I recently went to a Boba tea spot and had an avocado smoothie.  A lot of the items at those places have dairy in them.  I asked if it could be made dairy free and the server said they could put non-dairy creamer in it.  I asked them to check the ingredients and they could not, so I requested that the creamer be left out of my smoothie.

What I was left with was what seemed like some sweetener and about 3 avocados in my smoothie, because it was so thick!  I happened to get my blood pressure checked later that day and noticed it was lower.  Then I remembered that avocados are high in potassium, which may help lower blood pressure.

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This was the third time I noticed eating a larger amount of a food known to be high in potassium to drop blood pressure.  This leads to me to conclude that sometimes when a food is known to be high in a certain nutrient, a small serving of it may not always be enough for everyone to experience the expected beneficial effect.

This coincides with why supplements are given, because they are offered in higher amounts than you may get in 1 serving of food.  To say a certain food is high in a certain nutrient designed to provide a certain benefit may get misinterpreted.  Instead, a larger amount of that food may be what you need to get that benefit.  This potentially highlights another issue with nutrient deficiencies in our food supply.

Nutritional supplements help to provide a benefit without all of the other contents that a certain food may offer, which can be a good thing sometimes.  For instance, some of you may be avoiding too much fat in your diet, and thus eating 3 avocados may not work well for your dietary goals (though plant fats can sometimes get tolerated better than animal fats).  Or maybe you have a slight food sensitivity to avocado, so eating them everyday would cause other aggravations for you.

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The way that most doctors would say to go about consuming more of a certain nutrient is not to eat a large amount of one food with that nutrient, but instead to eat a diet overall high in that nutrient.  This is also a nice approach because then you are consuming a wide variety of other nutrients as well.  There are other nutrients or properties within herbs or foods that may also help to lower blood pressure besides potassium, such as magnesium, being a diuretic, and phthalides which relax artery muscles and increase blood flow.

I am going to combine the best of both worlds by providing you a smoothie with foods and nutrients that may reduce your blood pressure:

  • 1 Avocado – potassium
  • 1 Banana, 2 Oranges, or 4-6 dates – potassium
  • 2 Celery stalks – phthalides
  • 1/4 cup of seaweed – different types of seaweeds have different nutritional profiles, but for some people, seaweed may also lower blood pressure.  Purchase a bag of seaweed that is without salt, oil, or other preservatives.  Examples include nori, dulse, wakame, or kelp.  These can often be found dried in the store (not referring to the seaweed flaky salty oily snacks).  If dried, you would soak it in water until it became soft again (about 5-7 minutes) and then rinse it.  Dried wakame flakes will expand to at least 3-4 times their dried size, so I am referring to 1/4 cup of soaked seaweed.
  • 1-2 inches of Ginger without skin – acts as a natural calcium channel blocker (some blood pressure meds work in this way), helps to dilate blood vessels and lower inflammation
  • Natural sweetener of your choice – I typically suggest stevia.  Sweetening your smoothie with white sugar would likely be counterproductive because it can cause inflammation, which may increase your blood pressure.  This issue is not necessarily just with white sugar though, so choose your sweetener wisely based on what you have found your body tolerates.  2 stalks of celery can be a stronger taste so I tend to add more stevia to a smoothie that includes these.  You may not need as much sweetener if you use dates for the fruit.
  • Water – 4 to 6 ounces

Consider measuring your blood pressure about 45 minutes after eating.

Some of you may want to add something else into this smoothie, like a protein powder.  Hold off on doing that the first few times.

Enjoy!

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Click HERE today today to schedule an appointment if you would like to improve your kidney function, reduce blood pressure or blood sugar, or support your digestive health.

New Year discount: Contact me for 25% off your appointment until Jan 10th!