How to Naturally Lower Your Blood Pressure

Q: My doc says I have high blood pressure and prescribed some medication, but I don’t like how it makes me feel. How can I lower my blood pressure naturally?

A: I often call hypertension the “silent killer.” Elevated blood pressure gradually damages the blood vessels in your heart, brain, kidneys and elsewhere, putting your life at risk even when you don’t feel a thing. It is very important to get your blood pressure under control. For most people that means maintaining a systolic number (the one on top) of less than 140 and a diastolic (the number on the bottom) of less than 90. There are some behavioral changes that can help, but while you are doing this lifestyle overhaul, you should continue to use the medications, monitor your blood pressure with a home monitor, and check in with your doctor frequently to see if you need to change the dosages of your medication. With diligence, it is possible to eliminate the need for medications all together or at least reduce the dosages (and the likelihood of side effects).

Here are the starting points:

A moderately low-sodium, low-fat diet with a high intake of fruits and vegetables (called the DASH diet). Learn the specifics about the DASH diet here.
Weight reduction to get your body mass index (BMI) less than 25. Calculate your BMI here.
It is recommended that hypertension patients who consume alcohol have no more than one alcoholic drink (for women) or two alcoholic drinks (for men) daily.
Physical activity (at least 30 minutes of walking or equivalent at least three times per week) is recommended for patients with hypertension who are on medications.

These may seem like deceptively easy steps (and they are), but you have to be committed to improving your health to stick with them.

Dr. Brent Ridge is the health expert for Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia. You can call and ask him a question live every Tuesday at 2 p.m. Eastern on Sirius Satellite Radio, Channel 112 (1.866.675.6675). You can also follow along as he learns to grow his own food and raise goats on his farm in upstate New York by visiting www.beekman1802.com.

Got a health question for Dr. Brent? E-mail him at drbrent@care2.com.

26 comments

Birgit W.
Birgit W.3 years ago

Thanks

Fred Hoekstra
Fred Hoekstra3 years ago

Thank you Dr. Brent, for Sharing this!

Shanti S.
S S.3 years ago

Thank you.

Fran F.
Fran F.3 years ago

Thanks for the information.

Joe R.
Joe R.4 years ago

Thanks.

KARLOLINA G.
KARLOLINA G.4 years ago

I find cayenne has helped many of my friends. Cayenne is a spice, which contains medicinal properties that have proven benefits for the human body. Cayenne pepper is dried chilly pepper, which is ground and used as a condiment. People undergoing holistic healing have used and felt the advantages of this pepper for treating high blood pressure. Although I do not have high blood pressure I do use cayenne regularly everyday. Thanks for the article. I will add to my points of interest.

Coco Z.
Coco Z.4 years ago

noted

Ruth R.
Ruth R.5 years ago

Thank You. Saved, emailed to others.

Sally Ann Bergquist

Thank you for this information .... it inspires me to try harder.

heather g.
heather g.5 years ago

The weight-loss part doesn't happen with that amount of exercise - the rest is easy.