Lower Your Blood Pressure Naturally: Step 6

Lower Your Blood Pressure Naturally - The Complete 9 Step Guide

This webpage is a companion to Step 6 of our book:
Lower Your Blood Pressure Naturally – The Complete 9 Step Guide

Step 6 discusses vegetables that lower blood pressure – which ones are the best and how to get enough of them. Legumes are excellent for blood pressure and are covered here too. To make it easy, Step 6 also gives delicious and novel meal and snack ideas involving vegetables – no, you don’t need to eat more carrot and celery sticks!
Click here for more information on the book: Lower Your Blood Pressure Naturally

 

Veggie Heaven: Vegetables that lower blood pressure

Benefits of vegetables for blood pressure

Nutrient content of vegetables (and other foods)

The US Food and Drug Administration provides downloadable posters (also available just as text) outlining the nutrient content of the most common vegetables, fruits and fish.

For fruits, vegetables and fish: FDA fruits, vegetables and fish info

For a comprehensive details on almost all vegetables, the US Department of Agriculture maintains a database which you can search to find out the nutritional content of specific foods, of all types:
USDA vegetable nutrient content database

 

How to Eat More Vegetables

The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) has a good website that gives basic information on the main types of foods, and tips on how to eat more of them. You can also download these as pdfs (click on the ‘print’ icon right at the bottom of each page).
USDA Choose My Plate

The UK National Health Service has useful tips on eating vegetables and fruits:
UK NHS Five a Day

Even better is the website of ‘Fruits and Veggies – More Matters’: info and tips on fruits and vegetables, nutrition content, how to eat more of them, meal planning, storing…
Fruits and Veggies – More Matters

 

Best vegetables for blood pressure

Greens

Leafy greens
This is a great article on cooking leafy greens – to make them more delicious than you ever imagined:
Web MD – leafy greens

Sea vegetables / seaweed

Seaweed is an amazing source of nutrients, but if you’re not sure how to prepare and eat it, check out these articles:
Best Health Mag – Seaweed

Quick and Dirty Tips – Seaweed

Whites

Garlic supplements
You’re best to eat real garlic, but if you really don’t want to eat it for whatever reason, then try supplements.

Kwai garlic supplements were used in many of the clinical studies into the effects of garlic.
Kwai garlic heartcare supplements (Amazon.com)

Kyolic aged garlic supplements are also popular – aged garlic can be more potent. They even do a formulation specifically for blood pressure:
Kyolic garlic blood pressure supplements (Amazon.com)

 

Raw goodness

Salsas

For more fresh salsa recipes and ideas, see this site:
All Recipes.com – salsa

Chilled soups

For more chilled soup recipes, see this webpage:
All Recipes.com – cold summer soups

Vegetable supplements

Several companies now make dried extracts of green vegetables, often with herbs, algae and other ‘super-greens’ too. You can mix these powders into a drink to make a super-green smoothie and get a load of green nutrients all in one go.

Ora Organic make a good one: Ora Organic Greens Drink – apparently this one actually tastes good!

 

Storing vegetables

You can download a handy one-page at-a-glance guide to how best to store different kinds of fruits and vegetables:
Storing fruits and veggies

Freezing

Some vegetables need to be blanched before freezing. Recommended blanching times for specific vegetables are listed here:
Blanching times for vegetables

 

Buying vegetables

Go organic

Pesticide loads in vegetables

The US-based Environmental Working Group (EWG)  maintains a list of the fruits and vegetables likely to contain the most pesticides and the least. This is updated each year. You can view it online and also get it as a pdf file, or an app so you can consult it when you’re out shopping.
EWG – produce and pesticides

Organic food labelling and standards

US Department of Agriculture National Organic Program – Consumer Information

This website has great information on organic food, including labelling issues.
Organic.org

 

Legumes

Using legumes in cooking

This article from the Mayo Clinic (University of Florida Health Center) gives a good overview of different legumes and tips on preparing and cooking them:
Mayo Clinic – beans and legumes – cooking tips

And this one has a phenomenal list of recipes for cooking with all kinds of beans and legumes. Well worth checking out:

Mayo Clinic – Bean and legume recipes

 

Send us your ideas and suggestions

If there are other websites, resources or products you’ve found useful and you think would be useful to others, please email them to us and we’ll include them: simon [at] highbloodpressurebegone.com

 

vegetables that lower blood pressure - read our guideNOTE: This page is designed to be a companion page to Step 6 of our guide, ‘Lower Your Blood Pressure Naturally’. As such, it only contains supplementary resources rather than being a full discussion of how to use vegetables and legumes to lower your blood pressure.
For more information on vegetables that lower blood pressure, you can further browse this website or, of course, buy the guide..!
Click here for details: Lower Your Blood Pressure Naturally – The Complete 9 Step Guide

 

ANOTHER NOTE: We’ve supplied Amazon links to those products that may be a little trickier to find, as Amazon is popular and convenient to use. However, Amazon aren’t known to be the most ethical company (we do not endorse them ourselves) so we recommend buying your healthy products in your local shops if you can!

 

Lower Your Blood Pressure Naturally: Step 2

Lower Your Blood Pressure Naturally - The Complete 9 Step Guide

This webpage is a companion to Step 2 of our book:
Lower Your Blood Pressure Naturally – The Complete 9 Step Guide

Step 2 discusses how the start your day to ensure the maximum blood pressure benefits, including what to eat and supplements which may be useful. Start the way you mean to go on!
Click here for more information on the book: Lower Your Blood Pressure Naturally

 

Starting the Day Right: Morning remedies for high blood pressure

Supplements in general

As discussed in the Appendix (pages 10-12), the issue of supplements – whether to take them and how much – can be a tricky one! Here’s some resources which might be useful.

Dr Sarah Brewer – a UK doctor and nutritionist – articles on supplements and healthy eating (a website recommended by one of our readers)

Our post  – Supplements that help reduce high blood pressure (an overview of the issues and general debate)

Hawthorn supplements

Advocates of hawthorn recommend supplements of 100-250mg, taken three times a day. Some also recommend that hawthorn supplements contain at least 10% procyanidins – a key group of antioxidants.

Hawthorn tablets:

Nature’s Way make ‘Heart Care’ tablets with 80mg hawthorn extract from the leaf and flower and lots of procyanidins, so these could be good to start with.

