beauty sleepMany people assume that “beauty sleep” is a myth used to convince children to go to sleep. But a new study suggests there may be something to it.

The study looked at the effect that sleep deprivation has on the way other people perceive your attractiveness.  Study participants were asked to sit for photographs. The photos were identical, except for one thing — some of the participants had had a full night’s sleep the night before, while others had been awake for 31 hours straight.

According to Time Magazine:

“The photos were then shown to a group of 65 different people, who, knowing nothing about how tired the people in the photos were, rated their attractiveness. The observers rated the sleep-deprived as less healthy looking, less fetching and, obviously, more tired-looking.”

Sources:

Dr. Mercola’s Comments:

Taking the time each and every night to get your “beauty sleep” may in fact make you more attractive. And this isn’t surprising when you consider that optimal health and beauty are side effects of an overall healthy lifestyle, which must include adequate, high-quality sleep.

How Much Does Lack of Sleep Impact Your Appearance?

A good night’s sleep may be one of the best-kept beauty secrets out there.

This reality was recently proven by John Axelsson of the Karolinska Institute, who took identically staged photos of 23 people. All of the participants had natural hairstyles, relaxed facial expressions and no makeup. The lighting for the sessions were the same, as was the subject’s distance from the camera.

The only difference was the amount of sleep the people had received the night before; one group got a full night’s sleep, the other slept just five hours after being awake for 31 hours straight.

When the photos were shown to a separate group of people, wouldn’t you know it . they rated the sleep-deprived group as less healthy, less attractive and more tired.

Chances are you have noticed this phenomenon yourself on more than a few occasions just by looking in the mirror. After a night of not enough or poor sleep you’re likely to wake up with dark circles under your eyes, sallow skin and a general look of being worn out and unrested.

Sleep is Essential for Your Body to Function

It’s no wonder that your appearance suffers when you lose sleep, as it’s an indicator of what is going on within your body as well.

Everybody loses sleep here and there, and your body can adjust for temporary shortcomings. But if you develop a chronic pattern of sleeping too little, then you’re increasing your risk of a number of health conditions, including:

  • Heart disease
  • Autoimmune diseases
  • Arthritis
  • Neurodegenerative diseases
  • Cancer

Sleep deprivation also ages you. Lack of sleep interferes with metabolism and hormone production in a way that is similar to the effects of aging and the early stages of diabetes. Chronic sleep loss may speed the onset or increase the severity of age-related conditions such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity and memory loss.

Too little sleep can even wreak havoc on your weight. Losing sleep raises levels of two hormones linked with appetite and eating behavior. Sleep deprivation reduces leptin, a hormone that tells your brain you’re satiated, and increases ghrelin, a hormone that triggers hunger.

No doubt about it, a sleep deficit can have serious, far-reaching effects on your health – and bags under your eyes are the least of it. Other effects include:

  • A single night of sleeping only four to six hours can impact your ability to think clearly the next day.
  • Good sleepers and poor sleepers experience about the same number of daily minor stressful events, but good sleepers are less disturbed by them. Poor sleepers experience life events as being more negative than do those who sleep well.
  • Sleep deprivation can cause changes in your brain activity similar to those experienced by people with psychiatric disorders.
  • Sleep deprivation puts your body into a pre-diabetic state, and makes you feel hungry, even if you’ve already eaten.
  • Interrupted sleep can dramatically weaken your immune system
  • Tumors grow two to three times faster in laboratory animals with severe sleep dysfunctions.

If you are having trouble falling asleep, staying asleep or otherwise getting a restful night’s sleep, be sure to read through my top 33 tips for optimal sleep.

Beauty is More Than Skin Deep

Your outward appearance typically reflects your health on the inside on both a physical and emotional level.

For instance, research shows that people who have been through the stress of a divorce look nearly two years older than their married, single or even widowed twin. Those who use antidepressants also appear significantly older. The researchers attributed this to the drugs causing continued relaxation of the facial muscles, which led to sagging, but it could also be that those taking antidepressants were under some type of psychological stress.

