High blood pressure is a problem for millions of people worldwide.
Keeping your blood pressure low reduces your risk of heart disease, heart attack and even stroke. A healthy diet, exercise are some of the keys to lower blood pressure. Limiting fat in your diet, reducing salt intake and adding Soy to your diet can also help.
As the heart pumps blood, the blood exerts a force against the blood vessel walls. The amount of force the blood places against the arteries is measured through taking your blood pressure. Blood pressure is recorded as a fraction and the top or systolic number, represents the force created as the heart contracts. The bottom or diastolic number represents the heart at rest. Blood pressure can rise when plaque builds up along the artery walls. This plaque buildup narrows the space through which the blood must travel, which leads to a rise in pressure. Once your blood pressure reaches 140/90, it is considered high blood pressure or hypertension, according to the American Academy of Family Physicians. Having hypertension means your heart muscle is working harder than normal to deliver blood and oxygen.
Cholesterol is a waxy substance that cannot dissolve in the blood, so special carriers act to transport it through the body. One type of carrier is low-density lipoproteins, LDLs, considered the bad kind. This is because LDLs take cholesterol for storage. The other carrier is high-density lipoproteins HDLs, considered the good kind. This is because HDLs take cholesterol for excretion. To fully protect against heart disease, the Cleveland Clinic recommends keeping LDL levels at 100 mg/dL or lower and HDL levels at 45 mg/dL or higher. When LDL levels get too high and HDL levels get too low, plaque can build up along the blood vessel walls, causing a condition called atherosclerosis, which can contribute to high blood pressure.
Soy and Cholesterol
While the exact mechanisms are not well understood, consuming 25 g of soy protein per day may help lower LDL cholesterol levels in some patients, reports MedlinePlus. This, in turn, may help lower blood pressure. While soy supplements may be helpful for other conditions, it appears that food sources of soy are best when it comes to improving your cholesterol. Soy appears to be safe for most; however, it does contain purines, which may be harmful for gout sufferers. Soy is usually well tolerated but may cause stomachaches, constipation and diarrhea if too much is eaten or when it is first added to the diet.
While consuming soy may not improve cholesterol levels and/or blood pressure in all patients, it is still a healthy food to include in your daily diet. The body needs some fat and cholesterol to survive, but the body makes all of the cholesterol it needs. When it comes to fats, some types are healthier than others. Eating too much saturated fat can raise LDL levels and too much trans fat can raise LDL levels and lower HDL levels, notes Harvard Medical School. Soybeans are low in saturated and trans fat but do contain unsaturated fats. Unsaturated fats are healthier and can improve cholesterol levels when eaten in place of unhealthier fats. (Live Strong)
So again we see adding Soy to our diets can improve our health. Also eating healthy foods and exercise can extend our lives. Before adding anything to your diet, talk with your doctor first and foremost.