Nature’s Way Hawthorn extract tablets (Amazon.com)

Nature’s Way Hawthorn extract tablets (Amazon.co.uk)

 

Make your own hawthorn tincture:

Watch our video about making your own hawthorn tincture

 

Buying Supplements

The Appendix for Step 2 gives detailed information for each key nutrient about the best form of this supplement to buy. However, it can still be tricky knowing which brand of supplements to buy as there are now so many out there!

BUYING SUPPLEMENTS IN A STORE OR ONLINE

If you want to buy in person, then the best plan is to go to your local health food shop. The staff there will be able to help and inform you, plus health food shops in general stock better quality supplements than those you can buy in the supermarket or large retail stores.

Natural News website has some informative (and opinionated) articles about buying supplements written by their ‘Health Ranger’:

Where to Buy Supplements – Natural News

You can often get good deals buying supplements online, as the companies are selling directly to you, rather than having the overheads of running a store.

Their ‘Health Ranger’ also advocates using what are called ‘whole food’ supplements as much as possible. These are concentrated forms of natural substances, containing a range of nutrients which work together, and may be more effectively used by the body than isolated vitamins and minerals supplements.

Whole food nutritional supplements – Natural News

Here are a couple of (US-based) companies which sell high quality supplements online:

Ora Organic

Quantum Wellness

 

Send us your ideas and suggestions

If there are other websites, resources or products you’ve found useful and you think would be useful to others, please email them to us and we’ll include them: simon [at] highbloodpressurebegone.com

 

morning remedies for high blood pressure - read our guideNOTE: This page is designed to be a companion page to Step 2 of our guide, ‘Lower Your Blood Pressure Naturally’. As such, it only contains supplementary resources rather than being a full discussion of morning remedies for high blood pressure.
For more information on starting your day right, you can further browse this website or, of course, buy the guide..!
Click here for details: Lower Your Blood Pressure Naturally – The Complete 9 Step Guide

 

ANOTHER NOTE: We’ve supplied Amazon links to those products that may be a little trickier to find, as Amazon is popular and convenient to use. However, Amazon aren’t known to be the most ethical company (we do not endorse them ourselves) so we recommend buying your healthy products in your local shops if you can!

 

Lower Your Blood Pressure Naturally: Step 4

Lower Your Blood Pressure Naturally - The Complete 9 Step Guide

This webpage is a companion to Step 4 of our book:
Lower Your Blood Pressure Naturally – The Complete 9 Step Guide

Step 4 discusses the benefits of a Mediterranean-style diet for blood pressure, with a particular focus on choosing the healthiest grain-based foods – and the healthiest fats. Yes, not all fats are bad for us and some historical health advice is now being overturned. You don’t need to avoid all fatty food to lower your blood pressure!
Click here for more information on the book: Lower Your Blood Pressure Naturally

 

Mediterranean Living: Foods that lower blood pressure naturally

Mediterranean Diet

There’s a good article about the mediterranean diet here: Positive Health Wellness – Mediterranean Diet

And if you’ve found yourself on this webpage without having bought our book, you can get an overview on our own article here: Mediterranean diet for high blood pressure

 

DASH diet (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension)

You can download copies of the DASH diet. It’s a bit regimented but there are some good recipes in the back. Note that their advice on following a low-fat diet is now outdated.

DASH Diet short version

DASH Diet Full version

 

Whole Grains

Types of whole grains and refined grains.

US government – tips on eating whole grains and list of whole grain ingredients

Again, for those of you who don’t yet have the guide, a wee overview of whole grains in our article here:

Whole grains for high blood pressure

Whole grain Recipes

Here are some good sources of recipes using whole grain flour:

Whole Grains Council recipes

 

Avoid grains?

Some health experts recommend that we avoid grains completely. This is based on the idea that grains have entered the human diet relatively recently in our evolution and as such our bodies are not yet fully adapted to processing and digesting grains.

Some thus recommend following what’s called the “Paleo diet”, often dubbed the “Caveman diet” – a diet based on the kinds of food our stone age ancestors ate – fish, wild meat, eggs, fruit, roots, vegetables, nuts – a diet that’s high in protein and fibre and low in carbohydrates.

This might sound wacky or unnecessary, but there’s a growing amount of research that suggests eating grains can be related to a variety of chronic health problems, including obesity, diabetes, and various disorders of digestion.

If you’re interested, you can read more about this here:

The Paleo Diet: 15 Health Benefits – JenReviews.com

The paleo diet – short summary – webmd.com

Even some who don’t subscribe to the paleo diet hypothesis argue that the modern form of grains which are intensively bred and often genetically modified are not healthy eating. You can read more about this here:

Grains and Human Evolution

Why Grains Are Unhealthy – Mark’s Daily Apple

 

Oils and Fats

There’s an ongoing debate over the role of fat in blood pressure and health with more and more research showing that fat and saturated fat are not bad for you in the way government health authorities have suggested (except trans fats).

This is obviously very counter-intuitive and may be hard to believe. These links give detailed information and evidence:

Clear and comprehensive summary of the state of the debate:
Looks like the medical establishment was wrong about fat (Business Insider)

Saturated fat’s role in heart disease is a myth (Medical News Today)

Why we shouldn’t have been told to eat less fat in the first place:
Links between saturated fat and health have no scientific basis (Herald Scotland)

Dutch Get it Right and Recognize Saturated Fat is Not a Problem (Mercola.com)

Plus our own brief article, with more links: Saturated fat and high blood pressure

 

Cheese

Listing of the sodium content of various cheeses: Sodium content of cheese

 

Omega 3 Supplements

Omega 3 fatty acid supplements are most commonly found in the form of fish oils (the omega 3s are called EPA and DHA). You can also get flax seed-based supplements (omega 3s called ALA) if you’re vegan.

The University of Maryland Medical Center recommends the following daily intake. Read the label carefully on the packaging to make sure the daily dose would give you enough of these omega 3s:

DHA 1000 – 2500mg; EPA 220 mg

ALA (from flax) 1-2 g per day

If you’re buying omega 3 supplements derived from fish oils, additionally check that the fish oils are standardized at 3000-4000mg ideally.