This is why releasing negative emotions with the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), which balances your energy and improves your body and mind’s stress response, can actually improve your outward beauty along with your emotional health.

Likewise, eating a largely unhealthy diet of processed foods causes an accumulation of free radicals, or cell-damaging substances, in your body. Naturally, this type of cellular damage is most visible on your face, in the form of wrinkles, bags, droopy eyelids and loss of skin elasticity and glow.

So along with getting your beauty sleep, one way to decrease the speed at which signs of your real age show up is by consuming large amounts of whole, unprocessed, healthy raw foods that are loaded with antioxidants. If you’re still young, you will be less likely to develop wrinkles and other signs of age in the first place if you take a proactive, healthy approach now.

Another key to maintaining a youthful appearance and brighter, clearer skin is regular exercise. And, if you shift away from regular aerobics and use Peak 8 exercises instead, you will have a powerful way to naturally increase your growth hormone and radically reduce your aging rate. This will also be enormously beneficial in helping you sleep better. Just make sure you don’t exercise right before you go to bed.

Interestingly, sleep deprivation prematurely ages you by interfering with your growth hormone production, which is normally released by your pituitary gland during deep sleep and also during certain types of exercise, such as the Peak Fitness Technique. Growth hormone helps you look and feel younger.

So good food, regular exercise, stress relief and, of course, beauty sleep all go hand-in-hand when it comes to giving you that youthful healthy glow you’re after.

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omega-3 capsulesA clinical study in children with ADHD showed that they significantly improved both their clinical scores and identified EEG patterns when their diets were supplemented with krill oil for a period of 13 weeks.

The EEG patterns of the study participants were compared to a database of more than 400 children with an established ADHD diagnosis, providing ample comparative data.

Dr. Hogne Wik said, “This is an important observation identifying positive effects on the central nervous system (CNS) after supplementation of krill oil in humans. For the first time objective EEG-measurements — before and after a 90 day intervention period with krill oil-have confirmed observed improvements in a clinical CNS condition.”

NPI Center reports:

“… Krill is a pure, natural source of the health-promoting EPA & DHA omega-3 essential fatty acids and the naturally occurring antioxidant astaxanthin.”

Sources:

Dr. Mercola’s Comments:

I first started hearing about the benefits of krill oil — a high-quality source of animal-based omega-3 fats – for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) back in 2006.

The following year, in 2007, a clinical study examining the effects of krill oil on adults diagnosed with ADHD also showed positive results. In that study, patients improved their ability to concentrate by an average of over 60 percent after taking a daily 500mg dose of krill oil for six months.

They also reported a 50 percent improvement in planning skills, and close to 49 percent improvement in social skills.

These latest findings, which involve children and teens with ADHD, have not yet been published, but the results are again very promising. Additional clinical follow-up studies are also planned, to further investigate the beneficial impact of krill oil on attention deficit disorder (ADD) and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

This is all great news!

Granted, of the 4.5 million American children who have been diagnosed with ADHD, an estimated 20 percent have likely been misdiagnosed, but an enormous amount of children do have neurological problems – the exact cause of which has yet to be teased out by science.

Diet and Brain Health

Unfortunately, the conventional drug treatments most often employed can do far more harm than good. Safe, effective treatment options are sorely needed for the millions of children and adults stricken with ADHD.

I’ve repeatedly said that one of the key factors to effectively treat ADHD is nutrition, and healthful omega-3 fats are a MAJOR component of a brain-healthy diet.

We know the food choices of most people today are incredibly poor, and you simply cannot expect a child to have normal behavior if he is fed refined grains, sugars, processed foods loaded with chemicals and genetically engineered ingredients, and juices and sodas instead of pure water.

Our modern diet also contains an overabundance of highly processed, damaged omega-6 fats while being deficient in omega-3’s.

Not only are processed omega-6 fats harmful in and of themselves, but making matters even worse, they also interfere with your body’s attempt to utilize the tiny amount of omega-3 fats that it gets.

When you add all these dietary factors together, neurological and behavioral issues are not far behind…

You simply cannot have a healthy functioning brain when the proper ingredients to develop or maintain a healthy brain are not provided, and animal-based omega-3 fats are essential for a well-functioning brain.

