Terre Pruitt's Blog

In the realm of health, wellness, fitness, and the like, or whatever inspires me.

  • I teach Nia, yoga and stretch! SIX group classes a week!

    Nia: Tues and Thurs at 9 am, Fri at 10:15 am

    Yoga: Tues at 10:30 am and Thurs at 6:00 pm

    Stretch: Thurs at 10:15 am

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Posts Tagged ‘heart disease’

Blood Pressure On My Mind

Posted by terrepruitt on May 28, 2018

It is believed that hypertension AKA high blood pressure puts you at risk for heart attack and stroke. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website, whose statistics are from 2015, Heart disease was the number one cause of death in the United States. Stroke was the fifth cause of death. The site does say “The 10 leading causes of death in 2016 remained the same as in 2015”. Although I don’t see any statistics on the break down of the heart disease deaths. How many were from heart conditions that were present at birth? How many were from injury to the heart? What are they considering “heart disease”? I mean, I would think that someone would what the “heart disease” numbers broken down into specific categories. Where is that information? Anyway, for some reason I am thinking about blood pressure. Could be because I was going through my pictures and a came across a picture I took of some information regarding truth and myths about high blood pressure.

It basically said that it is myth to think high blood pressure is normal and not dangerous. Untreated high blood pressure is dangerous. In addition to it possibly leading to heart disease and stroke it could damage the heart and/or kidneys. And according to that it could lead to a loss of vision.

Also . . . and this one is a HUGE common belief that they are labeling a myth, the one where “it runs in my family”. I’ve heard so many people say that it runs in their family so they just accept having it. As if there is nothing they can do about it. There is an actual belief out there that people CAN do something about it whether it is a family thing or not.

Another myth that the picture brings up is that if the symptoms such as nervousness or sweating are not present then there is not high blood pressure. But high blood pressure is nicknamed the silent killer because people can have it and not know. And, again, untreated high blood pressure can be dangerous. It is like your body being under assault all the time.

I just looked at the American Heart Association’s website they adjusted the numbers since I posted Blood Pressure Monitors – It’s All In the Wrist in 2012. They changed the numbers and the categories or what they call the numbers. There is normal, elevated, High Blood Pressure/Hypertension Stage 1, High Blood Pressure/Hypertension Stage 2, and High Blood Pressure/Hypertension Stage 3.

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There are a lot of things that are proven to lower blood pressure. For some people the things that can lower blood pressure are really difficult to do. I know people in high stress jobs or in very stressful situations, might have a difficult time alleviating that stress. It is not as if people can just quit their jobs or completely change their living/life situation. So if life stress is something in your life that you can’t change then perhaps there are things you can do to combat it. Like exercising, going for walks, being outside, having a pet, visiting with friends, doing yoga . . . .doing things that can counter act the stress. Then there are things like losing weight, not everyone with high blood pressure is overweight but many are and if we were able to lose just five pounds sometimes that can help. Also, a change in diet. If there is switch from over processed/fast foods to fresh fruits and vegetables and home cooked meals that can help. Sometimes it can be a domino affect . . . . if someone decides to take up walking and getting outside to help combat the stress they might just lose some fat because of that. And/or a change in the diet might just help the fat come off.

Since the belief is that high blood pressure could cause heart disease and/or a stroke, it seems like along with that the belief is that lower it if it is high can help prevent that.  And who doesn’t want that?

Posted in Misc | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Drink Smart and in Moderation

Posted by terrepruitt on February 20, 2014

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia in the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Zumba, PiYo, Gentle YogaThe various surprising health benefits of wine

For centuries, people have derived pleasure from drinking many different varieties of wine. Whether it’s a sensuously versatile Pinot Noir or a divine Chardonnay, drinking wine in moderate amounts has proven to be one of the more effective ways to unwind, relax and allow the stresses of the day to just slowly fade away into the ether. Various studies have emerged throughout the years espousing the health benefits of drinking a glass or two of high-quality wine.

Experts from the world-renowned Mayo Clinic have stated that there are certain substances in red wine called phytochemicals (specifically, flavonoids and resveratrol) that may help prevent heart disease and failure by performing two critical functions: increasing levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol (also known as the “good” cholesterol) and protecting against artery damage. It is worth noting that both resveratrol and flavonoids are also recognized as antioxidants (not all phytochemicals are antioxidants, though).

