High hopes for a quick-fix
When I was first diagnosed with high blood pressure (160/110) I realized I had to make some changes. I had read somewhere that garlic was helpful to lower blood pressure and too much salt raised it. So I reduced my salt consumption and ate garlic everyday hoping that would fix it.
It didn’t. My blood pressure remained high and later on went up to 190+.
You see, we all want a simple, quick fix to our problems. But the fact is that when it comes to high blood pressure it’s not quite so straightforward.
Here are your options …
Lower blood pressure with diet.
For example, I was asked the other day, “Does cayenne pepper reduce blood pressure?” Yes, cayenne has been shown to be beneficial to your heart and circulatory system. And yes, cayenne can help reduce your blood pressure. But no, simply taking a dose of cayenne everyday probably isn’t going to be the answer to your blood pressure problems.
The same could be said for other beneficial foods and such as garlic, celery, oatmeal, bananas, apples, tomatoes, onions, dark chocolate, you-name-it. All these foods can assist in reducing your blood pressure and getting your body back in balance. But they can’t do it by themselves.
Mind you, I’m talking about seriously high blood pressure here. Sure, any one of these foods eaten daily might help reduce your blood pressure a few points. But is that going to be much consolation to someone banging in at 175+ systolic?
Medications – quick, but no fix
If you think prescription medication is the simple fix for high blood pressure, think again. The pharmaceutical industry has yet to produce a drug that cures high blood pressure.
Sure, there are pills that can lower your blood pressure – if you continue to take them day after day. But it’s not a real cure because your blood pressure will shoot back up if you stop taking them regularly. Add to that all the unpleasant side effects many of us suffer from taking these drugs and you can see why alternative methods of lowering your blood pressure naturally are better.
Additionally, when you consider the statistic that more people die of heart disease while on anti-hypertension medications than those who aren’t on them, you realise that these medications don’t offer the protection that we might have hoped for.
How to lower blood pressure naturally
If you have high blood pressure and want to lower it without medications (or make a gradual shift from medications to natural cures), here’s the skinny: you have to move to a healthier diet and compliment it with exercises.
Simply reducing salt consumption and eating a clove of garlic a day won’t cut it.
But don’t despair. Reducing your blood pressure naturally isn’t rocket science. Anyone can do it.
And no, you’re not going to have to give up everything pleasurable in life and live like a monk.
The truth is, once you start shifting to a healthy blood pressure lifestyle you’ll find yourself enjoying life more, not less. Remember, good health is the underpinning of real happiness and pleasure.
In a nutshell, you can lower your blood pressure naturally by:
- lowering your stress levels through meditation, Yoga, etc. (I prefer to use slow breathing exercises).
- get your heart beating and blood flowing through physical exercise such as walking, jogging, sking, etc. (I climb the hill behind my house regularly).
- eat less “bad” foods such as table salt, trans-fats, etc.
- eat more “good” foods such as vegetables, olive oil, fruit, etc.
That’s basically it. Using these techniques I have managed to lower my dangerously high blood pressure of 195 over 120 range in March (2009) to 125 over 85 range in the course of 4 to 5 months.
Help is at hand
I got help from Kevin Riley’s excellent 12 week program for lowering high blood pressure.
It comes in a thoroughly enjoyable book called Get Natural!.
It covers all aspects of shifting to a healthy, happy lower blood pressure lifestyle but with a special emphasis on food. If you love eating you will enjoy this book.
UPDATE: November 2014
Get Natural! has been unavailable for some time now. So my partner and I have written our own guide to lowering high blood pressure. It’s called Lower Your Blood Pressure Naturally – The Complete 9 Step Guide.
However, Lower Your Blood Pressure Naturally is more comprehensive, giving you fuller guidance on changing your diet, being active and lowering your stress levels. It’s also more up-to-date, taking into account the latest research into natural ways to lower blood pressure.
Click on the picture for more information, and to get a free sample to check out. Enjoy