Foods to Lower High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure, or hypertension, in this country is a growing epidemic. It occurs when the force of blood against the artery walls is too high so that it can lead to heart disease. And if it is ignored it can also lead to stroke, heart attack, kidney failure, and blindness.  An effective way to avoid high blood pressure or to lower you blood pressure without relying on medication is to include these five foods in your diet.

  • Avocado—This nutrient-dense food contains heart-healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals. It’s so versatile too, making it easy to incorporate into your diet! You can add it to salads and smoothies, or make it into dips and salad dressings. From my cookbook, The Goddess of Raw Foods, try the cucumber avocado salad dressing—a refreshing and healthy addition to your salads.
  • Dark Chocolate—Hurray! Dark chocolate is antioxidant-rich, and packed with bioactive phytochemicals called polyphenols that are proven to protect against vascular and heart disease. This is great news for those with a sweet tooth.
  • Blueberries, Raspberries, and Strawberries—These berries contain compounds called anthocyanins that protect against hypertension, and can lower your blood pressure. The Oh So Berry Smoothie from my book is perfect for a vitamin and antioxidant-rich breakfast or as an afternoon snack.
  • Unsalted Sunflower Seeds—These little seeds are jam-packed with magnesium, and make a perfect snack or an addition to salads for heart-health. Make sure you go for unsalted though; salted can be really high in sodium which will have a negative impact on your blood pressure if over-consumed.
  • Oats—A diet rich in fiber and whole grains such as oats has been proven to help keep blood pressure low, and can decrease both systolic and diastolic pressure. For a delicious and healthy start to your day, try my Rawsome Oatmeal and add berries and bananas for an extra boost to your vascular health!

Stay Healthy & Happy!

Pregnancy and The Vegan Diet

There are a lot of minerals, nutrients, and vitamins that are essential for pregnant women to consume to maintain their own health and to produce a healthy baby. Iron, calcium, and protein are extremely important, and while these key items are typically sourced from meat and dairy products, there is a huge range of plant-based foods that offer those vital nutrients and more.

Iron—Iron is important for cardiovascular health, brain development, and the immune system. Therefore the iron intake for a pregnant woman needs to be higher because of the increase in the mother’s blood and the blood for the baby. Some plant-based sources of iron include:

  • Collard greens and other dark leafy greens
  • Chickpeas
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Dried Apricots

From my book, The Goddess of Raw Foods, I have a recipe for collard green burritos which is perfect for an iron-rich meal as in addition to those collard greens, the recipe contains tomatoes and spinach. It’s delicious, and inexpensive and easy to make.

Protein—Protein is the building block to our bodies, and therefore essential to healthy baby growth. Some foods that are an excellent source of protein include:

  • Nuts and seeds
  • Hemp
  • Beans
  • Lentils

Another great recipe the hemp burger. The burger is high in protein thanks to the hemp and sunflower seeds, and is a fabulous and healthy alternative.

Calcium—Calcium is important for strong bones, and even more important during pregnancy for the mother because of the stress put on the body and for healthy growth of the baby’s bones and teeth. Calcium is also essential for healthy muscle development and function.

  • Almond butter and milk
  • Broccoli
  • Oranges
  • Figs and black molasses
  • Kale and leafy greens

In the book, My Apple Butter takes almond butter to a whole new level with flavors of cinnamon and maple. Its decadence makes it deceptively healthy, and as an added bonus is high in calcium.

And considering we are expecting our little one in December, we know that she will be off to a good start with healthy eating habits!

Are you a woman who is pregnant and wants to go vegan or is thinking about more vegan options?  Share with us your story and qustions.

Food Tricks 101

Being a self-learned and self-taught raw foods and vegan chef, I’ve had to learn food tricks on my own in the comfort of my own kitchen.  Over the years, I’ve surprised myself and have come to find among other chefs the common food and kitchen tricks that we share.
1. Nutritional yeast makes everything tastes like cheese so for former cheese lovers, use nutritional yeast on your food.  I make a rawsome vegan macaroni recipe with nutritional yeast using kelp noodles or sliced coconut meat.  Look for the recipe in The Goddess of Raw Foods.  
2. Salt brings out the sweetness in everything.
3. Soaking nuts is not only healthier for you but they absorb flavor better when they are wet.  So soak your nuts and flavor them with a chili lime honey sauce.
4. Never store potatoes and onions together.  The onions give the potatoes eyes.
5. Avocados are very versatile.  You can use them as a butter, in a salad dressing, or in a chocolate pudding.  Check out my mango avocado dressing in The Goddess of Raw Foods.
6. To get the most meat off a pineapple, twist the top spikes off, cut the bottom of the pineapple, and then slice the sides to enter the pineapple from an angle.
7. Peel ginger off with a spoon instead of a knife.  Its easier and safer.
8. Roll your lemons and lime on a counter.  They give you more juice this way.
9. Save your orange, lemon, & lime peels and store them in your freezer.  You can use for a zest, make a  potpourri, or grind them in your dishwasher.  It makes your dishwasher smell like a citrus mist.
10. After juicing, save all the pulp to make soups, or dehydrated pizza crusts, breads, cookies, cakes, or pies.  You can also use them to make broths to sip on during a cleanse or when one is sick.
11. To keep apples from browning soak them in a mixture of cold water and salt or toss them with lemon or lime juice.