Resveratrol, in particular, is markedly more prevalent in red wine than in white wine; after all, red wine is fermented with grape skins for a longer period of time compared to white wine. Additionally, resveratrol has gotten a lot of attention due to possibly playing an important part in maintaining healthy cardiovascular function. Some of the existing research has linked resveratrol to reduced blood vessel damage, prevention of blood clots, and a decreased amount of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol (the “bad” cholesterol). Dr. Eric Crampton, a highly respected University of Canterbury academic, has also opined that based on his interpretation of the current studies available, moderate drinking reduces mortality risk. Furthermore, according to Paul Jaminet of the Perfect Health Diet, animal studies have shown that the harmful effects of alcohol on the liver – fatty liver disease that inevitably leads to a scarred and damaged liver (cirrhosis) – occur only when it is combined with excessive intake of polyunsaturated fats.

Clearly, judicious consumption of red wine not only calms the senses; it’s also a healthful habit in moderation.

Image courtesy of M&S
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This post is a guest post.  The conclusion reached is that of the guest author.  My approach would be more from a “COULD be” healthful.  Many things we eat, drink, and do have the appearance of being healthful, but it always boils down to moderation AND the individual, so to me it is not so clear.

Posted in Misc | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Why, Yes, It is GOOD Fat

Posted by terrepruitt on November 1, 2012

Don’t you just love avocados?  I know so many people who do.  Some people I know could just eat an avocado plain.  Cut it in half, pull it apart, and use a spoon to scoop out the mushy flesh inside.  Ewwww.  Not my thing.  I am not a fan of avocado at all.  I usually get as far as cutting it in half and scoop out a portion, then it starts to get on my hands and under my nails and I am done.  I end up putting it on a dish with a spoon or a knife — depending on the ripeness — and telling my husband he has to deal with it.  I lean towards the idea that they taste like dirt.  But I can’t actually remember the last time I tasted one.  But the idea of it tasting like dirt is stuck in my head.  People are often amazed that I don’t like avocado because most people LOVE them.  They say, “Oh, but you must like guacamole?”  And I don’t.  But there are many smoothie recipes that have avocado in them.  There is also a recipe that came with my blender for tortilla soup recipe that has a bit of avocado in it.  I do like that, but it has a very small bit of avocado.  I think that if you mix avocado with enough other stuff the taste can be disguised.  After looking up nutrient information on them I am going to try to add it to more recipes.  It seems the fat in avocados is unique and has the potential for many health benefits.

According to WH Foods about 85% of an avocado’s calories is from fat.  But as you probably have heard it is a “good” fat.  The properties in the fat contained in avocados have anti-inflammatory benefits.  And you might have heard that more and more research is proving that chronic inflammation in the body is being linked to many illnesses and diseases.

The information I am seeing is that avocados are thought to help lower blood cholesterol levels.   Also since they contain oleic acid it is believed they might help lowering risks of heart disease. These are some of the things that are meant by avocados contain “good” fat.

World’s Healthiest Foods nutrient information on Avocados:

1.00 cup (146.00 grams) = 233.60 calories

fiber 9.78 g   /  39.1% of the DVDance Exercise, Nia, Nia at the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Zumba
vitamin K 30.66 mcg / 38.3% of the DV
folate 118.26 mcg / 29.6% of the DV
vitamin C 14.60 mg / 24.3% of the DV
vitamin B5 2.03 mg /20.3% of the DV
potassium 708.10 mg / 20.2% of the DV
vitamin B6 0.38 mg  /19.0% of the DV

WebMD states:

“Avocados are a good source of fiber, potassium, and vitamins C, K, folate, and B6. Half an avocado has 160 calories, 15 grams of heart-healthy unsaturated fat, and only 2 grams saturated fat. One globe contains more than one-third daily value of vitamin C, and more than half the day’s requirements of vitamin K.”

According to Wiki, avocados originated in Mexico.  Wiki further states “The avocado is a climacteric fruit (the banana is another), which means it matures on the tree, but ripens off the tree.”  I didn’t know that.  I always thought they were picked too soon, but apparently they ripen off the tree.

So do you like avocados?  How do you eat them?  Do you have any recipes that you put them in?

Posted in Food | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

No Need To Soak Your Oats

Posted by terrepruitt on April 3, 2012

All in the quest for something quick and easy to eat before I teach my Nia classes . . . . I am on my sixth oat post.  The last post was about why some people believe we need to soak our oats before eating them. This post is about why some people believe we should not bother soaking our oats before eating them and even a little bit about we should not soak the oats before eating them. 

One of my favorites sites wrote up information from the point of view of “I”, so I am thinking that it is George Mateljan’s point of view since he is the founder of The George Mateljan Foundation for the World’s Healthiest Foods.  He says he doesn’t even consider oats to be particularly high in phytic acid.  Given that the phytic acid is in the outer layers his belief is that cooking reduces the levels of it.  He states that studies have shown that absorption rates of zinc and copper do not get much higher when ALL the phytic acid is removed and in an average kitchen not all of the acid will be removed so soaking is not really contributing that much to the grains nutrition.