Krill Oil Benefits Those with ADD/ADHD

Certainly, we already know omega-3 fats are essential for proper brain function and as I mentioned earlier, krill oil, specifically, has now been shown effective for both children and adults with ADHD.

Previous research using fish oil has also confirmed that animal-based omega-3 fat can improve the symptoms of ADHD more effectively than drugs like Ritalin

vitamin b12 for Alzheimer's diseasePeople who consume foods rich in vitamin B12 could be at lower risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.

Researchers analyzed blood samples from more than 270 individuals who showed no evidence of dementia. They tested for levels of vitamin B12 and for levels of homocysteine, an amino acid that has been linked to an increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease, and then tracked the study participants for seven years.

Each unit increase in vitamin B12 reduced the risk of developing Alzheimer’s by 2 percent.

According to CNN:

“The relationship between vitamin B12 and Alzheimer’s risk is ‘complex’ … B12 levels, particularly holotranscobalamin levels, likely play a contributory role.”

Sources:

Dr. Mercola’s Comments:

You may not realize it but we are clearly in the middle of an Alzheimer’s epidemic. According to the Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures report for 2009, 5.3 million people in the U. S. have the disease, and it has become the sixth leading cause of death in this country.

In the next 20 years it is projected that Alzheimer’s will affect one in four Americans. If that turns out to be true, it would then be more prevalent than obesity and diabetes is today!

Can you imagine? The social and economic ramifications of this would be mindboggling. There’s no doubt we must start paying careful attention to this issue now in order to reverse the trend.

Mild cognitive impairment (MCI) is frequently the prelude to Alzheimer’s. MCI currently affects around 16 percent of people over the age of 70, worldwide, and about half of all people diagnosed with MCI deteriorate into Alzheimer’s disease within five years.

Whereas MCI typically does not interfere with daily life, Alzheimer’s is a different story altogether. It’s a ‘mind-wasting’ disease that can shatter entire families. Worse yet, there are very few treatments and there is no known cure.The primary treatment strategy currently employed by conventional medicine is drugs. Unfortunately, drugs such as Aricept, Exelon and Reminyl, may do more harm than good. This class of drugs is known to provoke slower heart rates, significantly increasing your chances of getting a permanent pacemaker, as well as increasing your risk of hip fracture.

That leaves you with just one solid solution, and that is to prevent it from happening to you in the first place.

Fortunately, this is within your power. I’m convinced that it is highly unlikely that I will ever develop Alzheimer’s, for example, because my lifestyle prevents it, and I’ll share my best recommendations at the end of this article.

But first, let’s take a look at what researchers have discovered about the importance of B vitamins to help prevent this disease.

Dietary B12 for Optimal Brain Health

According to a small Finnish study recently published in the journal Neurology, people who consume foods rich in B12 may reduce their risk of Alzheimer’s in their later years.

For each unit increase in the marker of vitamin B12 (holotranscobalamin) the risk of developing Alzheimer’s was reduced by 2 percent.

However, I strongly disagree with the dietary advice published by CNN Health, which included fish and fortified cereals.

Fortified cereals are most definitely NOT a good source of dietary B vitamins. They also have inorganic iron added. This is the worst type of iron to use as a supplement and it will raise already elevated iron in those that don’t need it, like most adult men and postmenopausal women. Elevated iron levels will actually increase your risk of Alzheimer’s

Additionally, most fish are today so contaminated, I cannot recommend increasing consumption of fish either. One exception would be sardines, which are high in B12 and small enough to typically be less contaminated, compared to larger fish.

Instead, your ideal dietary sources of B12 vitamins would include:

  • Liver from organic calf
  • Wild caught salmon
  • Organic, grass-fed beef
  • Lamb (which are typically grass-fed even if not specified as organic)
  • Organic, free-range eggs

Vitamin B12 is present in natural form only in animal sources of food, which is one of the reasons I advise against a strict vegetarian or vegan diet. The few plant foods that are sources of B12 are actually B12 analogs. An analog is a substance that blocks the uptake of true B12, so your body’s need for the nutrient actually increases.

