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Wednesday, July 21, 2010

High Blood Pressure/Hypertension

zuc sal 4

Blood pressure is the pressure of blood leaving the heart and entering the arteries, and High Blood Pressure a.k.a Hypertension affects millions of people every year. For most people, heavy salt intake is the culprit. Too much salt in our diets causes for an osmotic situation that is never beneficial for the lining of the arteries. Tearing, due to the pressure, can result in a stroke. This causes for a loss of blood to the brain, and the damage from this event can be permanent. Stroke is also just the beginning of serious ailments that high blood pressure can cause.

An aspect of high blood pressure that is often overlooked though is potassium intake. Potassium is a mineral that aids the kidneys in ridding the body of sodium. In doing so, blood pressure lowers due to less salt in the system. Some studies even show that a potassium rich diet can lower the risk of stroke by a whopping 38%. That being said, supplements are not encouraged as they can cause kidney damage.

So here is a list of potassium rich foods, Dearies!

Potassium Rich Foods:
Baked Potatoes
Fresh Squeezed O.J./Oranges

To make this post a bit more personal. My Cauldron Boy visited the doctor about 5 years ago at the ripe old age of 26 years old. The nurse took his blood pressure as usual, and gasped at Cauldron Boy's pressure saying in her sweet, broken English 'I can't believe you come to doctor for eyes when blood pressure like dat!' She quickly laid him down and ran to get the doctor who said Cauldron Boy's pressure was that of a 45 year old man that just suffered a heart attack. Action was in order, Dearies!

So Cauldron Boy eats the foods listed above daily nowadays and his blood pressure is back in check. Here is a raw zucchini salad I make for him regularly that is very rich in potassium. I must also mention that posting this was inspired by Ms. Pacheco Patty. If I hadn't seen her simple, pretty beet salad looking so good, I might have overlooked even posting a salad or doing a post on high blood pressure. So thanks, Patty!

Easy Raw Zucchini Salad
1 1/2 Cups Grated Zucchini
1 Large Garlic Clove-minced
1 1/2 Tbsp. Red Wine Vinegar
1/2 Tbsp. Olive Oil
Pinch or Two of Sea Salt
Black Pepper

Toss all ingredients together. Lay the zucchini mix over your favorite organic green with whatever other vegetables you like. Then drizzle the rest of your salad with a bit of oil and vinegar too. Enjoy!

Another high potassium dish I recently made for my Cauldron Boy was from the lovely Gloria's Blog, Canela Kitchen Recipes. It is called a 'Papa Rellena'-a baked one at that. Gloria filled hers with meat and vegetable, but I just opted for garlicky spinach-yum! This tasted like a glorified Knish. I only changed the potato outside a bit by using Jilly's Flax Egg, which is an awesome egg alternative for vegans and carnivores alike.

Gloria's original Papa Rellena recipe is here

Other ways to lower blood pressure besides drastically lowering salt and upping potassium are by lowering your consumption of caffeine, alcohol, & cholesterol rich foods. De-stressing can help too, Dearies!


  1. Wow, what a nice mention, thanks, I'm so happy to have inspired you to share your zucchini salad, I love salads like this one! I feel fortunate that for me eating lots of vegetables is a pleasure, I don't feel that a meal is complete without my veggies:-)Thanks Stella!

  2. LOvely Post Stella, and you have reason and I love the zuchini salad, I love saladas and thanks by mention " Papa rellena" yours look awesome and yummy, love the picture, huggs dear, gloria

  3. Hey Stella! I actually never knew you could eat zucchini raw until I started food blogging and seeing people make "zucchini pasta" with their spiralizers. I'm definitely going to have to try yours one day as I love cooked zucchini but have never tried it raw. I also love that you incorporated garlic into this whole mix cause garlic is really good for you as well. Beautiful creation there!

    Gloria's Papa Rellena recipe sounds and looks divine, but being not much of a meat fan, your garlicky spinach is a wonderful alternative for people like me. Your Papa Rellena reminds me of Olive Garden's garlic bread sticks, except yours is round, stuffed with spinach, and isn't even a bread. Ok, so I'm wierd. But wierd or not, it looks super delicious! Thank you for sharing this helpful information about salt and potassium, and these two wonderful recipes. Have yourself a lovely rest of the week with Cauldron Boy!

  4. What a scarey time that must have been for Cauldron Boy! I'm so glad he came out of it, and that he has someone like you to cook for him! :-)

    Thanks for another informative post, Stella. I had no idea potassium was so important. Usually I'll have a weekly banana or 2 and call it a vitamin. :o It's good to have an excuse enjoy more baked potatoes, spinach and cantaloupe. The salad looks vibrant, healthy, and refreshing!