You can buy a good quality plant-based (vegan) omega-3 supplement here: Ora Organic Omega-3

 

Fish

Fish and Shellfish and Omega 3 Fatty Acids

Information on the omega 3 content of various fish and shellfish (scroll down):

Fish, shellfish and omega 3s

Endangered fish

Greenpeace has created a ‘red list’ of fish that are most endangered by overfishing and damage to their environment. It includes Atlantic salmon, halibut, and various tunas.

Greenpeace Fish Red List

 

Send us your ideas and suggestions

If there are other websites, resources or products you’ve found useful and you think would be useful to others, please email them to us and we’ll include them: simon [at] highbloodpressurebegone.com

 

foods that lower blood pressure naturally - read our guideNOTE: This page is designed to be a companion page to Step 4 of our guide, ‘Lower Your Blood Pressure Naturally’. As such, it only contains supplementary resources rather than being a full discussion of Mediterranean-style eating.
For more information on foods that lower blood pressure naturally, you can further browse this website or, of course, buy the guide..!
Click here for details: Lower Your Blood Pressure Naturally – The Complete 9 Step Guide

 

ANOTHER NOTE: We’ve supplied Amazon links to those products that may be a little trickier to find, as Amazon is popular and convenient to use. However, Amazon aren’t known to be the most ethical company (we do not endorse them ourselves) so we recommend buying your healthy products in your local shops if you can!

 

Lower Your Blood Pressure Naturally: Step 8

Lower Your Blood Pressure Naturally - The Complete 9 Step Guide

This webpage is a companion to Step 8 of our book:
Lower Your Blood Pressure Naturally – The Complete 9 Step Guide

Step 8 discusses the nefarious effects of sugar on blood pressure and the many ways in which sugar is added to foods, often without us realising. Step 8 shows you how to avoid hidden sugars and eat well, while still having sweet treats. Find the natural sweetness in life!
Click here for more information on the book: Lower Your Blood Pressure Naturally

 

Sugar and Spice: Less sugar for lower blood pressure

Nice’n’Spicy

Herbs for lower blood pressure:

Bioperine

This is an extract of black pepper, which is reputed to improve your absorption of other nutrients, and is often taken with turmeric / curcumin to enable it to be absorbed.

Bioperine

Bioperine – Amazon.com

Cinnamon

Ceylon cinnamon is regarded as the most nutritious type of cinnamon for good health (including lower blood pressure):

Indus Organics Ceylon Cinnamon – Amazon.com (recommended by mailing list member)

Turmeric

Turmeric has various benefits which may in turn help regulate blood pressure. Since there’s only so much turmeric you can add to your food, some nutritionists suggest taking supplements of curcumin, the key helpful ingredient in turmeric. Here’s a link to buy a good curcumin supplement online:

Curcumin supplement – Quantum Wellness Botanicals

 

Sugar

For those of you on this webpage who haven’t bought the guide, here’s a wee introduction to the issues with sugar and blood pressure (with a few tips on how to get less sugar for lower blood pressure):
Sugar and high blood pressure

Sugar Addiction

A few articles on how addictive habitually eating sugar can be:

Psychology Today – Sugar Addiction

Mercola.com – Sugar More Addictive Than Cocaine

Sugar sensitivity

The medical establishment is a bit dubious about whether some people are ‘sugar-sensitive’, but here are a few articles about it.

Food Intolerance Institute of Australia – Sugar Sensitivity

Radiant Recovery – Sugar Sensitivity website

 

Hidden Sugar

If you’re in any doubt how much sugar is ‘hidden’ in foods you wouldn’t expect, read these:

Web MD – Sugar Shockers

US Government – Added Sugars (with a list of different kinds of added sugars)

A thought-provoking article on the negative effects of added fructose:

Mercola.com – Problems with ‘deadly’ fructose

A good article about the benefits of reducing your carbohydrates:

Mercola.com – Reduce Grains and Sugar to Lose Weight and Improve Health

Detailed explanation of carbohydrates, their effects in the body, and the benefits of natural sources of carbohydrates rather than processed food:

Medical News Today – What are carbohydrates?

 

Avoid hidden sugars

Barbecue sauces

You can make your own barbecue sauces with less sugar then many of the ones you can buy. Try fruit-based barbecue sauces – the fruit replaces some of the refined sugar, and you can reduce any other sugar in the recipe, and replace it with honey, maple syrup or blackstrap molasses.

Barbecue sauce recipes

 

Natural Sweeteners

There are many natural sweeteners you can use to replace sugar in recipes or in your drinks. Honey and maple syrup are widely available. However, here are links to buy a few others.

Blackstrap molasses

You can get this at most health food shops.

Wholesome Sweeteners – Organic Molasses (recommended by mailing list member, who promises it tastes good…)

Wholesome Sweeteners – Organic Molasses – Amazon.om

Coconut nectar

Coconut secret – coconut nectar (recommended by a mailing list member)

Stevia

Powdered Stevia – Amazon.com

Stevia extract – Amazon.com

 

Chocolate / Cocoa

Raw chocolate and raw cacao products are the best way to get the full benefits of dark chocolate – and they taste really good. More company’s are getting into raw cacao products:

Righteously Raw Chocolate (US)

The Raw Chocolate Company (UK)

Raw chocolate on Amazon.com

 

Send us your ideas and suggestions

If there are other websites, resources or products you’ve found useful and you think would be useful to others, please email them to us and we’ll include them: simon [at] highbloodpressurebegone.com

 

less sugar for lower blood pressure - read our guideNOTE: This page is designed to be a companion page to Step 8 of our guide, ‘Lower Your Blood Pressure Naturally’. As such, it only contains supplementary resources rather than being a full discussion of sugar and high blood pressure and what to do about it.
For more information on how to eat (and drink) less sugar for lower blood pressure, you can further browse this website or, of course, buy the guide..!
Click here for details: Lower Your Blood Pressure Naturally – The Complete 9 Step Guide

 

ANOTHER NOTE: We’ve supplied Amazon links to those products that may be a little trickier to find, as Amazon is popular and convenient to use. However, Amazon aren’t known to be the most ethical company (we do not endorse them ourselves) so we recommend buying your healthy products in your local shops if you can!