There are many well-documented cases of blindness and brain abnormalities in strict vegetarians, resulting from vitamin B12 deficiency.

Results Using Synthetic B Vitamins are Mixed…

I want to mention two additional studies published this year, mainly because they illustrate the mixed results achieved with vitamin B supplements (as opposed to a vitamin B-rich diet).

An Australian study published in September investigated whether or not supplements, as opposed to food, could help older men improve their cognitive function. All the study participants were hypertensive men over the age of 75.

The men received either folic acid along with vitamin B6 and B12, or a placebo for two years. Their cognitive function was evaluated for another eight years thereafter.

In this case, the vitamin supplementation had no impact on cognitive function, and did not reduce the risk of dementia. The authors concluded:

“This study provides Class I evidence that vitamin supplementation with daily doses of 400

website addressAccording to new research, the Internet can help you keep weight off. The study found that the more often people logged on to a specially designed Kaiser Permanente weight loss website, the more likely they were to maintain weight loss.

The authors of the study believed that the website worked as a result of its mixture of accountability and sociability.

Site users were asked log in once a week to enter their weight and the amount of exercise they’d done — and if they didn’t log in regularly, they got an e-mail and then an automated phone call. Users could also chat with other study participants.

Time Magazine reports:

“The study began with 1,600 overweight or obese participants, about 350 of whom lost enough weight … to stay in the trial … Users who had logged on the most regularly — at least once a month for 28 months — had kept off the most weight, an average of 9 lbs. People who used the website the least kept off only 3 lb. on average.”

Sources:

Dr. Mercola’s Comments:

This is a great idea, and Mercola.com will be deploying the Mercola Health Navigator later this year, which should provide the type of weight loss support mentioned in the article.

Whether it was the social support or the accountability of recording weekly weight and exercise logs, the Kaiser Permanente weight loss site worked to help people lose weight, and I’m very hopeful the Mercola Health Navigator will help you to do the same.

Motivation and Support: Two Keys to Weight Loss

Among the major challenges of long-term weight loss are finding the motivation and support to stick with your healthy diet and exercise program. Often there is no better way to find this than by enlisting a good friend who can give you the extra push to head to the gym when you’d rather lie on the couch, or cook yourself a wholesome meal when it’d be easier to run out for fast food.

Preferably, that friend would be one who is trying to lose weight too, who understands exactly what you’re going through — both the ups and the downs.

The problem is, not everyone has access to a supportive friend, much less one who is going through the same challenges you are. That’s what’s so great about the Internet. It gives you access to hundreds of people who are just like you . people who are also committed to getting healthy and achieving their ideal weight . and these people can be among your biggest fans and supporters in your weight loss journey.

The Internet also gives you a non-confrontational place for you to keep a record of your weight loss goals. When you have a forum full of people rooting you on, it makes you want to try harder to succeed. It also provides a spot for you to write down your achievements, making you personally accountable for your success.

With positive sites like the Mercola Health Navigator, you’ll be able to change your time spent on the Internet from time that could potentially sabotage your weight to time that is spent productively supporting your health goals.

The Cornerstones of Virtually Every Weight Loss Program

Internet or no, in order to effectively lose weight you’ll need to move away from the computer at some point and start to make some healthy changes in your life.

It’s not necessarily as simple as just eating a salad and going out for a walk, but the changes are certainly well within most people’s reach if the desire is there. Here are the three tips that everyone who is trying to lose weight should focus on:

  1. Tailor your diet to your nutritional type. These are the foods that are right for your biochemistry, and these are the foods that will push your body toward its ideal weight. (By the way, these foods may be high in fat, high in carbs, heavy on protein or heavy on veggies, it all depends on YOU).
  2. View exercise as a drug. When you’re trying to lose weight, a casual walk here and there is not going to cut it. There are a number of routes you can go here, but ideally, you need to exercise each and every day.

    Fortunately, there’s a highly effective exercise strategy that can dramatically reduce your workout time and maximize your weight loss; it’s called Peak Fitness.

