Do you sometimes feel as if you’re dragging? Are you concerned about the link between rising blood pressure and an elevated risk of cardiovascular disease? If so, you are not alone. A majority of Americans report feeling tired at least once per week. And, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, up to one third of Americans suffer from high blood pressure (hypertension).
Along with sleep and exercise, diet is one of the Three Pillars of health. Diet can significantly impact both energy levels and blood pressure. Diets full of simple carbohydrates, processed foods and excess salt encourage weight gain—and hypertension. Instead, focus on a diverse diet, rich in whole grains, vegetables, greens, nuts, legumes, fruits, and some occasional fish and/or meat.
Substituting whole foods for processed foods means greatly increasing your intake of fiber and natural antioxidants. People who regularly eat these foods enjoy protection against various “lifestyle” diseases.
The Importance of Dietary Nitrates
For heart disease risk reduction, it also helps to eat certain superfoods, such as beets, arugula, and spinach. They’re rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and perhaps best of all; dietary nitrates. These are compounds the body uses to generate nitric oxide (NO). NO directly affects blood pressure by signaling blood vessel muscles to relax, which lowers blood pressure.
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Knowing that a daily dose of Berkeley Life can help support your Nitric Oxide levels means it may also help with:
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- Promoting Nitric Oxide levels*
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Inadequate sleep is among the most obvious culprits behind our national epidemic of weariness. Perhaps less obvious is the link between poor sleep and rising blood pressure. Nevertheless, poor sleep has been associated with a significantly greater risk of hypertension. Of course, hypertension is a major risk factor for heart disease.
Adults require 7 to 9 hours of sleep every 24 hours. Children and teens need even more. Shortchanging sleep negatively affects many aspects of health, including mood, immune system function, reaction times, cognition—and blood pressure.
To ensure restful sleep, and help keep your blood pressure in check, try to improve your “sleep hygiene”. They’re behaviors that help boost sleep quality. Among other recommendations: stick to a schedule; avoid exposure to digital devices (their light is counter-productive); reserve the bedroom solely for sleep, reading, and lovemaking; and keep the bedroom cool and dark.
It seems counter-intuitive, but research shows that people who exercise on a regular basis report feeling more energetic, not less, compared to people who opt to flop on the couch rather than get up and work out. Once you start feeling the energy-boosting benefits of fitness, adopting a regular exercise routine becomes its own reward.
The optimal approach is to combine aerobic and resistance exercise. Aerobic exercise involves anything that gets you moving and your heart pumping. Resistance exercise—weight lifting—can often be done while stationary.
Combining these two forms of exercise yields better results than doing either solely. And keep in mind that sitting too much has been identified as a new independent risk factor for cardiovascular disease.
Don’t Skip Breakfast
Skipping breakfast is a bad idea. Far from helping you curb calories, it sets you up for overeating and weight gain, not loss. It also adversely affects metabolism. And that could leave you feeling fatigued and out-of-sorts. A far better approach is to eat your largest meal of the day first thing in the morning. Have a smaller mid-day meal, and then eat the lightest meal of the day in the evening. And avoid snacking at night.
This approach works with your natural metabolic cycle to boost energy for the day, while discouraging weight gain. In fact, all things being equal, research has shown that people who follow this pattern gain less weight than people who eat a light breakfast and a large dinner. That’s the power of working with—rather than against—your natural biorhythms.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
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