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Egg your blood pressure down

Jun. 03, 2013 @ 12:00 AM

Giada De Laurentiis whips up a mean egg-white frittata (all the flavor and protein, none of the egg yolks' heart-risky cholesterol!). Pasteurized liquid egg whites let you concoct a salmonella-free summer Fizz (gin or otherwise). And a beauty mask of whipped egg whites tightens pores and soothes acne (some claim).

But most impressive is the fact that egg whites seem to lower elevated blood pressure as effectively as some medications. They act like an ACE inhibitor and encourage dilation of blood vessels and urination of excess salt and water.

High blood pressure affects almost 74 million North Americans and another 60 million-plus have pre-hypertension. You're at high risk if you have a genetic predisposition, are obese, smoke, are inactive, eat too much salt, have diabetes or chronic stress, or don't get enough sleep.

To get your blood pressure down to 110/70, dish up a good dose of egg whites daily, and follow these other smart tips:

Eat more plant proteins from broccoli, beans, brown rice and oatmeal. Add soybeans to relax blood vessels and help balance sodium levels; have two to three fistfuls of collard greens weekly for their calcium and fiber; enjoy dark chocolate to ease inflammation and relax blood vessels -- 30 calories' worth a day does the trick; and take heart-smart supplements such as 200 mg coenzyme Q10 daily.

Walk 30 or more minutes a day, and eliminate the five food felons: saturated and trans fats, added sugar and sugar syrups, and any grain that isn't 100 percent whole. That always takes the pressure off.

Mehmet Oz, M.D. is host of "The Dr. Oz Show," and Mike Roizen, M.D. is Chief Wellness Officer and Chair of Wellness Institute at Cleveland Clinic. To live your healthiest, visit sharecare.com.

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