 

Lower Your Blood Pressure Naturally: Step 9

Lower Your Blood Pressure Naturally - The Complete 9 Step Guide

This webpage is a companion to Step 9 of our book:
Lower Your Blood Pressure Naturally – The Complete 9 Step Guide

Step 9 discusses the role of stress in high blood pressure and the many different techniques you can use reduce stress and relax more, not just to lower your blood pressure but to improve your quality of life generally. There’s even one simple method which will lower your blood pressure within minutes!
Click here for more information on the book: Lower Your Blood Pressure Naturally

 

Relax… Relaxation for lowering blood pressure

Dealing with Stress

There are myriad on-line resources for helping you deal with stress, so search around. Here are a few articles to start you off:

Web MD –  Life stress and easing it

Web MD – More relaxation techniques

 

How to Relax: Techniques to Reduce Stress

Slow Breathing

Resperate slow breathing aid

Resperate – Amazon. com (no longer available at amazon.co.uk)

 

Slow breathing exercise audio tracks available for download

Breathe Slow Audio Tracks

 

Meditation

There are many resources on-line for meditation too – tips on meditation, guided meditations – and for a range of different approaches to meditation. It won’t be hard to find one that suits you.

 

About Meditation

How to Meditate – good overview of different types of meditation, its benefits, and how to do it (jenreviews.com)

How to Meditate: Easy Meditation Techniques for Beginners to Meditate Properly (SoMuchYoga.com)

How to Meditate by Sam Harris – introduction to non-religious meditation

Wikipedia – Research on meditation

 

Meditation tips

Habit Nest – Learn How to Meditate (a good no-nonsense approach if you’re new to meditation)

Psychology Today – Meditation tips for beginners

 

Guided Meditations

Guided meditation audio tracks are available to play here:

Guided meditations by Sam Harris – a short one (9 mins) and a longer one

Buddhanet – Guided meditation – scroll down for ‘Guided Meditations with Malcolm Huxter’ – simple, down-to-earth meditations with various different slants, from simple body-focused or breath-focused meditations to ones specifically designed to calm difficult emotions and stress – you’re sure to find one that suits you.

More also on: Fragrant heart – Guided meditation for stress relief

There’s also a meditation app – with all kinds of guided meditations for different circumstances and situations. Although we haven’t tried it ourselves yet, it has been highly recommended by others: Headspace

 

Progressive Muscle Relaxation and Body Scanning

Here are some links for audio guides to progressive muscle relaxation (PMR). Or just search online, have a wee listen and go for the one whose voice you like best.

Malcolm Huxter – Guided PMR

If you like the Malcolm Huxter one, click here for more guided meditations from him (“body scan” is a simpler version of PMR):

Buddhanet – Guided meditation – scroll down for ‘Guided Meditations with Malcolm Huxter’

 

Yoga

Good beginner’s guide to yoga and its benefits:
The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to Yoga

Overview of different types of yoga:
Verywell.com – yoga types

Yoga resources, including videos, online classes, articles:
Yoga.com

 

Have a Laugh

A bit about laughter therapy:
Laughter therapy – Guardian article
Laughter Online University – free laughter resources
Laughter Yoga International

Laughter clubs:
Meetup.com – laughter Clubs
Laughter Yoga America
Laughter Online University – Community Laughter Clubs
World Laughter Tour – clubs

 

Improve your motivation and mood generally

Some issues to do with your mood, stress levels and sleep quality are related to the regulation of certain brain chemicals and hormones. This article, suggested by a reader of the website, discusses dopamine levels, how they affect your well-being, and how you can improve them:
Boost your dopamine levels

 

Be Well Rested

Take breaks

Good tips on effective ways to take and time breaks:

This is a great article on when, why and how to take breaks at work:
Wikihow – Take breaks at work

Some good stretches you can do in the office or at home:
Mayo Clinic – stretches

A fantastic poster you can print out or look at to remind you of ’50 ways to take a break’:
Take a break poster!

 

Have a nap!

More and more research is now showing that taking a daily midday nap is linked with lower blood pressure and better heart health. Napping for up to an hour a day seems to be best, but even if you can’t manage a nap every day, taking a nap even occasionally may help.

Read more here: how a nap can lower your blood pressure

 

Sleep

Detailed and comprehensive tips on getting a good night’s sleep:
Mercola.com – Secrets to a good night’s sleep

 

Other things which reduce stress and increase being at ease

Think about how you think

There are a wealth of self-help resources online with psychological tips and guidance on dealing with stress, as well as information on finding a psychologist or therapist if you think you could benefit from more one-on-one advice or support.

Below is information on a few tried and tested approaches which have been successfully used to reduce stress, including Cognitive Behavour Therapy and Mindfulness approaches to stress reduction.

This free e-book may also be a good starting point. It’s a 17 page report which identifies 7 ways of thinking and acting that make us likely to feel stressed, then goes on to suggest ways to overcome these stress-inducing approaches and take a more relaxing attitude towards yourself, life and living.

Just click here to download it for free: 7 Mistakes that Lead to Stress

 

Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT)

About CBT:
Patient.co.uk – about CBT

CBT self-help resources:
Self Help CBT (this section is specifically about stress: Self Help – CBT and stress)

Mood gym:
Mood Gym

‘Mood gym’ is an online interactive program created by the Australian National University to help you identify and understand the way you perceive and react to situations. It’s designed to help those suffering from stress, anxiety and/or depression, but will be useful for anyone wanting to gain more insight into the workings of their mind – and particularly, how our unconscious assumptions affect our perceptions and thus our behaviour – and how these can be changed!

You have to set up an account to use it but don’t have to provide any personal information (not even your real name). It’s based on the principles of cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) and is interesting and easy to use – and they have 750, 000 users so far, so it’s pretty popular.

CBT practitioners and services:

UK:
CBT therapist.com

US:
Academy of CT

US and Canada:
CBT Assocation

Australia:
CBT Australia

 

Mindfulness approaches to stress reduction

Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction (MBSR) is a program developed at the University of Massachusetts:
Wikipedia – MBSR
University of Massachusetts – MBSR

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is similar to CBT in some ways but draws from mindfulness approaches in focusing more on accepting our difficult experiences, emotions and reactions rather than changing them – based on the sense that it’s lack of acceptance of our experiences and ourselves that can be at the root of a lot of our stress.

