Food for Life – Heart Disease and Blood Pressure, part 2

We are continuing from last month to list lifestyle changes that can help the heart and blood pressure. First we will list food sources which are high in magnesium: nuts, dried beans (especially soy beans and peas), and whole grains. Nuts have the additional advantage of being the best sources of trace minerals, with second place going to whole grains. Although there are rare exceptions, both nuts and whole grains should be part of your diet every day.

4. Last month we mentioned the advisability of a low-fat diet. The easiest way to decrease the quantity of the fat that you eat is to become aware of those foods which are mostly fat, and decrease your intake of these foods. These foods include butter, margarine, oils, shortening, and most types of cheese—anything that feels oily or greasy. The easiest way to increase the quality of the fat that you eat is to get your fat from natural vegetable sources. Vegetable fats in general do not have the harmful effects of animal fats (two exceptions are fat derived from cocoa or chocolate and coconut). Valuable vegetable sources of fat include all types of nuts but especially walnuts, sunflower seeds and flax seeds if you are seeking unsaturated fats; almonds if you are seeking calcium and vitamin E and sesame seeds if you are seeking a high source of calcium. Avocados and especially ripe olives (not “pickled”) in addition to providing a high quality of fat are soothing to the digestive and blood purifying organs.

5. As much as possible avoid chemicals—over-the-counter drugs and medications. Many of these have adverse effects on the heart and circulatory system.

6. Drink water—at least six to eight glasses per day. “If anything is needed to quench thirst, pure water, drank some little time before or after the meal, is all that nature requires. Never take tea, coffee, beer, wine, or any spirituous liquors. Water is the best liquid possible to cleanse the tissues.” Review and Herald, July 29, 1884.

7. At least four times per week you should obtain aerobic exercise . Walking is best. Of course, if you spend a lot of time with a shovel, or hoe, or other type of physical work activity which is continuous for at least 30 minutes you are getting moderate physical activity. Notice how important this is: “The chief if not the only reason why many become invalids is that the blood does not circulate freely, and the changes in the vital fluid, which are necessary to life and health, do not take place. They have not given their bodies exercise nor their lungs food, which is pure, fresh air; therefore it is impossible for the blood to be vitalized, and it pursues its course sluggishly through the system. The more we exercise , the better will be the circulation of the blood. More people die for want of exercise than through over fatigue; very many more rust out than wear out. Those who accustom themselves to proper exercise in the open air will generally have a good and vigorous circulation. We are more dependent upon the air we breathe than upon the food we eat. Men and women, young and old, who desire health, and who would enjoy active life, should remember that they cannot have these without a good circulation. Whatever their business and inclinations, they should make up their minds to exercise in the open air as much as they can. They should feel it a religious duty to overcome the conditions of health which have kept them confined indoors, deprived of exercise in the open air.” Testimonies, vol. 2, 525, 526.

April Recipe:

Tofu Cheese Cake

16 Oz. Tofu

1 Tbsp. Lemon Juice

1 Tbsp. Vanilla

20 Oz. Can Crushed Pineapple

1 Tbsp. Agar Powder

1 Large Banana

1 1/2 Cups Date Rolls or Pieces

Blend thoroughly in your blender and pour in cashew pie crust. Bake a 300 degrees until crust is lightly browned on the sides. May be served with a topping of any seasonal fruit or your choice of berries.

The End