I’ve seen articles call phytic acid the “antinutrient”, but in fact it contains antioxidant properties along with a phosphorus (mineral) and inositol (Inositol is a key B vitamin necessary for the metabolism of fat and cholesterol.).  Dr. McDougall stated in one of his newsletters

“It acts as a powerful antioxidant and has been shown to reduce blood sugar, insulin, cholesterol and triglycerides. Phytic acid is linked to a reduction in heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and other chronic diseases in people.” 

The Oxford Food & Fitness Dictionary states:  “There is some evidence that those who regularly eat high fibre diets adapt to the high phytic acid content by secreting an enzyme which can break phytic acid down into inositol and phosphorus.”

And the Wiley Dictionary of Flavors in regards to Phytic Acid states:  “An acid found in grains that would normally block the absorption of calcium in the body. However, phytase is present in most of these grains and allows for the hydrolysis of phytic acid by the body as well, nullifying the effect.”

Everything I’ve read seems to agree that phytic acid can bind with minerals and keep the body from absorbing them.  But nothing states that it happens to ALL of the minerals, nothing states that it happens all the time, and nothing states that it happens in every BODY.  Also some people and research believe that it is a GOOD thing that phytic acid binds to minerals because it helps remove toxins that are in the body.  So it could be that a portion of it DOES keep the body from absorbing minerals but the other portion takes out some bad metals and toxins in the body. 

Another site states a study, from the Journal of Nutrition, showed that phytic acid stimulates the production of phytase in the gut.  Phytase activity increased the absorption of some minerals.

One study states that while this type of activity might interfere with the absorption of minerals it “may protect against the development of colonic carcinoma” when left undigested in the colon.  Research is showing that phytic acid “is the major ingredient responsible for preventing colon cancer and other cancers”.

Many people stated that with a healthy diet there isn’t really a threat of malnutrition from lack of minerals and bone loss because we do eat other foods that supply us with minerals. 

The more I look the more I see the subject being very controversial.  Yet, I see many sources stating why it is not necessarily necessary, it seems the only reference I see stating that it is necessary is Nourishing Traditions. 

My posts are obviously not here to tell you what to do.  They are here to share with you what I have learned, what I have found.  I have found two different sides to the story (well, that is excluding the sides that say we shouldn’t eat grain at all, and the side that says we should eat more grain).

Since it seems as if there are benefits to soaking and benefits to not soaking, I would say soak your oats and see how that works for you.  If you sense that they are more easy to digest and you have the time and forethought to do it, then do it.  Why not?  But if you don’t sense a difference and/or you don’t have the time and forethought, I would think that you would be receiving the mineral binding toxic eliminating benefit.  Basically like EVERYTHING else, it is up to you.  There is always going to be information saying the opposite things, so we need to research it and then do what we think, what we feel, what we sense is best for us.

So, what do you think?  Do you think it is necessary to soak oats?

Posted in Food, Oats | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments »

Broccoli – An Amazing Food

Posted by terrepruitt on June 15, 2010

Broccoli is one of those vegetables that can be eaten raw or cooked.  When eaten raw people sometimes smother it in dip. While that does not take away from the nutrients of the broccoli itself it somewhat might help in defeating the purpose of eating healthy.  But that is fodder for another post.

A common way to cook broccoli is to steam it or boil it. One way to easily steam it is to stand the crowns up like little trees in a dish of shallow water and microwave it for a few seconds.  It depends on how much you want it cooked.  The less cooked better preserves the nutrients.  Boiling it might cook away some of the amazing nutrients that have been attributed to broccoli.

The amazing part of the nutrients of broccoli is that is has so many.  It is high in vitamin C, K, A, and is high in fiber.  It is believed to have anti cancer properties, such as sulforaphane and indoles which are phytonutrients.  This are nutrients found in plants that are thought to be nutrients that might help keep our bodies in check and in balance and not contribute to cancer.

Broccoli has been found to reduce the risk of prostate cancer.

It might not smell pleasant while cooking it or after, but that is the sulfur that you smell.

1 cup of steamed broccoli has:

—over 100% of the Daily Value of vitamins C and K
—45% of the Daily Value of vitamin A
—20% of the Daily Value of dietary fiber
—15% of the Daily Value of potassium
—10% of the Daily Value of magnesium
—almost 10% of the Daily Value of protein and calcium

Broccoli has more vitamin C than an orange and more calcium than a glass of milk.  It really is a wonder vegetable.  Remember frozen CAN be just as good as “fresh”.

Broccoli has been found to help prevent heart disease.

Broccoli.  Are you a fan?  How do you eat yours?

Posted in Food, Vegetables | Tagged: , , , , , | 10 Comments »