This article is quite in-depth, but does have good summaries of the main elements of ACT:
Psychology Today – ACT

If you’re interested in the basics of ACT, this book could be useful:
ACT Made Simple – Amazon.com

 

A quick pep talk!

For a quick mood boost, you could always try this – an ‘instant peptalk’ app !

It’s from a website for ‘self help for people who wouldn’t be caught dead doing self-help’ and is a free app you can download to a smartphone or tablet which gives you an ‘instant peptalk’ or motivating poster. Could be worth a try!

 

Eating (and drinking) well

Mood-boosting foods?

This is a complex issue and many sources online give conflicting advice. The main elements of the debate are summarised in the Step 9 Appendix, but here are a few more resources so you can investigate further yourself.

Columbia University (US) – Go Ask Alice – an informal and balanced overview of the interactions between serotonin levels, food and how we feel

WebMD – Food, Mood and Serotonin – a brief summary of food, mood and serotonin

Psychology Today – Carbohydrates and Serotonin – thorough explanation of how food affects serotonin production, following with advice on how this affects weight gain and loss

Mark’s Daily Apple – serotonin boosters –  one man’s take on foods and activities which boost your mood

 

Send us your ideas and suggestions

If there are other websites, resources or products you’ve found useful and you think would be useful to others, please email them to us and we’ll include them: simon [at] highbloodpressurebegone.com

 

relaxation for lowering blood pressure - read our guideNOTE: This page is designed to be a companion page to Step 9 of our guide, ‘Lower Your Blood Pressure Naturally’. As such, it only contains supplementary resources rather than being a full discussion of stress and blood pressure and the various methods of reducing both.
For more information on relaxation for lowering blood pressure, you can further browse this website or, of course, buy the guide..!
Click here for details: Lower Your Blood Pressure Naturally – The Complete 9 Step Guide

 

ANOTHER NOTE: We’ve supplied Amazon links to those products that may be a little trickier to find, as Amazon is popular and convenient to use. However, Amazon aren’t known to be the most ethical company (we do not endorse them ourselves) so we recommend buying your healthy products in your local shops if you can!

 

Are Tomatoes Good for High Blood Pressure? Yes!

Tomatoes: Good for High Blood Pressure!

are tomatoes good for blood pressure
Tomatoes are native to South and Central America, and were originally thought to be poisonous when they were first brought to Britain and North America. This was because the tomato is a member of the Nightshade family, which includes Deadly Nightshade.

It soon found favour though, as reflected in the early European names for the tomato, with the French calling it a ‘love apple’ and the Germans an ‘apple of paradise’.

Praise indeed, and happily tomatoes are now widely enjoyed not only for their taste, but also for their health benefits. Eating tomatoes is reported to help prevent heart disease and some cancers, protect against sunburn – and lower blood pressure.

 

Eating red: why tomatoes are good for high blood pressure

It’s that beautiful rich redness of tomatoes which makes them so good for you. Many red fruits and vegetables are actually good for lowering blood pressure. This is because the carotenoid pigments which give them their red and orange colours are antioxidants. Antioxidants reduce and repair the damage to our body done by free radicals and also help improve our cholesterol levels. (Free radicals are molecules which are naturally produced in our body but which are also present in environmental pollution, radiation, and trans fats in food. Their actions in our body contribute to high blood pressure in several different ways.)

However, of all the carotenoid antioxidants, lycopene is though to be the most efficient at reducing cellular damage and facilitating healthier cholesterol levels. And tomatoes are particularly high in lycopene.

It’s also now thought that tomato products may help reduce inflammation, which more and more research suggests can be a significant factor in high blood pressure and other chronic conditions.

Tomatoes are also high in potassium which is important for blood pressure through balancing the body’s fluids and counteracting the effects of sodium/salt. Tomatoes are one of the best vegetable sources of potassium, so if salt intake is a factor in your high blood pressure, then eating more tomatoes can help reduce its unhealthy effects.

Several studies now show that eating tomato products or taking tomato extracts can result in lower blood pressure. A lycopene supplement – Lyc-O-Mato – is available in many health food shops. However, you can get a good amount of lycopene – and all the other great nutrients – from a few tomatoes or half a cup of tomato sauce.

 
five superfoods which lower blood pressure (and don't cost you the earth)

How to eat tomatoes for maximum blood pressure benefits

Some fruits and vegetables lose a lot of their nutrients when they’re cooked or processed, but this isn’t the case with tomatoes. Cooking and processing may actually make some of their nutrients more available to the body (this is because carotenoid antioxidants aren’t destroyed by heat like other antioxidants).

So eat tomatoes fresh or canned or in paste/puree form. If you’re buying canned/processed tomato products though, check the label to make sure there’s no added sodium, MSG or sugar (not good for blood pressure!).

For more excellent blood pressure-lowering foods, click here for our free report: Five superfoods which lower blood pressure (and don’t cost you the earth)

 

How many tomatoes should I eat?

Try to eat at least a couple of tomatoes, or some tomato products each day. Tomatoes are incredibly versatile so there are a variety of ways you can incorporate them into your meals.

  • eat tomatoes raw with an olive-oil based dressing, or with avocado – the oils in the avocado help the carotenoids be absorbed
  • layer with fresh basil leaves, and a few thin slices of mozzarella, and drizzle on olive oil
  • make a tomato-based salsa
  • make tomato sauces – using fresh or canned tomatoes, or tomato paste/puree
  • make tomato-based stews, like chilli – add cayenne for extra blood pressure benefits
  • make a good tomato soup – tomato, basil and orange is a good combination
  • tomato juice can also be good and in the case of tomatoes, heated/heat-processed tomato juice is actually better than freshly squeezed – but be sure to go for a good organic one as drinks like V8 contain sodium and possibly MSG (not good for blood pressure!)

Taste a tomato today …

 

Beyond tomatoes: lower your blood pressure naturally

In addition to tomatoes there is a large choice of affordable natural ingredients that lower blood pressure. Many of these spices, herbs, berries, fruits, grains, vegetables, meats and drinks are available in local stores.

