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In 1997, when researchers at Johns Hopkins analyzed the results of more than 30 studies dealing with high blood pressure, they found that people taking daily supplements of 2,500 mg (2.5 grams) of potassium were likely to have blood pressure several points lower than people not taking the supplements. Ask your doctor about this one, and remember: Food is also a good source of potassium. One whole banana has up to 470 milligrams of potassium, one cup of dates — 1,160 milligrams, and one cup of raisins — 1,239 milligrams.

Water is water. Or is it?

Chemically speaking, water's an odd duck. It's the only substance on Earth than can exist as a liquid (water) and a solid (ice) — but not a bend-able plastic. No, snow is not plastic water. It's a grouping of solids (ice crystals).

Water may be hard or soft, but these terms have nothing to do with how the water feels on your hand. They describe the liquid's mineral content:

i Hard waterhas lots of minerals, particularly calcium and magnesium. This water rises to the Earth's surface from underground springs, usually picking up calcium carbonate as it moves up through the ground.

i Soft waterhas fewer minerals. In nature, soft water is surface water, the runoff from rain-swollen streams or rainwater that falls directly into reservoirs. "Water softeners" are products that attract and remove the minerals in water.

What you get at the supermarket is another thing altogether:

i Distilled water is tap water that has been distilled, or boiled until it turns to steam, which is then collected and condensed back into a liquid free of impurities, chemicals, and minerals. The name may also be used to describe a liquid produced by ultrafiltration, a process that removes everything from the water except water molecules. Distilled water is very important in chemical and pharmaceutical processing. You'll appreciate the fact that it doesn't clog your iron; makes clean, clear ice cubes; and serves as a flavor-free mixer or base for tea and coffee.

i Mineral water is spring water. It's naturally alkaline, which makes it a natural antacid and a mild diuretic (a substance that increases urination). The term spring water is used to describe water from springs nearer to the Earth's surface, so it has fewer mineral particles and what some people describe as a "cleaner taste" than mineral water.

i Still water is spring water that flows up to the surface on its own. Sparkling water is pushed to the top by naturally occurring gases in the underground spring. So, you ask, what's the big difference? Sparkling water has bubbles; still water doesn't.

i Springlike or spring fresh are terms designed to make something sound more highfalutin than it really is. These products aren't spring water; they're probably filtered tap water.

Part III

Healthy Eating

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Reducing Blood Pressure Naturally

Reducing Blood Pressure Naturally

Do You Suffer From High Blood Pressure? Do You Feel Like This Silent Killer Might Be Stalking You? Have you been diagnosed or pre-hypertension and hypertension? Then JOIN THE CROWD Nearly 1 in 3 adults in the United States suffer from High Blood Pressure and only 1 in 3 adults are actually aware that they have it.

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