Superfood chayote: Why this staple in Jamaica should be a staple on your table

Chayote is a fast-growing, sun-loving, nutritious vegetable that, left untethered, can completely take over a garden, fence or tree in your yard. In fact, that’s what happened to me. I recently found vines of chayotes sprawling across several of my trees! I totally forgot that I had bought one from Whole Foods a few years ago and planted it in my yard. I was able to pick three mature chayotes from the tree to eat -- a little taste of home.

Blood pressure drugs linked to increased falling in patients

If you have high blood pressure, your doctor may have given you a prescription for a blood pressure-lowering medication, called an antihypertensive. Your doctor may have explained some of the side effects to watch for, like lethargy or swelling of the feet and legs, but there may be another side effect you should ask about – falling.

Iyengar yoga: Safe enough for pulmonary hypertension patients to reap big benefits

People turn to yoga for relief from all sorts of ailments – aches and pains, insomnia, headaches, stress and many more. Now, recent research is adding another condition to the list: pulmonary arterial hypertension. Pulmonary arterial hypertension is the medical term for high blood pressure in the arteries of the lungs and right heart.

Your Summer Heart Check-Up: Catch early warning signs before they become serious problems

Summer is a good time to think about heart health. Fresh produce is abundant, providing a bounty of antioxidants. And you can enjoy more time outdoors, soaking up some vitamin D from the sun. Perhaps you're more active, taking advantage of the weather and going for a nice bike ride. Or you just got back from a family vacation, where you finally got that much needed rest and relaxation.

Get your beauty sleep or you may be upping your risk for hypertension, diabetes, premature aging & more

Sleep deficiency and poor sleep quality are widely underestimated as major causes of health problems and mortality. They are not only related to daytime sleepiness, poor memory and decreased ability to concentrate, but to more serious outcomes as well, such as increased car crashes (1.2 million car crashes in the U.S. each year are related to drowsiness), and a multitude of permanent adverse health effects such as increased heart problems, degenerative effects on brain function, premature aging and weight gain. Statistics show that at least 50-70 million people in the U.S. have a sleep disorder. A Gallup poll suggests that as much as 40 percent of Americans get less than the recommended sleep time. Sleep times averaged 7.9 hours in 1942. This number has steadily decreased to 6.8 hours in the 1990s and 2000s.

Be proactive and reduce your risk for congestive heart failure

It’s estimated that there are 5.8 million people in the U.S. who have congestive heart failure, with approximately 1 million hospitalizations as a result each year. Most of the hospitalizations for congestive heart failure tend to be for patients who are 65 or older, but the rate of congestive heart failure hospitalizations for males under 65 has been increasing over the years. With millions of people in the U.S. being affected by this condition, there’s a chance you may be at risk. But you've taken the first proactive step by educating yourself about congestive heart failure.

Avoid Overtreatment and Get an Accurate Blood Pressure Reading!

“Woah! I knew I was a little nervous, but I was not expecting my blood pressure to have increased by that much!” Well, it’s possible it didn’t. You may experience a “white coat effect,” where you get a high reading in the doctor’s office, but outside the office, your blood pressure is totally normal. And sometimes a high blood pressure reading is caused by something as small as the way you are sitting, such as when you cross your legs or need to use the restroom. Believe it or not, all these activities can give you a falsely high reading.

What is metabolic syndrome?

Metabolic syndrome, also called syndrome X, insulin resistance syndrome or dysmetabolic syndrome, is a “cluster of conditions” that increase your risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes (Mayo Clinic). Having just one of the conditions does not mean you have metabolic syndrome; typically, it is defined as having three or more of the five common traits: large waist circumference, high blood pressure, elevated triglycerides, low HDL (“good”) cholesterol and elevated fasting blood sugar.

I spy with my little eye: Clues about your health!

You are visiting a general doctor’s office. You are sitting down and having a brief chat with the doctor. Unexpectedly, your doctor asks if have a particular ailment such as heart, kidney, liver or thyroid disease. This takes you by surprise because you didn't realize the doctor was examining you yet. But perhaps the exam began at your first “hello.” Why? Because doctors can detect clues about your health just by looking at your eyes.

Can probiotics lower your cholesterol?

Probiotics are living microorganisms that, when ingested, offer many potential health benefits. People typically take probiotic supplements for the digestive and immune-boosting benefits. They can also be found in fermented drinks like kombucha or in yogurts. Research continues to show there’s still much to learn about the potential applications of probiotics. One such potential – lowering cholesterol.

Reasons your blood pressure reading may be off

Have you ever been in a situation where your blood pressure reading sounds way higher than you expected? Something seems off, but after multiple measurements, it seems obvious the numbers aren't budging. You go fill a prescription and faithfully take meds for a condition you’re still not entirely convinced you have. But hey – the numbers don’t lie, right? Wrong.

Lowering your blood pressure without pills

Many people believe that even a little variation in blood pressure from the ideal of 120/80 for adults is worrisome. That includes doctors! And recent studies suggest that many people with mild hypertension are treated with drugs, even though such drugs have not been shown to reduce their health risks. But the truth is that there are many things that can cause your blood pressure to briefly run higher, and going straight to medications to bring it down isn’t always warranted.

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