Korean Bibimbap: Our Natural Recipe to Lower Blood Pressure (Day 3)

Korean Bibimbap to Lower Blood Pressure

Quest for a Way to Lower Blood Pressure

Hitting the Brick Wall

After two failed trials at finding a sustainable way to lower blood pressure, we were back to square one.

We know that the solution is not far in sight and giving up was out of the question.

Again, what were we missing?

  Day 1 - How We Stumbled on a Natural Way to Lower BP

 

  Day 2 - Blow to Our Quest for Best Way to Lower BP

We scoured the internet and meticulously weeded through available information.

There were plenty. 

Among them was a clear step-by-step video on how to prepare Korean Bibimbap. Maangchi, a popular Korean author, cook and blogger, shared it in her website.

​According to Maangchi, Bibimbap has three essential ingredients:

  • soy bean sprouts
  • ​spinach
  • carrots and/or red bell pepper.

To make a simple Bibimbap, just add egg, gochujang and sesame oil.

In her procedure, we noticed something important:

  • ​Instead of sesame oil, she used vegetable cooking oil to saute the vegetables. 
  • With each preparation, she added a generous amount of garlic and sesame oil (aside from salt).

​At first we thought that sesame oil, which was used in a number of international studies, was the secret ingredient to lowering hypertension.

Relevant studies that we read include:

  1. US StudyEffect of Sesame Oil on Diuretics or ß-blockers in the Modulation of Blood Pressure, Anthropometry, Lipid Profile, and Redox Status
  2. Thai Study - Health Benefit of Sesamin
  3. Japanese Study - Better than Olive Oil? Try Heart-Healthy Sesame and Rice Bran Oils

​After watching the video, we finally found the missing piece - garlic!

Garlic is a proven ingredient for hypertension. My husband had used it in the past to lower his hypertension.

However, here's the thing.

It is not garlic alone nor sesame oil alone.

It is both.

Then there's also the vegetables.

How everything interacts and affect each other is the key. 

That's what we thought.

Call it our hypothesis.​

Trial #3 - Things Are Looking Up

Caveat

It is important to note that in the morning before the third trial, my husband's blood pressure shoot up significantly. 

That's when we knew that ​the second trial was a disaster. 

Here's a reading of his BP in the morning:


Blood Pressure Chart​ #1

July 17 (Monday AM)

Time

BP

Remarks

5:30 AM

152/113

First reading 

8:30 AM

152/101

Reading at work 

9:30 AM

136/98

Reading at work

12:10 PM

129/92

After lunch of tofu with maple syrup


Relevant information you may want to know are:

  • His medicines consist of Nifedipine and aspirin that he regularly take at 7:00 AM. ​
  • Before the experiment, he had been taking these and his BP were usually above his current BP readings. 
  • His diet of soft tofu with sago and/or maple syrup help maintain a healthy blood pressure level but not on a sustainable basis. He also drinks osterized fruits on a regular basis.

Third Trial Begins - Yahoo!

Now armed with new information and a broader perspective, we proceeded with the third trial. 

The third trial started in the evening of July 17 right after work. 

The ingredients and procedure are as follows:

  Ingredients

  Procedure

Results

​We recorded my husband's BP including the surrounding circumstances as diligently as we could.

There were times that we missed, as you may see in the chart below. ​


Blood Pressure Chart​ #2

July 17-19, 2017

Time

BP Reading

Remarks

Stress Level

 

July 17 (Mon)

6:20 PM

 

Dinner (new recipe)

 Moderate

6:50 PM 

112/84          

Watch TV

 Low

7:17 PM

109/83

Watch TV

 Low

7:29 PM

122/84

Watch TV

 Low

7:51 PM

122/85

Watch TV

 Low

9:07 PM

115/84

Watch TV

 Low

10:15 PM

125/85

Watch TV

 Low

 

July 18 (Tue)

5:40 AM

128/88

First reading before breakfast

 Low

6:39 AM

128/90

After cooking and right after eating

Moderate

6:53 AM

120/84

Watching TV, no meds yet

 Low

7:04 AM

124/88

After bath

 Low

12:30 PM

118/80

Lunch break, after eating tofu

 Low

8:27 PM

121/84

After long travel and physical activity

High

8:57 PM

120/85

Some kitchen work, after tofu and juice

Moderate

9:30 PM

109/80

Watch TV

 Low

9:53 PM

112/72

Before bed

 Low

 

July 19 (Wed)