  3. Address your emotional blocks. Tools like the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) are your friend and ally when it comes to losing weight. For some, emotional eating is more complex and an experienced EFT practitioner may be able to help unravel some of your deeper emotional issues.

Avoid Dietary Enemy #1

In addition to the three steps above, if you are overweight or obese it’s important to understand that your number one dietary enemy is fructose.

Avoiding fructose and eating according to your nutritional type is THE one-two diet punch that can finally make a dramatic difference in your weight and health.

The health effects of fructose are now becoming quite well understood, and it is very clear that fructose is the leading culprit for our obesity epidemic.

That includes fructose in the form of high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), other added sugars, and natural fructose found in fruit and fruit juices.

Avoiding fructose means severely limiting or eliminating sodas, sugary drinks, and nearly all processed foods from your diet, as they are loaded with HFCS. Eating a diet based on processed foods is a well-known way to do two things that are nearly guaranteed to make you pack on the pounds:

  1. Interfere with your body’s ability to regulate insulin
  2. Interfere with your body’s ability to regulate leptin

As for fruit, although whole fruits contain synergistic factors that ameliorate much of the detrimental health effects of fructose, if you are overweight or are insulin resistant, you do need to carefully limit your fruit intake as well.

I believe most everyone needs to limit their fructose intake to 25 grams a day, but if you are overweight, diabetic, or have high blood pressure or high cholesterol, you’ll want to limit your fructose intake even further — to 15 grams a day — until your condition normalizes.

In addition, the latest research shows that your uric acid levels can be used as an indicator of fructose toxicity. If you have a level of below 4 for men, or 3.5 for women, you probably are at a very low risk for fructose toxicity and can be more liberal with these limits.

The higher your uric acid though, the more you need to limit or even avoid fructose until your uric acid level normalizes (and most often, if you are overweight your uric acid level will be elevated).

Using the Internet as a Health and Weight Loss Tool

You can, of course, easily spend hours a day frivolously searching the Web, being sedentary and even eating a host of ready-made junk foods along with it. But the Internet also gives you access to an incredible wealth of information previous generations did not have, while giving each of us a platform to share ideas that, collectively, could change the very fabric of the future.

Thanks to the Internet, “tribes” are now everywhere, connecting people with similar interests all across the globe.

Even people on the fringes can find each other and connect to make positive change. This was exactly the case for Nancy Makin, who told TIME she was able to go from 703 pounds down to 170 pounds because of the supportive, and accepting, friends she found online.

We now have nearly 2 million subscribers to this newsletter. All of you are interested in taking control of your health, and many of you are also trying to lose weight.

With the launch of the Mercola Health Navigator later this year, you will soon be able to collectively share your goals, aspirations and knowledge to help each other reach a higher level of health.

It is tribes of likeminded people like you that are not only able to incite change in our world, but also on a highly personal, individual level as well. So I look forward to the health and weight loss goals that will come to fruition for many of you with the launch of this new system, and in the meantime please continue to share your thoughts and successes in the Community Comments section below.

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doctor measuring blood pressurePeople who eat a diet high in fructose are at increased risk of developing high blood pressure, or hypertension. The results of a study suggest that cutting back on foods and beverages containing a lot of fructose might decrease your risk of developing hypertension.

Hypertension is a major risk factor for heart and kidney diseases. An increase in the general consumption of fructose, which is used to sweeten a wide variety of processed foods, has occurred at the same time as a rise in the prevalence of hypertension.

According to Newswise:

“The study involved 4,528 US adults 18 years of age or older with no prior history of hypertension. Study participants answered questions related to their consumption of foods and beverages such as fruit juices, soft drinks, bakery products, and candy.”

Sources:

Dr. Mercola’s Comments:

Today nearly one in three adults suffer from high blood pressure (hypertension), a serious health concern that can cause heart disease and increase your risk of having a stroke. But this was not always the case — not even close.

Hypertension was rare prior to the 20th century. In 1900, only 5 percent of the population had blood pressure of 140/90 or higher. By 1939, that had risen to 10 percent, and today 31 percent of adults are hypertensive.

What has happened in the last several decades to explain this staggering rise?

Fructose became a mainstay of our diets.

