
Other very good vegetables are basil, rocket lettuce, rhubarb, argula.
Seeds are also best for high blood pressure. Top of the list are sesame seeds which contain lignan, a most powerful anti-oxidant. Three tablespoons a day of roasted, toasted sesame seeds spread as toppings on every food eaten is sufficient.
Other potent edible seeds are pumpkin/squash seeds and watermelon seeds.
For tea drinks, three cups a day of roselle/hibiscus tea and green tea are the best in lowering blood pressure.
Just as there are excellent food as medicine for hypertension, there are also food that will affect blood pressure in a bad way. These are salt (no more than 3/4 teaspoon a day or 1,500 mg).
Instead of adding more salt, think of all the other spices that can give better flavors and even help in lowering blood pressure like onions, garlic, ginger, turmeric, pepper, tomatoes, calamansi, dayap, celery, chili, parsely or dill.
Other no-no food are milk (because of its growth hormones, casein and galactose), pork, beef, chicken (most animals are fed or injected with hormones, steriods, antibiotics and salt).
So, if you have high blood pressure and you have decided to change your eating habits, have a good daily walk and sleep in darkness for seven to eight hours, be loving and forgiving, in the short time of two weeks to within a month, you will immediately feel the great changes in your blood pressure and over-all health.
Remember – food is your medicine.
(Image from http://www.rochesterclinic.com/lifestyle-medicine)

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