Tag Archives: blood pressure

Viewpoints: Do Blood Pressure Medications Pose a Risk for Mood Disorders?

Studies have noted that depression can raise the risk of heart disease and can also make recovery from cardiovascular diseases more difficult than normal. Similar bodies of past research have also shown that blood pressure medications themselves may increase the risk of depression.

A new report, however, by the American Heart Association found that this does not seem to be the case.

The new study published in the journal titled Hypertension found that not one of the forty-one leading medications used to treat high blood pressure increased risk of depression. And the study even found that nine of the medications might actually lower the risk of depression in patients.

The authors wrote in the study that both results were “highly surprising.”

Research from 2016 noted that blood pressure meds that we call calcium antagonists and those we call beta-blockers might lead to higher risk of hospital admissions for mood disorders.

The same study reported that angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors and angiotensin receptor blockers might be associated with a lower risk for mood disorders.

The authors of the 2016 study wrote that cardiovascular meds, depending on the medication, might lower or heighten the risk of mood disorders. However, the new researcher seems to suggest only the latter is true.


Grilling Meat Can Raise Blood Pressure

Cooking meat at high temps already gives a risk for cancer. Well, now you need to be aware it can raise blood pressure. It is cooking meats, red or white, at high temperatures that causes problems. Also, meats that are well done or charred increase risk. It was found that those with the higher blood pressure had grilled fifteen times per month or about every other day.

To avoid more carcinogens, here are some tips that may help.
Use leaner cuts of meat. Keep chicken refrigerated until ready to grill and cook thoroughly. Marinate in the refrigerator. User lower temperatures instead of a high flame. Keep your grill clean. Precook in the oven. Grill vegetables instead.

Tips to keep blood pressure from getting too high are to limit grilling to two or three times per week. Don’t char your meat. Limit red meat.


Heart-healthy tips for Valentine’s Day

From ConsumerReports.org comes some heart-healthy tips just in time for Valentine’s Day.

  1. Consider a home blood pressure monitor. If you already have high blood pressure, here are some tips to help lower it.
  2. Get the right cholesterol-lowering medication. Here are some tips for keeping your cholesterol in check.
  3. Know your heart age. You can use this online tool.
  4. Recognize a heart attack. Some things to watch for can be found here.
  5. Find a good heart surgeon. This would only apply if you already have heart disease. Best to be ready.

Seasonal Food- Beets

Beets are one of the many root vegetables that are available year-round, making them a great seasonal addition to your winter meals. The best time to buy them, however, is when they are in season June through October. I asked Jody Victor® to tell us more.

Jody Victor®: In-season beets are at their most tender. Look for unblemished bulbs with sturdy, un-wilted greens. Beets with round bottoms are sweeter than flat-bottomed ones.  Besides the usual red beets you can find golden beets and a pink-and-white striped variety. If possible, take your beets home with the greens intact. Beets are loaded with Vitamins A, B1, B6, and C and also with calcium, magnesium, copper, phosphorus, sodium, and iron. Beet greens contain a high content of beta-carotene and a higher content of iron than spinach.  

Beets have been cultivated since the second millennium BC. Beets are believed to have been domesticated somewhere along the Mediterranean and later spread to Babylonia by the 8th century BC and as far as China just fifty years later. Aristotle and Theophrastus made mention of beets in their writings. Beets became commercially important in the 19th century when Germany developed the sugar beet. It was discovered that sucrose could be extracted from the sugar beet, providing an alternative to tropical sugar cane. Beets remain a widely commercial crop for producing table sugar.

The roots and the leaves of the beet have been used in folk medicine to treat a wide variety of ailments. Ancient Romans used beetroot for fevers and constipation. Hippocrates used beet leaves to bind wounds. Beetroot juice has been used to improve performance in athletes due to its high concentration of nitrites. The pigment molecule betanin found in beets protects against oxidative stress and has been used for this purpose in Europe for centuries. The many health benefits of simple beet juice recognized today include:

ACIDOSIS The alkalinity of beets is effective in combating acidosis.

ANEMIA Its high iron content regenerates and reactivates red blood cells and supplies fresh    oxygen. The copper in beets helps make the iron more available to your body.

ATHEROSCLEROSIS Beet juice is a powerful solvent for inorganic calcium deposits that cause arteries to harden.

BLOOD PRESSURE Normalizes blood pressure by lowering high blood pressure or elevating low blood pressure.

CANCER An amino acid in beetroot called betaine has significant anti-cancer properties. Especially helpful against colon and stomach cancer.

CONSTIPATION Its cellulose content eases bowel movement. Drinking beet juice regularly helps chronic constipation.

DANDRUFF Mix a little beet vinegar with a small cup of beet juice. Massage into scalp with fingertips. Leave on for one hour, then rinse.