Of course there are other factors beyond diet (like fitness and stress) that affect your blood pressure. So the best way to lower your blood pressure without drugs is to apply a broader approach – covering all causes and cures with natural home-based remedies.

lower your blood pressure naturallyThe guide contains simple and proven strategies for lowering your blood pressure and keeping it low through easy, effective and enjoyable changes in lifestyle.

These progressive steps are based on the principle that positive incremental change is always best in health matters.

Each chapter will take you further along the road of greater vigour and peace of mind (and a healthy blood pressure).

Click on the link below for more information:

Lower Your Blood Pressure Naturally Guide

 

P.S. This guide shows you how to lower your blood pressure permanently and naturally without side-effects or complications.

Follow each step to get your blood pressure back in balance.

Choose between a wide range of delicious foods that reduce your blood pressure. Include a number of mental and physical exercises in your schedule for both relaxation and invigoration.

Following this guide will reduce, and in time, eliminate your need for blood pressure lowering medications.

This is a guide for good healthy living and will be beneficial for all – even if you don’t currently suffer from high blood pressure.

To download a sample of the guide to your computer right now click here and scroll to the bottom of the page for the download link.

tomatoes to lower high blood pressure

Some references:

https://recipes.howstuffworks.com/fresh-ideas/dinner-food-facts/tomato-called-a-love-apple.htm

https://www.naturalnews.com/040130_CoqQ0_blood_pressure_tomatoes.html

https://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/HighBloodPressure/PreventionTreatmentofHighBloodPressure/Potassium-and-High-Blood-Pressure_UCM_303243_Article.jsp

https://www.eatingwell.com/nutrition_health/blood_pressure/hot_tomatoes_eating_to_control_blood_pressure

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tomato_products_and_human_health

https://www.nhs.uk/news/2011/05May/Pages/tomato-lycopene-blood-pressure-cholesterol.aspx

 

Photo credits: Tomato photos by Anamaria Pina and Smudge 9000 on flickr.com

 

Why red food is good for you and your blood pressure

How is red food good for blood pressure?

red food good for blood pressureMany of the best fruits and vegetables for blood pressure are those that are red, purple or blue in colour. The reason red food is good for blood pressure is that red fruits and vegetables – and blue ones – contain anthocyanins, resveratrol, and lycopene, all of which are known to have specific benefits for blood pressure.

So eat (or drink) something red every day for healthier blood pressure.

Lycopene

For example, tomatoes are one red food good for blood pressure. Lycopene is what gives tomatoes their colour and is a very effective antioxidant for countering the effects of free radicals and lowering cholesterol levels.

Tomatoes are rich in lycopene – see our post on tomatoes here: tomatoes are good for high blood pressure. However so are several fruits, including grapefruits, guavas, papayas, pomegranates, watermelons.

Watermelons are also rich in potassium and l-arginine (an amino acid, which promotes dilation of the blood vessels). And both grapefruit juice and pomegranate juice have been used in studies, with early evidence suggesting they may help lower cholesterol and blood pressure.

Resveratrol

Other red food good for blood pressure contains resveratrol. It’s found in the skin of red grapes, for example, and is partly what gives red wine its colour and heart health benefits. Resveratrol is thought to help lower blood pressure due to its antioxidant effects, and may help lower cholesterol and reduce blood clotting. Resveratrol may also protect against insulin resistance, which can lead to diabetes and is also implicated in high blood pressure.

Foods rich in resveratrol include: chocolate and cocoa, peanuts, red grapes (and blueberries and cranberries to a lesser extent), and of course, red wine

Anthocyanins

Anthocyanins are the pigments which give the purplish and blue hues to berries and the red to blood oranges. They’ve been the focus of much medical research in recent years. Several large studies have shown higher intakes of anthocyanins to be associated with various cardiovascular benefits, including lower risk of high blood pressure, lower blood pressure, more flexible arteries, and lower risk of heart attack.

Blood oranges and red apples contain anthocyanins, but the densest concentrations are found in berries. Read more about berries here – Berries and high blood pressure

(Post by Alison)

– – –

Lower your blood pressure naturally (for less cost)

In addition to red foods, there’s a large choice of affordable natural ingredients that lower blood pressure. Many of these spices, herbs, berries, fruits, grains, vegetables, meats and drinks are available in local stores.

And of course there are other factors beyond diet (like fitness and stress) that affects your blood pressure. So the best way to lower your blood pressure without drugs is to apply a broader approach – covering all causes and cures with natural home-based remedies.

lower your blood pressure naturallyThe guide contains simple and proven strategies for lowering your blood pressure and keeping it low through easy, effective and enjoyable changes in lifestyle.

These progressive steps are based on the principle that positive incremental change is always best in health matters.

Each chapter will take you further along the road of greater vigour and peace of mind (and a healthy blood pressure).

Click on the link below for more information:

Lower Your Blood Pressure Naturally Guide

 

P.S. This guide shows you how to lower your blood pressure permanently and naturally without side-effects or complications.

Follow each step to get your blood pressure back in balance.

Choose between a wide range of delicious foods that reduce your blood pressure. Include a number of mental and physical exercises in your schedule for both relaxation and invigoration.

Following this guide will reduce, and in time, eliminate your need for blood pressure lowering medications.

This is a guide for good healthy living and will be beneficial for all – even if you don’t currently suffer from high blood pressure.

To download a sample of the guide to your computer right now click here and scroll to the bottom of the page for the download link.

So is red food good for blood pressure? Yes! To help keep your health levels up and you blood pressure down eat something red every day!

 

 

Are berries good for high blood pressure?

The fact is that berries are good for high blood pressure or as my partner says “berries are best” – and here’s why:

Red foods are often good for blood pressure, as the pigments which give foods their red colours contain substances which help lower blood pressure.

The pigments that have been studied the most in relation to cardiovascular health, and have the most medical evidence behind them, are anthocyanins.

Anthocyanins are responsible for the red, purple and blue colours of most berries, and a few other fruits like blood oranges and red apples. Hibiscus also contains anthocyanins – so try some hibiscus tea!

(Read more about the benefits of hibiscus for high blood pressure here: can hibiscus tea help lower blood pressure)

Anthocyanin are a type of antioxidant called flavonoids, which seem to be particularly effective in alleviating, and protecting against, high blood pressure.

