Lifestyle Factors Linked to Lower Hypertension Risk
You may not realize this, but according to a new study by the Journal of the American Medical Association, high blood pressure (hypertension) contributes to more excess deaths in women than any other preventable factor. The good news is after followed over 83,000 women for 14 years they found that a healthy diet and exercise lowered the risk of developing hypertension dramatically. What lifestyle factors made the difference?
- A healthy body weight (a BMI below 25) Check your BMI for free here!
- A daily average of 30 minutes of vigorous exercise
- A high intake of fruits, vegetables, nuts and legumes, low-fat dairy products, and whole grains
- A low intake of sodium, sweetened beverages, and red and processed meats
- Modest alcohol intake (no more than 1 drink/day)
- Use of non-narcotic pain relievers less than once per week
- An intake of 400 micrograms of supplemental folic acid
Those women who practiced all of these lifestyle factors had a whopping 80% lower risk of developing hypertension!
If you would like help with making dietary changes to keep you healthy and reduce your risk for chronic diseases, please click here.
How to Store Stone Fruits
We’re getting close to the end of summer so make the most of the season’s stone fruits: apricots, peaches, plums and nectarines. They need to be consumed quickly before they go bad. Did you know stone fruits ripen from the bottom up to the stem? If you store them stem up (bottom down) the bottom of the fruit will get mushy and flat. So store them stem down to maintain freshness. They usually take only 1-2 days at room temperature to ripen. Then place them in the refrigerator for longer storage.
One of my favorite resources for healthy delicious recipes is www.eatingwell.com. Here’s one for a simple, satisfying salad using peppery argula and sweet juicy peaches.
Arugula Salad with Honey-Drizzled Peaches
1/4 cup finely chopped toasted pecans (see Tip)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
Freshly ground pepper to taste
1 4-ounce log goat cheese
6 cups baby arugula (about 4 ounces)
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
4 ripe but firm peaches, halved and pitted
4 tablespoons honey
1. Place pecans in a shallow dish. Season with 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper. Roll goat cheese log in the pecans to coat. Refrigerate the log until firm, if necessary, then cut into 8 rounds.
2. Place arugula in a medium bowl. Add oil, lemon zest and juice and toss to coat; season with the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper.
3. Divide the arugula among 4 shallow bowls. Nestle 2 peach halves into each portion of greens, top each half with a round of pecan-crusted goat cheese and drizzle each salad with 1 tablespoon honey.
NUTRITION INFORMATION: Per serving: 294 calories; 16 g fat (5 g sat, 7 g mono); 13 mg cholesterol; 36 g carbohydrate; 8 g protein; 3 g fiber; 253 mg sodium; 404 mg potassium. Nutrition bonus: Vitamin C (35% daily value), Vitamin A (25% dv).
Tip: To toast chopped pecans, cook in a small dry skillet over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until fragrant and lightly browned, 2 to 4 minutes.