Eating Spicy Foods Could Help Reduce Your Sodium Intake - NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth
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Eating Spicy Foods Could Help Reduce Your Sodium Intake

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    Eating Spicy Foods Could Help Reduce Your Sodium Intake

    Ninety-percent of Americans consume way more than the recommended amount of sodium each day, and it could take a toll on your heart. One recent study found eating spicy foods could help reduce your sodium intake. (Published Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2018)

    Ninety-percent of Americans consume way more than the recommended maximum of 2,300 milligrams of sodium per day. If that includes you, cutting down on your salt intake is an important change to make in this new year.

    As the health team at Consumer Reports tells us, one recent study found eating spicy foods could make that change easier.

    It turns out spicy foods may not only add some oomph to your meals, but may be giving your health a boost, too. The study published in the American Heart Association's journal, Hypertension, found people who enjoyed eating spicy foods not only preferred less salty food, but ate an estimated half-teaspoon less of it per day. And they had lower blood pressure.

    A half-teaspoon of salt has 1,150 milligrams of sodium — half of the 2,300 milligram daily maximum recommended by the American Heart Association. The researchers found that the spiciness from hot peppers seems to activate a certain part of the brain that perceives saltiness, potentially tricking the brain into thinking that the food was saltier than it was.

    Vacationers Help Girl With CP Experience Beach

    [DFW] Beachgoers Carry Girl With Cerebral Palsy Onto Sand

    At the end of July, a wedding at the Don CeSar brought Justin Johnson and Renal Roberts to St. Pete Beach, and while they were relaxing after a game of beach volleyball, they noticed a woman struggling to push a wheelchair on the sand.

    They immediately offered to help the girl, who had cerebral palsy, and carried her to a blanket near the water so should could fully enjoy the beach day.

    "They were shocked. They were very surprised," said Justin Johnson, one of the men who helped carry the girl.

    Unfortunately, the group of friends never learned the names of the girl or her mother.

    Now, they're searching for the family to help them get a better wheelchair for future beach trips.

    (Published Monday, Aug. 6, 2018)

    And experts think that this might be a good strategy for limiting your salt intake. Too much sodium can increase the risk of high blood pressure — which can lead to heart disease, kidney disease and stroke. It means one prescription for better health could already be in your kitchen.

    Consumer Reports says other foods can have various health benefits as well, including potatoes, which might help lower blood pressure. Potatoes often get a bad rap because of their high carbohydrate content, but both white and sweet potatoes are high in fiber and rich in potassium — which has been shown to help lower the risk of hypertension.


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