Fructose Causes Blood Pressure to Skyrocket

Food and beverage manufacturers began switching their sweeteners from sucrose (table sugar) to corn syrup in the 1970s when they discovered that HFCS was far cheaper to use in their products.

This switch drastically altered the average American diet.

HFCS is now found in every type of processed, pre-packaged food you can think of. In fact, the use of HFCS in the U.S. diet increased 10,673 percent between 1970 and 2005, according to the USDA. It now makes up the number one source of calories in America.

Given the rising rates of both fructose consumption and high blood pressure, researchers jumped in to find out if there’s a link, and low and behold they found one.

In the latest study, which was conducted in part by Dr. Richard Johnson, chief of the division of kidney disease and hypertension at the University of Colorado and one of the leading researchers in this field, it was found that those who consumed 74 grams or more per day of fructose (the amount in 2.5 sugary drinks) had a 77 percent greater risk of having blood pressure levels of 160/100 mmHg.

For comparison, a normal blood pressure reading is below 120/80 mmHg. Consuming 74 grams or more of fructose daily also increased the risk of a 135/85 blood pressure reading by 26 percent, and 140/90 by 30 percent.

This is significant because the average American now consumes 70 grams of fructose EVERY day. This is in contrast to 100 years ago when the average intake was about 15 grams and that was mostly in the form of healthy fruits. So we are consuming 500% more than we did a century back.

I’ve previously interviewed Dr. Johnson about his research into the health dangers of fructose, specifically how fructose causes high blood pressure, obesity, and diabetes, and one of the most important points he brought up was how detrimental fructose is to your uric acid levels.

Fructose Drives up Uric Acid Levels AND Blood Pressure Readings

I would STRONGLY encourage everyone to have their uric acid level checked to find out how sensitive you are to fructose. Let me explain why.

Thanks to Dr. Johnson’s research, we now know that fructose generates uric acid within minutes of ingestion. High levels of uric acid are normally associated with gout, but it has been long known that people with high blood pressure and kidney disease, and people who are overweight, often have elevated uric acid levels.

It was thought this increased uric acid resulted from the disease, but it appears now that it may have been CAUSING it!

Glucose and fructose are different types of simple sugars. After they are separated apart and broken down in your body they are metabolized using completely separate pathways. Glucose is utilized by every cell in your body — in fact, your body was designed to use it for energy.

But fructose breaks down into a variety of waste products that are bad for your body, one of which is uric acid.

Uric acid drives up your blood pressure by inhibiting the nitric oxide in your blood vessels. Nitric oxide helps your vessels maintain their elasticity, so nitric oxide suppression leads to increases in blood pressure.

In fact, 17 out of 17 studies demonstrate that elevated uric acid levels lead to hypertension.

According to the latest research in this area, the safest range of uric acid is between 3 and 5.5 milligrams per deciliter. Dr. Johnson suggests that the ideal uric acid level is probably around 4 mg/dl for men and 3.5 mg/dl for women.

When your uric acid level exceeds about 5.5 mg per dl, you have an increased risk for a host of diseases, including not only hypertension but also:

Dr. Johnson has developed a program to help people optimize their uric acid levels, and the key step in this program is complete elimination of fructose.

My Updated Recommendations for Fructose Consumption

Fructose is found in virtually every processed food out there, including in “healthy” varieties sweetened with agave. It’s also common in sodas and fruit juices, and these should be the first areas you cut back on (processed foods included).

As a standard recommendation, I strongly advise keeping your TOTAL fructose consumption below 25 grams per day.

Fructose is also found naturally in fresh fruits, but these may not be nearly as problematic as fructose from added sugars. One of the reasons for this is because whole fruits contain high amounts of natural antioxidants, as well as other synergistic compounds that may help counter the detrimental effects of fructose.

However, if you are already suffering from high blood pressure or signs of insulin resistance like diabetes, overweight and high cholesterol, you should be particularly careful to limit your fructose, including that from whole fruits, to 15 grams per day or less.

Now, if you have your uric acid level checked and have a level of 4 for men, or 3.5 for women, you probably are at a very low risk for fructose toxicity and can be more liberal with this limit.