DETOXIFICATION The choline from beet juice detoxifies not only the liver, but also your entire system of excessive alcohol consumption.

GASTRIC ULCER Mix honey with beet juice. Drink 2 to 3 times a week on an empty stomach to speed up the healing process.

GALL BLADDER and KIDNEY AILMENTS Coupled with carrot juice, beet juice has superb cleansing properties that are exceptional in treating these two organs.

GOUT The cleansing properties of beet juice helps greatly with gout.

LIVER or BILE The cleansing properties of beets help aid healing for liver and bile ailments such as jaundice, hepatitis, food poisoning, diarrhea, or vomiting. A squeeze of lime with beet juice heightens the aid.

VARICOSE VEINS Beet juice helps to maintain the elasticity of arteries. Regular consumption helps prevent varicose veins.

One note of caution: All parts of the beet contain oxalic acid. People who have a history of oxalate-containing kidney stones should limit their consumption of beets.

Beetroot can be prepared by boiling, roasting or microwaving. It can be cooked, pickled, and eaten cold as a condiment. It can be peeled, shredded raw, and eaten as a salad. Beet juice is used to stabilize foods with low water content, such as frozen novelties and fruit fillings. Betanins from beetroot are used as food colorants to intensify the color of tomato paste, sauces, jams and jellies, ice cream, sweets, and breakfast cereals.

Roasting is the easiest way to prepare beets mainly because the skins will slip right off. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Cut greens away, leaving about 1/4 inch of stems. Scrub the beets and place in a baking dish or a lidded ovenproof casserole dish. Add 1/4 inch of water. Cover tightly with foil or lid. Place in oven. Roast small beets (3 oz or less) for 30 to 40 minutes; medium beets (4-6 oz) for 40 to 45 minutes; large beets (8+ oz) for 50 to 60 minutes. When done, they are easily pierced with a fork. Remove from oven and cool in baking dish. Cut away ends and slip off the skins. Roasted beets will keep for 5 days in a covered bowl in the refrigerator. It is best not to peel them until you are ready to use them. If boiling the beets, cook for 20 to 30 minutes or until tender. Also if boiling, add a little lemon juice or vinegar to the water to keep the beets from bleeding.  If microwaving, cook the beats with a little water for 8 to 15 minutes. If you’re mixing the beets with other vegetables (EX: in a salad), cook and dress the beets separately and add them last. Their strong coloring will seep into everything otherwise.


ROASTED BEETS WITH FETA                                                                                                              

Peel 4 medium beets and cut into 1/2-inch pieces. Place on a baking sheet and toss with 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper. Roast at 450 degrees, stirring once or twice, until tender (about 35 minutes). Transfer to bowl and toss with 4 chopped scallions and 2 teaspoons wine vinegar. Top with crumbled feta.



20-30 baby carrots

10-12 baby turnips, peeled

8-10 new red potatoes, cut to baby carrot-sized pieces

1-2 large parsnips, peeled and cut diagonally in 1-inch thick slices

1-2 medium onions, halved then quartered

1-2 large beets, peeled cut into thick wedges

1 whole head garlic, separated into cloves

2-3 fresh sprigs of rosemary, sage, or thyme

Salt and pepper to taste

Olive oil                   

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Put all the root vegetables and herb sprigs into a large baking dish. Season with salt and pepper. Drizzle generously with olive oil and toss to coat evenly. Put vegetables in preheated oven and cook until they are tender and golden brown. Stir vegetables occasionally. Serve from baking dish or transfer to a platter to accompany a roast.

All the Best!

Steve Victor




FATS: The Good, The Bad, and The Confusing

For many years the conventional wisdom on dietary fats was that they were all unhealthy. They were considered responsible for all kinds of diseases from cardiovascular disease to diabetes. Now after years of research that conventional wisdom has been modified. I asked Jody Victor® to tell us more.

Jody Victor®: Research has shown that not all fats are created equal. There are good fats, bad fats, not-so-bad fats and very bad fats. Here’s what I found out.


The undisputed fact is that we all need fats. Fats help nutrient absorption, nerve transmission, and cell membrane integrity. Your body needs fat in order to properly absorb and use vitamins A, D, E, K, and beta-carotene. Fat maintains and connects your nervous system, your brain’s communication center, with the rest of your body. Your brain itself is 60 percent fat. Every cell in your body needs fat: nerve cells, eye cells, brain cells, and even heart cells. Fat boosts your immune system and acts as a shield to ward off harmful germs and microbes.


Your body can manufacture most of the fats it needs, including cholesterol, saturated fatty acids, and unsaturated fatty acids. But there are two fatty acids that can not be manufactured in your body and must be o