6:40 AM

136/92

First reading before breakfast

 Low

7:23 AM

127/89

After breakfast, assembly of piano

High

12:23 PM

136/88

Lunch break, stress from work

High

12:55 PM

124/89

BP reading after 12 minutes of sleep

 Low

6:16 PM

121/84

After dinner

​Moderate


The data gathered helped us establish some patterns and guide us on our actions. ​

Observations

  • Blood pressure was pretty stable within the recording period.
  • ​Although the Bibimbap-inspired recipe was eaten only once in the day, blood pressure levels over a long period of time were inspiring.
  • Even in those few instances that stress level was high, the readings were relatively low.
  • Stress levels are very high at work between the hours of 8:00AM and 12:00 noon as well as 1:00-4:30 PM. Results of the trial indicate that the mixed vegetable recipe was able to keep blood pressure down or maintain it at low levels in those periods.
  • His instake of soft tofu (either with sago and/or maple syrup) did help bring down his blood pressure. However, he had been doing this prior to the trials and the results were short-lived.
  • Note: The smell of garlic can be overpowering. It's best to drink lots of water, brush teeth properly after meal, chew gum, use a peppermint spray, or have something that could neutralize the smell.

Insights

Achieving our goal of finding a natural way to lower blood pressure proved to be a challenging but rewarding experience. 

Tracking my husband's health has been much easier with my journal.  

Due to my blog posts on the Korean Bibimbap experience, it dawned on me that for a long time, I have been using journaling as a tool to monitor and take care of my family's health.

My journals have been my constant companion and have served me well in so many ways. 

Next Steps

​Our search for natural ways to lower blood pressure doesn't end here.

My husband will continue to use and test our recipe on a regular basis.

I might even try it myself even if I'm not hypertensive. ​After all, everything in it are natural and healthy.

Also, I''ll keep on journaling to record every bit of relevant information and report back, if needed.

I enjoyed this journaling experience tremendously.

It is my hope that you learn from it.

Please help enrich this topic by sharing your personal experience.

If you haven't yet read my previous posts, you'll find them here:

Day #1 - How We Stumbled Upon a Natural Way to Lower Blood Pressure

Day #2 - Setback to Quest for a Way to Lower Blood Pressure ​

​I would love to know what you think. 

If my journal posts inspired you in any way, please let me know below. 

Please share this post also to your family and friends - specially those with hypertension problems - so they may discover an alternative way to lower blood pressure.


Disclaimer: This post is my journal of a personal quest to find natural ways to lower blood pressure. What you read is by no means a medical or dietary prescription. Please consult your doctor or nutritionist for changes to your diet that could impact your health.​​

Caution: Please check for allergies to ingredients posted.

 

 

Korean Bibimbap: Blow to Our Quest for Best Way to Lower Blood Pressure (Day 2)

Natural Ways to Lower Blood Pressure

​The Bibimbap Thingamajig

Remember our roller coaster ride to lower blood pressure?

We're still in it...

And the ride gets even bumpier with each high and low and twist and turn.

Moving on.

When we finally confirmed that it was Bibimbap sans Gochujang that was lowering my husband's blood pressure, our witch-hunting turned to the proverbial search for a needle at the haystack.

What was that thingy in the Korean Bibimbap?

A scrutiny of the image that I took (plus my husband's account of what he ate) at the Korean restaurant helped us identify the ingredients.

Korean Bibimbap to Lower Blood Pressure

They included:

  • Carrots
  • Mushroom
  • Spinach
  • Zucchini
  • Bean sprouts
  • Onion
  • Minced beef
  • Sesame seeds
  • Rice
  • Egg.

He has eaten all of them in the past - either separately, altogether or mixed with others. 

However, he didn't get the same effect like he did in three specific instances after eating at the Korean restaurant. 

Could it be the interaction of the vegetable juices?

Perhaps.

Let's see.

Trial #1: Failure​

Anyway...​

On July 15 (Saturday), my husband set out on a journey to mimick the blood pressure lowering effect of the Bibimbap.​

First, he did some extensive research on heart-healthy vegetables.

Second, he bought vegetables per the menu of the Korean restaurant. Though optional, he included other heart-healthy vegetables, such as:

  • ​Garlic
  • Broccoli
  • Tomato
  • Red bell pepper
  • Alfalfa with garlic sprouts
  • Black and white sesame seeds.

Third, he cooked the ingredients in the kitchen using sesame as the base followed with all the vegetables.

Before that, I cautioned him against using high heat on the sesame oil. I dunno. I thought I read somewhere in the past that doing so would alter the chemical make-up of the oil that could cause some adverse health effects.

Well, my husband did otherwise.

He has a mind of his own (and I wasn't sure about my suggestion, anyway).

