Chocolate? Beet Juice? Kale? Yeah, all three…
I read an article about chocolate helping to ward off cardiovascular disease. Chocolate has been found to lower the risk of heart attack or stroke by relaxing your blood vessels, i.e., lowers blood pressure. The recommendation was to add a tablespoon of unsweetened chocolate (not dutch processed) to your coffee everyday. So I started doing that. Hey, why not a little chocolate everyday?
I also drink a small glass of beet juice twice a week. That is all I can stand because I hate beets. I hold my nose and gulp it down followed by something, anything sweet. There have been several studies that show beet juice increases oxygen uptake and also lowers blood pressure. This was all the rage at the last Olympics. They have also tested this on cyclists. So I gulp down the terrible stuff. (For me, beets taste like dirt. I just cannot get past that taste.)
Then I add kale to my breakfast shakes because aside from being a superfood, it helps with blood vessel function. I bruise easily and it is supposed to assist with blood clotting. (If you are prone to clotting problems, for heaven’s sakes, stay away from kale!)
All these home food remedies may have worked. When I swim I usually spend 15 laps just warming up and getting my lungs working so that I am not sucking for air. This week, I swam like a fish. I had no problem with breathing or fatigue. Or maybe it was just in my head and I was having a good day. It is hard to say. But if I have a choice between pharmaceuticals or supplements and foods, I’ll take the food. There is no harm in them. Except for those nasty beets. Yuck! (And no, family, I never ate my mom’s pickled beets.)