How I Lowered My Blood Pressure Naturally
Need to drop your blood pressure by 30 points? Well, I hate to admit it,
but I did. About six months ago (in late 2010) I had my blood pressure taken and was appalled. I
remember that the systolic was a little over 140 and the diastolic a little over
90, 143/93 I believe.
By the way, I think the PA that took it was shocked at my reaction,
because I was so concerned. She said the usual stuff you hear, "Don't
worry about it. That's not that bad of a reading and our pressures vary
That was no comfort, though, for me, because I know better. Read my link on
Erectile Dysfunction and Hypertension and you'll see why.
Hypertension puts your heart, brain and love life all at tremendous risk.
The primary problem is that the extra force hammering against your veins,
capillaries and arteries causes damage over time, damage that leads to stroke
and endothelial injury. Furthermore, it's not
just high blood pressure (>140/90) that has been shown by the research to be a
problem, but even pre-hypertensive blood pressures (>120/80 and < 140/90) show
an increased risk of cardiovascular issues. So her words were no comfort to me.
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Over the next few months I measured it many times and found it was always at
What I found really baffling was that I was doing so many things right.
For example, I was religiously exercising daily and ate a (dang near) Low Fat Diet.
My cholesterol has been in the 120's and 130's for several years.
Furthermore, my blood pressure had always been excellent and below 120 systolic
and 80 diastolic, so none of this made any sense. I even had a great page
on How to Lower Your Blood Pressure and I followed just about everything on it.
A few possible culprits came to mind:
1. Coffee. About the time my blood pressure went up, I had started drinking
coffee and backed off of tea. If you read my link on The Health Benefits
of Coffee, you'll see that coffee has recently been exonerated from causing
hypertension. However, maybe I was sensitive?
2. Stress. Stress can very strongly raise blood pressure levels.
In fact, one problem that doctors have is that some patients' blood pressure
readings will always be higher in their office simply because the patient is
subconsciously nervouse about the readings. This is one of the many
reasons I recommend a (good, upper arm cuff) blood pressure monitor so you can
measure it at home.
If I'm honest, I have to admit that I really do not know what pushed my blood
pressure into early stages of hypertension. What I can tell you is that I
tried several changes and the combination of them dramatically lowered my blood
pressure over several weeks.
CAUTION: Always consult with your doctor before making any lifestyle
change, especially if you have high blood pressure or some other medical
Here is what I did and it lowered my systolic by 30+ points and my diastolic by
1. Zinc. I quit taking supplemental zinc and instead concentrated on
consuming zinc-rich foods.
2. Coffee. I quit coffee except for one cup in the early morning.
3. Black Tea. I began drinking again glasses of black ice tea per
day. You'll have to buy my book for details, but black tea is a proven
blood-pressure lowering drink.
4. Raw, Unprocessed Cocoa. I also drink 2-3 cups of raw, unprocessed cocoa
per day. See my link on Loco for Cocoa for more details.
5. Salt. I watched my salt intake very carefully. I
actually got to the point where I do not any salt to my food. And, to be
honest, I do not miss it any more. (Most men do not realize the negative
impact that excess salt can have according to the studies. See my links on The Many Ways Salt
Can Kill You and
Salt and Erectile Dysfunction for more information.
6. UPDATE: Dietary Nitrates. This I added later: beets and other high nitrate
foods. See my link on A Review of Beet the Odds by Nathan Bryan
for more information. But a teaser: these can lower blood pressure
for up to 24 hours after consumption!
Now I have to admit that I don't know which of these five actually lowered the
blood pressure. My opinion is that what really made the difference is #3
and #4. When I began consuming tea and raw cocoa, I saw my blood pressure
drop dramatically. In fact, I have had a couple of readings around 95/60 and so
backed off on the cocoa, as I do not want to go too low!
Also, for those of you with hypertension or pre-hypertension, keep in mind that I
already do a lot of things to hold down my blood pressure, including eating lot
of grains, fruits and vegetables, especially those outlined in
my book and daily exercise. However, put it all
together and perhaps you can achieve similar results. (And work with your