  5. I didn't know about potassium's effect on blood pressure - good to know! My mum has hypertension and I always look out for my salt intake, too. Of course, eating good raw things like that fab zucchini salad will make it much easier :)

  6. I hope Mr. Cauldron boy recognizes how lucky he is to have someone like you in his life helping him be as healthy as possible. You know what? I read once that zucchini has almost no nutritional value. I knew then not to believe it and your post just confirmed. I'm gonna go out and buy some tomorrow! Hey, wait a minute, are you getting some kind of a kick-back from the International Zucchini Organization (IZO)? Oh well, if so, you deserve it! ;-)

  7. I love zucchini raw like this. What a nice salad! Last year I had zucchini growing in my garden and I had way more than I knew what to do with. I miss not having it handy this year. I'll have to go pick some up at Saturday market this weekend. Thanks for the terrific information!

  8. stella, raw salad is so great - healthy and refreshing. Good use of zucchini. Papa Rellena looks so delicious! Back to the salad thing, I feel the same way as Paty's. I'm fortunate to enjoy vegetable raw and cook. For some people, they have to force themselve to eat it. Great info you provided here!

    On another note, about the miso question you asked. I used white miso.

  9. just a quick note, Patty posted this on her FB :)

  10. Great informative post and alongside a very healthy recipe salad.
    Lovely clicks ♥

  11. Stella, thanks for posting this. We don't eat much salt, but we can sometimes still have problems with potassium. This post is perfect for us! LOL, most of the things on your list are things that Dan doesn't like. But I love them! And since it's me that has borderline blood pressure, this is just what I need to see. Thanks!

  12. Thanks for a very informative post.

  13. I have nowhere near high blood pressure but given my love of salt...I have a feeling it's only a matter of time :P

    Thanks for all of these tips and this awesome zucchini salad recipe!

  14. It is said that hypertension is a silent killer; that it is not uncommon for one to be caught unaware by it. Such was my case as well...

    Will definitely be saving this recipe. I love zucchini. This sounds very good!

    Thank you for sharing!

  15. Stellina...I'm pleased to report...I eat everything on your list...what do I get for being such a good little patient? LOL
    My Hubby's family has a history of this pesky heart issue...and for as much as he loves eating...he certainly makes up for it by being at the gym 3 times/week...I'm so envious of his dedication. We do try to eat a very balanced way and that helps a lot. Now, all we need to incorporate in our lives...is a little bit of meditation...but first we need to learn the art of staying still ;o)

    Thanks for sharing all your dedication to continual well being.

    Ciao for now,

  16. Thanks for the information as I suppose it is never to early to start loading up on those potassium rich foods to prevent high blood pressure. Potassium is also a gem to prevent cramping when running or working out in this warm weather. I have been meaning to whip up a raw zucchini salad lately and the health benefits are certainly an incentive.

  17. Fantastic post! I guess I'm going to have to stock up on squash and cantaloupe, as I'm surly not going to be able to shake my salt addition!

    Love the raw zucchini salad

  18. Hypertension doesn't run in my family, but it's still great to see the list of potassium-rich foods. I love learning about the effects of different foods on the body, and you've always got some great information, Stella! And it sounds like Cauldron Boy is so lucky to have you and your culinary talent!

  19. Stella, thank you so much for the info on potassium! I didn't know it was so helpful for hypertension. I have a bunch of zucchini at home that I haven't decided what to do with yet. Thanks for another wonderful recipe.

  20. An excellent post, so much great information :) And I so love this salad!

  21. thanks for this very informative post stella! Even if I'm not mid 20's (yet) I'm really trying to look out for my health these days! I even cut down on alcohol :) I tell you that's a hard thing for me to do! hehe.

    The zucchini salad looks very fresh and tasty :)

  22. The salad looks beautiful! Such a delicious way to deal with a health problem! :)

  23. Wow your salad looks great! I was thinking about making a zucchini salad this week but changed my mind, this makes me wish I didn't. I must make next week!

  24. Hi Stella,
    Mmmm.... love zucchini and never would have thought to eat it raw. So this is definitely a revelation (for me at least ;)). I'm used to zucchini on the grill or in zucchini bread. I'm definitely going to have to give this a shot and of course increase my potassium intake.
    Thanks for the info and lovely recipe. xoxo

  25. Great post Stella. And thank you also for the lists of food that are high in potassium, I really have to have them on hand all the time,as I have difficulty shaking my salt intake.

  26. Hi Stella!
    Thanks for this great post! Mr Artichoke has a tendency to High blood pressure, so I did quite some research on the subject, but I did not know about the potassium issue. I will definitely take it into account and increase our intake of high-potassium food!
    The salad looks delicious! I love raw zucchini!!
    Wishing you a lovely week-end!

  27. You must have had a fright, Stella!
    This is a super post. Info everyone should have.

    I'm so lucky not to have high blood pressure AND another plus: I do not like salt. My father always used to complain I didn't put enough salt in my dishes.

    You've posted a lovely zucchini salad!