The higher your uric acid though, the more you need to limit or even avoid fructose until your uric acid level normalizes.

Fruit Serving Size Grams of Fructose
Limes 1 medium 0
Lemons 1 medium 0.6
Cranberries 1 cup 0.7
Passion fruit 1 medium 0.9
Prune 1 medium 1.2
Apricot 1 medium 1.3
Guava 2 medium 2.2
Date (Deglet Noor style) 1 medium 2.6
Cantaloupe 1/8 of med. melon 2.8
Raspberries 1 cup 3.0
Clementine 1 medium 3.4
Kiwifruit 1 medium 3.4
Blackberries 1 cup 3.5
Star fruit 1 medium 3.6
Cherries, sweet 10 3.8
Strawberries 1 cup 3.8
Cherries, sour 1 cup 4.0
Pineapple 1 slice
(3.5″ x .75″)
4.0
Grapefruit, pink or red 1/2 medium 4.3
Fruit Serving Size Grams of Fructose
Boysenberries 1 cup 4.6
Tangerine/mandarin orange 1 medium 4.8
Nectarine 1 medium 5.4
Peach 1 medium 5.9
Orange (navel) 1 medium 6.1
Papaya 1/2 medium 6.3
Honeydew 1/8 of med. melon 6.7
Banana 1 medium 7.1
Blueberries 1 cup 7.4
Date (Medjool) 1 medium 7.7
Apple (composite) 1 medium 9.5
Persimmon 1 medium 10.6
Watermelon 1/16 med. melon 11.3
Pear 1 medium 11.8
Raisins 1/4 cup 12.3
Grapes, seedless (green or red) 1 cup 12.4
Mango 1/2 medium 16.2
Apricots, dried 1 cup 16.4
Figs, dried 1 cup 23.0

What Else Impacts Your Blood Pressure Levels?

Fructose is emerging as a powerful player in hypertension, so avoiding this pervasive sweetener as much as possible is an important strategy. However, if you have high blood pressure you should take care to avoid all foods that will raise your insulin levels, and this includes sugars and grains. Even whole, organic grains will rapidly break down to sugars, so they too should be avoided. 

If you have high blood pressure (or high cholesterol or obesity), you’ll want to avoid foods like:

  • Breads
  • Pasta
  • Rice
  • Cereal
  • Potatoes

Next, one of the most effective ways to lower your insulin levels and your blood pressure is through exercise. A regular, effective exercise program consisting of aerobics, Peak Fitness exercises, core building and strength training, can go a long way toward reducing your insulin levels and your blood pressure.

The vast majority of people can normalize their blood pressure by implementing these strategies, along with:

  • Reducing your stress – Stress, including unresolved emotional issues, can contribute to hypertension in some people. Prayer, meditation, or the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) are all useful techniques to keep your stress levels under control.
  • Normalizing your vitamin D levels – It has recently become clear that normalizing your vitamin D levels can have a powerful effect on normalizing your blood pressure. Lower vitamin D levels are also unquestionably associated with an increased risk for heart disease.

    Additionally, previous research has revealed that if your blood pressure doesn’t drop notably over night, you run an increased risk of having cardiovascular problems. Here, the connection is also elevated blood sugar (glucose) levels as elevated blood sugars can result in diabetes and other diseases, which increase cardiovascular problems.

    And likewise, vitamin D has been shown to have a positive impact on diabetes, so it’s all linked together.

  • Taking high-quality animal-based omega-3 fats – Omega-3 fats such as krill oil are essential for your heart health and have been found to lower blood pressure. Taking krill oil daily is a simple way to help support your heart health.

These strategies should help to resolve high blood pressure issues for the vast majority of people, however, it’s VITAL that you do go on a medication to lower your blood pressure if your blood pressure is very high!

This is one of the few instances where drugs are necessary, as without it you are putting yourself at serious risk of a stroke, and the brain damage that occurs during a stroke tends to be permanent and irreversible. 

Once the cause of your problem has been addressed using the lifestyle changes above, then you will be able to slowly wean off your medication.

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