Several major studies have shown that people who eat more anthocyanins tend to have lower risk of high blood pressure and heart attack, while others have found eating more anthocyanins to be associated directly with lower blood pressure, and other cardiovascular benefits like more flexible arteries.

As well as the usual antioxidant effects of countering the damage of free radicals to the body and arteries, medical researchers believe anthocyanins may also help relax and dilate blood vessels.

 

More berry benefits

five superfoods which lower blood pressure (and don't cost you the earth)Berries are also fairly low in sugar, and even contain some protein and vitamin E, so are an ideal fruit for lowering blood pressure.

And their anthocyanins have other benefits too: clinical research has found increased consumption of berries and administration of anthocyanin extracts to be associated with reducing the mental decline associated with aging, protecting against cancer, and improving eyesight.

 

The best berries

The following berries are all rich in anthocyanins: acai berries, bilberries, blackberries, blackcurrants, blueberries, cherries, cranberries, hawthorn berries, raspberries, strawberries.

Blueberries get a lot of press for being good for the health, but raspberries, blackberries and other deep-coloured berries are equally anthocyanin-rich.

Exotic berries like acai berries are also highly hyped – and are incredibly good for you – but are more expensive and difficult to find. But really, any of the berries will be beneficial, so eat whichever ones you like best.

For more excellent blood pressure-lowering foods (and drinks), click here for our free report: Five superfoods which lower blood pressure (and don’t cost you the earth)

 

Berries for breakfast, lunch, dinner …

Researchers suggest that even one or two servings of berries a day can be enough to improve your cardiovascular health and blood pressure. Berries are a great snack of course, but you can use them in pretty much every meal, with a little imagination.

– try adding berries to porridge, muesli or cereal in the morning

– chuck a handful of berries in a salad

– gently fry some blueberries with beef or bison steak and a little maple syrup for a rich tasty sauce

– mix berries with natural yoghurt, or even cottage or ricotta cheese

– berries are delicious in smoothies and give them a great colour too

– berry juices are easy to find too

If you want to try acai berries, your best bet is a health food store. Acai berry is mostly available in a powdered form, and can be added a juice or smoothie.

When you’re buying berries, check their condition, as they can spoil quickly if they get squashed or kept in damp conditions. Also, don’t rinse them until you’re about to use them as the anthocyanins can leach out into water. Freezing them is a good way to store any you can’t eat right away.

To sum up, the answer to the question – Are berries good for high blood pressure? – is a resounding yes!

 

Lower your blood pressure naturally (for less cost)

In addition to berries there is a large choice of affordable natural ingredients that lower blood pressure. Many of these spices, herbs, berries, fruits, grains, vegetables, meats and drinks are available in local stores.

Of course there are other factors beyond diet (like fitness and stress) that affect your blood pressure. So the best way to lower your blood pressure without drugs is to apply a broader approach – covering all causes and cures with natural home-based remedies.

lower your blood pressure naturallyThe guide contains simple and proven strategies for lowering your blood pressure and keeping it low through easy, effective and enjoyable changes in lifestyle.

These progressive steps are based on the principle that positive incremental change is always best in health matters.

Each chapter will take you further along the road of greater vigour and peace of mind (and a healthy blood pressure).

Click on the link below for more information:

Lower Your Blood Pressure Naturally Guide

 

P.S. This guide shows you how to lower your blood pressure permanently and naturally without side-effects or complications.

Follow each step to get your blood pressure back in balance.

Choose between a wide range of delicious foods that reduce your blood pressure. Include a number of mental and physical exercises in your schedule for both relaxation and invigoration.

Following this guide will reduce, and in time, eliminate your need for blood pressure lowering medications.

This is a guide for good healthy living and will be beneficial for all – even if you don’t currently suffer from high blood pressure.

To download a sample of the guide to your computer right now click here and scroll to the bottom of the page for the download link.

 

Bananas for high blood pressure

The benefits of bananas for high blood pressure

bananas for high blood pressureSome call bananas a ‘super-food’ for blood pressure and cardiovascular health because of it’s high potassium content.

When you dig a little deeper we can see that there are actually a number of benefits of bananas for high blood pressure.

Plenty Potassium

Getting plenty potassium is vital for healthy blood pressure as works in interaction with sodium to moderate the fluid balance of your body. Too much sodium leads to water retention, higher blood volume, and so higher blood pressure. But even if you’re not having too much sodium, if you’re getting too little potassium, you get the same effect. What’s crucial is the balance of sodium and potassium in your body – and in your diet.

Bananas are not only high in potassium but also very low in sodium. One good sized banana gives you about 10% of your daily recommended intake of potassium (4,700 mg is the recommended daily amount in the US).

Because of being high in potassium and low in sodium and fat, bananas are allowed to carry US Food and Drug Administration health claim that they may “reduce the risk of high blood pressure and stroke.”

However, bananas have other benefits for blood pressure too.

 

Low fat – high fibre

Bananas are low in saturated fat and cholesterol and high in soluble fibre, they’re also allowed to claim to “reduce the risk of coronary heart disease”. Soluble fibre forms a gel when its digested and binds to cholesterol in your digestive system, preventing it from being absorbed by the body, and so can help lower cholesterol levels.

 

Vital vitamins and many minerals

Bananas also give you about 20% of the vitamin B6 you need, as well as being a good source of vitamin C, magnesium and other minerals, and although they’re not high in calcium, they help your body absorb and conserve it.

Although bananas are pretty sweet, their high fibre content slows down the rate at which their sugars are digested and released into the bloodstream, which means that eating a banana can keep you going for quite some time. Great before exercise, and also afterwards, to help replenish minerals and electrolytes lost by sweating.

 

Other health benefits of bananas

Bananas also protect against stomach ulcers, promote strong bones, and even help release ‘good mood’ chemical serotonin in your brain. And since they’re so rich in minerals and electrolytes, they’re good for replacing those lost after diaorrhea or excessive sweating, and help settle the stomach too.

 

Plantains

Plantains are a very similar fruit, but less sweet, so are often used cooked in main meals, in Caribbean cuisine, for example. If you can get plantain, then try grilling and baking them. You can also use bananas in this way too.

 

Eating more bananas for high blood pressure

Bananas are a very versatile food – they’re good raw, cooked, as a sweet snack or dessert, and also in non-sweet foods and meals.

