Updated: May 20
A couple of years ago my husband's blood pressure was scarily high. He wanted to do something about it without having to take blood pressure medication. Here is what I found out what you can do to attempt to lower your blood pressure without taking a tablet.
1. Nutrionfacts.org is my absolute guru on this. His work is relentless in finding out how we can treat the causes rather than the effects. He cites all the medical papers he has referenced on each post, which he tends to publish as a video . I personally prefer to read the transcript rather than watch the videos and these are a tab underneath the video that you can click on to read his article.
Let's treat the cause of the high blood pressure as if we can reduce that, we don't need to take any tablets.
The first thing you can easily do is not to add salt to your food. Also be aware of the salt in processed foods, and condiments. Mustard can be as high as 8% salt. Take a look at the NHS's guidelines on reducing salt. Who knew that effervescent pain killers contain up to a 1g of salt per tablet?!
2. Diet in general
You can read the transcript of Nutritionfacts's article on this. Very interesting, it moved us to being plant based eaters. The summary is as follows:
*2.1 Lower the amount of calories in your diet.
*2.2 Adding vegetables and fruit into your diet - take 8 to 10 portions a day. Yes 8 to 10 portions. Which is roughly 75g per portion. So let's all eat 450 - 750 grams of fruit and vegetables a day.
*2.3 Increase your dietary fibre. Which is also helped by point 2.2. We take ground flaxseed/linseed everyday at breakfast. Two tablespoons full.
*2.4 Decrease your alcohol intake
3. Nitrate Rich Foods
Every morning we have a glass of beetroot juice, and 150grams of Blueberries. My husband then has a second glass of beetroot juice in the afternoon. I source the Beetroot Juice from Dolphin Fitness. It is by far the cheapest source of Organic Biona Beetroot Juice I can find. It works out to be £1.75 for 500ml. If you click on this link to Dolphin Fitness
when you buy something from them, both you and I will get an extra discount. Don't feel like you have to, it's just that I am from Yorkshire, and like to save money where I can!
The reason we're enjoying the delights of nitrate rich foods is that the medical studies are clear that they help reduce blood pressure. Have a look at this article on Nutrition Facts.org
Add to your diet where you can: Rocket leaves, Swiss chard, Basil, Rhubarb and Fennel Seeds.
Blueberries are the most efficacious at reducing blood pressure, just make sure you eat them on their own and not with yoghurt as it blocks there effects. Have a look at the Blueberries article on Nutrition Facts.org
5. Ground Flaxseed
If you can take away one thing to add to your diet, that will do the most. Take ground flaxseed. It decays in light and air, so please either grind your own, or purchase Linwoods as they sell it in packets where the fibre is not exposed to light. I buy mine from Dolphin Fitness, to save money, I get 12 packets of 425 grams. Which is £4.75 a packet, the best value way to buy it. It is worth it's weight in gold.
Here is why, from NutritionFacts.org:
"Why test it on hypertension? Because having a systolic blood pressure over 115—that’s the top number—may be the single most important determinant for death in the world today. If you take a bunch of older folks, most of them on an array of blood pressure pills and don’t improve their diet at all, despite the drugs, they may start out, on average, hypertensive and stay hypertensive six months later. But those who were unknowingly eating ground flax seeds every day dropped their systolic blood pressure about ten points, and their diastolic, the lower number, by about seven points. That might not sound like a lot, but a drop like that could cut stroke risk 46%, heart disease 29%, and that ten-point drop in the top number could have a similar effect on strokes and heart attacks. And for those who started out over 140, they got a 15-point drop. “In summary, flaxseed induced one of the most potent antihypertensive effects ever achieved by a dietary intervention.” In other words, the magnitude of this decrease in blood pressure demonstrated by dietary flax seeds, is as good or better than any other nutritional interventions, and comparable to many drugs, which can have serious side effects. And they’re not exaggerating about the comparable to drugs bit. The flax seeds dropped systolic and diastolic up to 15 and 7. Compare that to powerful ACE inhibitors, like Vasotec, which may drop pressures only 5 and 2. Calcium channel blockers, like Norvasc or Cardizem, 8 and 3–half of what the flax can do. Side effects include… Compare this list to the side effect of flax seeds–its pleasant nutty flavor."
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