  28. I love this little humor sketch of your Cauldron boy's visit to the doctor...and because he's all OK with his blood pressure today, I am allowed to laugh and enjoy it, non? And all these foods are glorious and such a good reminder you're giving us again of how important it is at ALL ages to eat(and live) healthy! and to top it off, you give us a delicious example!
    thanks...will keep it in mind

  29. Way to take care of Cauldron boy :-) hehe so cute

  30. Fabulous post! I suffer from HBP and have gone through 6 different pills to regulate, never eat salt, high in vegetable diet, and couldnt kick it with diet so had to stay on the pills. Amazing how hereditary this is! I am the smallest in the family so it doesnt matter about weight sometimes. Everyone has had it from mom to cousins..etc....I love the info you had here, and if its possible for some to have it caused by the salt then listen to this great advice it can save your life! thank you for this great post loved it!

  31. Cauldron Boy is most fortunate to have you to cook for him. This salad sounds super. I have never eaten zucchinis raw though I have been tempted many times. Now I know I can just pop some in my mouth while chopping them up.

  32. I learn something new everyday. Thanks for sharing your story and your list of potassium rich foods. A good reminder!

  33. Great salad recipe Stella. Adding some feta to this i can imagine will be wonderful. I changed the way I ate 5 years ago and reducing the amount of salt i use. I've come to that realization that too much salt is used in almost everything. One of the reasons I started cooking. Thanks for the list of potassium rich foods, I need to add more of them to my diet !!

  34. Wow! This is a great salad and an impressive story. My family changed the way we ate a while back when my mom reached the same age that her dad had his first heart attack at. Sometimes it takes big things to hit us upside the head I guess. Thanks for sharing :)

  35. Stella
    I never really thought about using potassium to lower blood pressure, I need to add some of thoe to my diet too!
    thanks for all the great info and that recipe...I need to try these with my girls, that beet salad too.

  36. I know about potassium in bananas, but not the other foods in the list. Time to go to the market. Thanks for the info on HBP, because I have it, too. Good to know!

  37. As everyone has already said...what an important and wonderful post. My husband also had problems with high blood pressure, but we've been working on changing his diet, and his pressure has dropped dramatically as a result! The salad looks so light and refreshing, and I will be making it soon for the both of us!

  38. Zucchini salad has definitely won my heart! I love the listed potassium-rich foods, all of them!

  39. Great recipe! and I am glad you managed to get your BF's blood pressure back to normal, at 26 it's quite young to have those kinds of health problems!

  40. Dear Stella - I love your list. Being someone who is raised on ayurveda and practices natural medicine as far as possible...this is right up my alley :)

    And this zook salad is getting made - very soon for moi, no less.

    I love your list and thanks for always reminding the rest of us what we should be eating more of!

    Ciao, Devaki @ weavethousandflavors

  41. YIKES!! On the up side, I love everything on your list. The downer is I love my salt a bit too much I think :P Would you believe I have 5 kinds of salt in my kitchen right now?!? Pink, grey, flaky, sea, and rock. I love bacon too, and ketchup and soy sauce and dashi stock. Yikes yike yikes!!!

    I need two bowls of your salad everyday! Thanks for sharing so much great information. Hope Cauldron Boy never startles another nurse again ;)

  42. Poor Cauldron Boy!! It's a good thing he has you to look after him and make him such lovely food!!

  43. great post, cauldron boy is super lucky to have you looking out for him, super sweet...I love that you added a list of healthy eats, I am super happy we consume all listed, my mom is 62 and she found out last year she hers was high, she quickly changed little things to beetr her pressure she hates to take any medications...hugs
    great recipes!!

  44. I confess I am not a fan of zucchini but I am trying to have more zucchini in my diet definitely. Like today, I am steaming zucchini with salmon. :D ...love your take on fresh refreshing salad.

  45. one of my fav potassium rich foods BANANAS! I can have one every day!

  46. Thank you for this informative post. The salad looks fantastic as well as the bread.

  47. What an alarming event. That would be enough to shock me into altering my diet permanently. This post is a great reminder to avoid an overly salted and sugared diet.

  48. Stella!! So good to hear from you! Would you believe me if I said I was just on your site the other day and then got carried away at looking at recipes :P I meant to leave you a message :-D And I realize this post has beaucoups of them but I love the health tid-bits you like to provide. Very neat. In a nutshell things have been well. I just got a couple of new (baking/cook)books and I cant wait to give something a try. Hope all is well with you!

  49. I wrote a long comment yesterday that I see didn't get posted - as my machine opened up to this today... so - great educational post. THANK YOU.
    Big hugs,
    (still away and writing from a wireless cafe in Bosnia)

  50. This salad sounds wonderful! I love raw zucchini and it is the perfect time of year for it!

  51. My dear Stella,

    What you do is much more important than a prize in photography: helping people live better !!!
    Congratulations, and I feel honoured to count you as a friend!


Please do comment, Dearies!