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Thyroid Warrior Podcast

Feb 13, 2020

We know of our blood pressure as being two numbers: Systolic and Diastolic. The first number or the systolic number is going to represent the pressure in your arteries as your blood goes from the heart. The bottom number or the systolic number that bottom number or the diastolic number. That is the pressure in your arteries when your heart rests between beats. 

According to the American Heart Association:

  • Normal is considered 120 over 80
  • Anything above 140 over 90 is considered hypertension. 
  • If you have a value that's between the normal and high ranges it is considered pre hypertension.

Almost 78 million people or one out of three Americans that are currently living with high blood pressure. 

Now, one of the things that you'll also hear is, you shouldn't have a lot of salt. Understand that salt is made up of two compounds, Sodium and Chloride. Sodium is a vital component that we need, but the other thing that you have to consider is that salt is actually made of about 40% sodium and 60% chloride. We can get much of the sodium that we need from the vegetables in our diet (if we consume the appropriate amount). The problem comes when you actually take in too much salt. It will cause you to retain water. Your body responds to that by saying, “Wait a minute, I'm getting too much water. Let me raise the blood pressure of my body so that I can get rid of that extra water retention and salt.”

It then becomes a problem and creates a very vicious cycle. Fun fact: The recommended amount for us to get in terms of sodium is 1500 milligrams, or about three quarters of a teaspoon of salt. We take in an average of 3500 milligrams daily!

So, how do you actually step away from the salt shaker?

  • I actually took away the salt shaker from my table.
  • I stopped, adding salt to my food while I was cooking and opted to lightly add it  at the very end of the cooking process
  • We know that a lot of the processed foods and the junk food that we eat has a high level of sodium. So when you start the process of reducing the amount of processed foods that you consume, naturally your salt intake will go down.

Want another fun fact? Beets have a similar effect to what nitroglycerin would have when you experience chest pain. It works by creating nitric oxide, which relaxes your muscle fibers (particularly those in your heart) and allows for more blood flow. The nitrates found in foods such as beets get converted into nitric oxide and our bodies use it the same way (so cool)!

Eat your antioxidant rich foods, because, again, you want to make sure that you're supporting nitric oxide production in the body. 

Foods that have nitrates:

  • Rhubarb 
  • Cilantro
  • Butter leaf lettuce.
  • Mesclun greens
  • Beet greens/Beets
  • Swiss Chard