So be it!

After consuming all his mixed vegetable (without the egg), he took a reading of his BP.

​His blood pressure lowered slightly but nothing as dramatic as his previous results.

Conclusion: The trial was a failure. ​

A review of his cooking procedure showed that:

  • sesame oil was used as base​ and considerable heat was applied;
  • ​the vegetables were not as tender or cooked. 

​The juices may not have interacted enough.

So we thought...

but who knows?

​Trial #2: Happy Dance Plus a Shocker

​The setback didn't crush my husband's spirit. 

We're almost there and success is just around the bend.

A few tweaks may just do the trick. ​

​On July 16 (Sunday), he experimented again using a modified procedure:

​First, heat up the sesame oil.

Second, saute the garlic and onion.

Third, ​together with the garlic and onion, saute the broccoli for a minute until tender.

Fourth, mix the remaining vegetables and saute until the spinach looks wilted.

Fifth, pour the cooked vegetable on a plate, spray sesame ​oil and sprinkle black sesame seeds on top.

​Sixth, bon appetit!

Here's ​the chart that shows the BP reading taken every 30 minutes:


Blood Pressure Chart​

July 16, 2017 (Sunday)

Time

BP - Right

BP - Left

Remarks

5:00 PM

6:10 PM

138/87

 

Base reading

Dinner

6:40 PM

116/81

Excellent

7:10 PM

115/80

Excellent

7:40 PM

113/86

Good

8:10 PM

120/79

112/79

Excellent

8:40 PM

127/82

128/91

Fair

9:10 PM

116/90

128/95

Fair

9:40 PM

118/95

132/96

Poor

10:10 PM

135/92

134/96

Poor

10:40 PM

113/93

125/97

Fair


​For two hours, we were rejoicing! 

It was working. ​

But...

Uh-oh.

After two hours, something unexpected was unfolding.

We were uneasy and worried.

The BP reading - specially the diastolic (lower) - was going up.

Conclusion: Success was short-lived with the worst yet to come!

The following day, my husband woke up with a blood pressure of 152/113! 

He brought his sphygmo to work despite that.

His BP didn't look any better. He had to take time off from work that morning to rest and bring it down to a comfortable level. 

At lunch, he only had soft tofu with sago and maple syrup.

That pushed his BP down to 129/92.

Facing a Blank Wall​

​This time around, we were not sure on how to proceed.

What was happening?

Why was it happening?

What were we missing?

Must we abort our mission?

Should we resign our fate to just eating out at the Korean restaurant ​as needed?

​What do we do next?

Tomorrow, you'll learn how our quest for a solution to lower blood pressure has turned out.

Did we just give up?

Clue - We didn't! ​

Did we succeed?​

Are we succeedding?

Clue: Roses are red.

Plus - Tomorrow's read is a delightful one!

Do follow my journal to find out more.

Day #3 - Korean Bibimbap: Our Natural Recipe to Lower Blood Pressure​

Day #1Korean Bibimbap: How We Stumbled Upon a Natural Way to Lower Blood Pressure

If this post inspired you in any way, please leave a remark or question below. That would surely make my succeeding journal posts even more exciting.

And one more thing, please share this post to your friends - specially those with hypertension problems - so they may discover an alternative way to lower blood pressure.

 


Disclaimer: This post is my journal on a personal quest to find natural ways to lower blood pressure. What you read is by no means a medical or dietary prescription. Please consult your doctor or nutritionist for changes to your diet that may impact your health.​

 

 

Korean Bibimbap: How We Stumbled on a Natural Way to Lower Blood Pressure (Day 1)

Lower Blood Pressure with Bibimbap Style Food

Search for Natural Ways to Lower Blood Pressure

Lower Blood Pressure with Bibimbap Style Food

Finding solutions to a problem could be a roller coaster ride. Breakthroughs thrill you. 

However, frustrations can kill you.

Just when you thought you had it, lightning hits as you realize that you actually did not.

Then, you have to iterate or start all over.

For years, my husband and I have been searching for a remedy to hypertension a.k.a. high blood pressure.

It's his problem... but it's also mine.

So, we ventured to find natural ways to lower blood pressure.

Having been into this for years, we already know that there are.

But we want more.

  • Is there a natural way to lower high blood pressure with dramatic results?
  • How sustainable are the results?
  • How soon do they take effect?
  • How long do the positive effects last?

We have tried a number of natural ways to lower blood pressure just so my husband could escape the pill.

Some three years ago, he did succumb to blood pressure medication after a thorough discussion with our family doctor. 

There were times though when he missed - a simple sign of graceful aging. 