  • slice a banana into your porridge or muesli for an early potassium kick
  • spread banana on a slice of wholegrain toast or crackers
  • use bananas in baking – cookies, muffins, banana bread, pancakes
  • fried or grilled banana/plantain is delicious alongside fatty fish like mackerel (also great for your heart and blood pressure)
  • banana can even be sliced into curry
  • bananas are fantastic in smoothies as a thickener – use it in every one
  • put bananas in the freezer till partly frozen then blend with a little milk for a healthy ice cream
  • bake banana in its skin for a delicious dessert
  • and of course, bananas are also great snacks on the go, and even come ready-wrapped

Buying bananas when they’re still green and firm, and ripening them at home, is a good way to ensure good unbruised bananas.

Putting them in the fridge before they’re ripe will stop them from ripening, but once they’re ripe it’s fine to refrigerate them – the skin will turn black but the banana inside will be fine.

 

Lower your blood pressure naturally (for less cost)

In addition to bananas, there is a large choice of affordable natural ingredients that lower blood pressure. Many of these spices, herbs, berries, fruits, grains, vegetables, meats and drinks are available in local stores.

Of course there are other factors beyond diet (like fitness and stress) that affect your blood pressure. So the best way to lower your blood pressure without drugs is to apply a broader approach – covering all causes and cures with natural home-based remedies.

lower your blood pressure naturallyThe guide contains simple and proven strategies for lowering your blood pressure and keeping it low through easy, effective and enjoyable changes in lifestyle.

These progressive steps are based on the principle that positive incremental change is always best in health matters.

Each chapter will take you further along the road of greater vigour and peace of mind (and a healthy blood pressure).

Click on the link below for more information:

Lower Your Blood Pressure Naturally Guide

 

P.S. This guide shows you how to lower your blood pressure permanently and naturally without side-effects or complications.

Follow each step to get your blood pressure back in balance.

Choose between a wide range of delicious foods that reduce your blood pressure. Include a number of mental and physical exercises in your schedule for both relaxation and invigoration.

Following this guide will reduce, and in time, eliminate your need for blood pressure lowering medications.

This is a guide for good healthy living and will be beneficial for all – even if you don’t currently suffer from high blood pressure.

To download a sample of the guide to your computer right now click here and scroll to the bottom of the page for the download link.

Apples for high blood pressure

Apples for high blood pressure – humble but potent!

apples for high blood pressureYou hear a lot in the media about exotic ‘superfruits’ like acai berries, which will lower your blood pressure, help your heart, protect you against cancer and the like.

You’ve probably also heard about the beneficial effects of bananas and blueberries for blood pressure.

However, even the humble apple is good for your blood pressure and your heart.

 

Apples for high blood pressure –  rosy apples

Apples are actually members of the rose family and are perhaps one of the most potent symbols in human history. Apart from the apple eaten by Eve, apples have had largely positive associations: to the Norse, they were linked to eternal youthfulness and wisdom, to the Celts, they represented fertility, and to the Greeks, they symbolised love and beauty.

The popular phrase ‘an apple a day keeps the doctor away’ probably came from an old Welsh proverb, and it’s now known that apples have excellent health benefits in many ways, including for the heart and blood pressure.

A study of 40,000 women found that those who regularly ate apples had lower risk of heart disease. And an analysis of a US food intake and health database found eating apples to be associated with lower risk of high blood pressure and metabolic syndrome (associated with heart disease and stroke).

 

Apples for high blood pressure – apple antioxidants

Apples are very high in antioxidants like quercetin (also found in onions and green tea). These counteract the damaging effects of free radicals and cholesterol, helping keep the blood vessels in good condition, and also increase the production of nitric oxide, which dilates and relaxes blood vessels.

Apples are also one of the fruits highest in both soluble and insoluble fibre – and so can help lower cholesterol levels and stabilise blood sugar levels – important in maintaining healthy blood pressure.

 

Apples for high blood pressure – eat the whole apple

Much of the fibre, and the other nutrients, is in the skin of the apple, so to get all its goodness, don’t peel it. In fact, some key nutrients are located in the core and the seeds, so eat the whole thing if you can.

 

Apples for high blood pressure – eat more apples

As well as just biting into an apple for a healthy snack and dessert, you can use and add apple in a variety of other meals:

– chop apple into porridge or muesli

– apple works well with savoury flavours – add to coleslaw and salads – like waldorf salad (apple, raisins, celery, walnuts, lettuce with a lemon and mayo/natural yoghurt dressing)

– make baked apple – take the core out and stuff with raisins walnuts, a little brown sugar and cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice etc,wrap in foil and bake for up to an hour – a delicious warm winter treat and all the ingredients are good for blood pressure!

 

Apples for high blood pressure – go organic

Buying organic fruits is always a good idea but is particularly important with apples, which concentrate pesticide residues in their flesh more than other fruits.

 

Lower your blood pressure naturally (for less cost)

In addition to apples there is a large choice of affordable natural ingredients that lower blood pressure. Many of these spices, herbs, berries, fruits, grains, vegetables, meats and drinks are available in local stores.

Of course there are other factors beyond diet (like fitness and stress) that affect your blood pressure. So the best way to lower your blood pressure without drugs is to apply a broader approach – covering all causes and cures with natural home-based remedies.

lower your blood pressure naturallyThe guide contains simple and proven strategies for lowering your blood pressure and keeping it low through easy, effective and enjoyable changes in lifestyle.

These progressive steps are based on the principle that positive incremental change is always best in health matters.

Each chapter will take you further along the road of greater vigour and peace of mind (and a healthy blood pressure).

Click on the link below for more information:

Lower Your Blood Pressure Naturally Guide

 

P.S. This guide shows you how to lower your blood pressure permanently and naturally without side-effects or complications.

Follow each step to get your blood pressure back in balance.

Choose between a wide range of delicious foods that reduce your blood pressure. Include a number of mental and physical exercises in your schedule for both relaxation and invigoration.

Following this guide will reduce, and in time, eliminate your need for blood pressure lowering medications.

This is a guide for good healthy living and will be beneficial for all – even if you don’t currently suffer from high blood pressure.

To download a sample of the guide to your computer right now click here and scroll to the bottom of the page for the download link.

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