Recently, he was diagnosed with a rare health condition known as Celiac Axis Artery Dissection. Even the attending hospital physicians were uncertain on how to deal with it. They had to consult a vascular specialist over the phone for each action they had to take. They, too, were learning. 

Hypertension is considered as the most probable cause for his condition. Not genetics.

That time he had a severe abdominal pain - when he had to rush to the hospital because the pain was too much to bear - that was when he missed his pill. 

To prevent the worst from happening, he has to keep his blood pressure at bay. Period.

Careful of Headaches: They May Be Something Worse

Twelve years ago, he experienced episodes of migraine.

I almost always remedied it with massage. The headaches did subside and that was that until he consulted a doctor.

The doctor ordered him to check in at the hospital quickly. No buts. No ifs.

His blood pressure was 201/155!

He could have easily gotten a stroke, at the least.

The hypertension is pretty much controlled now but with his health condition, we can't take chances. He keeps his sphygmomanometer close at hand as such. 

Korean Bibimbap: Whatta Surprise!

Our exciting journey started three weeks ago as we explored various Thai, Japanese, Korean, and Mexican restaurants.

We've been into these types of restaurants before but lately, we've become more active at satisfying our palate.

Last July 4, we ate out at our local Korean restaurant.

I always order their beef Bulgogi. It's yum and I'm good with that.

My husband is the more adventurous among us. That time though, he ordered Bibimbap. That was his first order in the same restaurant; however, he forgot that it was.

Ways to Lower Blood Pressure

"Bibimbap is a large bowl of rice topped with an array of individually prepared vegetables and beef, and served with seasoned red chili pepper paste (gochujang). Bibim means mixing, and bap means rice. The mixing usually happens at the table right before eating." ~Korean Bapsang

When we reached home a few hours later, he checked his blood pressure.

Surprise, surprise.

His BP was a remarkable 117/74.

He never had a BP reading that low. NEVER.

We can't believe it.

What caused it?​

There were only two candidates in our mind - the chocolate soya pudding with maple syrup that I made him for lunch and the Bibimbap.

I made him a serving of pudding the following day. 

Zero.

It must be the Bibimbap then.

Bibimbap: Gotcha!

On July 6, we headed back to the Korean restaurant for lunch. You could guess by know what we ordered.

It was a long way home that day. We had to do our grocery at Victoria, which was an hour drive back and forth. We dropped off a van load of donation to a charity organization, too. Then, there was at least one more place we visited.

It's summer here and was particularly hot that day.

By the time we were home, we were toast; more so my husband who drove all the way through.

When he read his BP, it was pretty close to 120/80!

Not shabby, aye?

Nope. It was unbelievable!

As he had nothing except Bibimbap, we concluded that, yes, it was Bibimbap that was lowering his blood pressure.

But what in the Bibimbap?

Could it be gochujang, the red chili paste that you mix with the rice and vegetables?

Natural Ways to Lower Blood Pressure

How about the miso soup and Kimchi that went with the meal?

Gochujang: Out of the Picture

"Okay, let's head back to the restaurant," my husband suggested.

On July 15, we were there for dinner.

Doing a process of elimination, my husband skipped the miso soup, kimchi and gochujang!

I took images of the menu to capture the ingredients.

To be as thorough as possible, we asked the Korean staff all sorts of questions:

  • What ingredients went into the Bibimbap?
  • How was it cooked?
  • How was gochujang prepared?
  • Did they make the gochujang themselves or bought it pre-made?

Our interest may have stirred their imagination but they were very kind and gentle to answer our questions.

We wanted to narrow down to "the thing" in Bibimbap that lowers blood pressure.

Again, my husband read his BP.

You guessed it.

His blood pressure that night was a record low in comparison to the previous days.

And yes, it wasn't gochujang.

Our conclusion: The magic ingredient was in the mixed rice itself.

But which one or ones?

That's the mystery that we sought to unravel. 

We were almost there... but not quite.​

Tomorrow, follow my journal to find out what happens next.

Day #2 - Korean Bibimbap: Blow to Our Quest for Best Way to Lower Blood Pressure​

I promise it's an exciting one.

If this post inspired you in any way, please leave a remark or question below. That would surely make my succeeding journal posts even more exciting. 

And one more thing, please share this post to your friends - specially those with hypertension problems - so they may discover an alternative way to lower blood pressure.


Disclaimer: This post is my journal on a personal quest to find natural ways to lower blood pressure. What you read is by no means a medical or dietary prescription. Please consult your doctor or nutritionist for changes to your diet that may impact your health.