A lot of people have high blood pressure, especially in the United States. When blood pressure medication stops working or causes horrible side effects, there are alternatives. However, getting off your blood pressure medication and onto a healthier diet or supplement regimen requires the supervision of a reputable health professional and gradual change. That said, here are 5 foods that can help you lower your blood pressure without nasty side effects:
1 – Just Go Paleo
Paleo is hard, but this is the most efficient way to lower your blood pressure naturally. If you’re willing to stop taking your blood pressure medication, you must be willing to make big lifestyle changes as well. This really works for people, but it’s not for everyone.
2 – Okay, #1: HIBISCUS
Hibiscus tea is so ridiculously good for you mostly because it lowers your blood pressure. According to a study by Tufts University, hibiscus may lower systolic blood pressure by 7 points. According to study Author Diane McKay, PhD, “even small changes in blood pressure … when maintained over time … will reduce the risk of stroke and heart attack.” Past AHA president and skeptic Robert H. Eckel, MD, thinks more research must be done, but the American Heart Association also claimed “coconut oil is bad for you” based off a single-trial study. The AHA also one recognized the Cheerios brand, made up entirely of gluten and processed sugar, as “heart healthy,” and their funding mostly comes from food-based corporations, so perhaps Dr. Eckel’s opinion isn’t a reliable source. Just saying. I’m not bitter.
Regardless, hibiscus has been used as a remedy for a number of things in addition to blood pressure for years in eastern medicine.
3 – GARLIC
This incredible “superfood” also lowers blood pressure, but gradually when taken every day. According to research, one will see results in about 3 weeks. The source linked here claims the garlic must be taken as a tablet, but fails to recognize that allicin is present in raw garlic and as long as you don’t cook it, eating a clove works just as well . . . if not better. Multiple sources recommend Kyolic garlic supplements, although I’m not sure I would 100% recommend considering it does contain traces of magnesium stearate.
4 – FISH OIL
Ya, fish oil is good for your heart (and your brain), but you knew that. I recommend taking fermented cod liver oil if you want to get the best of the best.
5 – BEE VENOM
I’ve mentioned earlier that bee stings are good for your cardiovascular system. You should keep bees if you’re going to use the venom though and just allow yourself to get stung every now and then. Otherwise, you’re contributing to colony collapse disorder and that isn’t cool. My beekeeper pal Rick says that research is underway for using bee stings, but keeping the bee intact with tweezers (usually bee stings means a bees insides are ripped out and it dies – yes, they sacrifice themselves for the hive). He said he’ll give me the info on the study when he finds it. Until then, google is your friend.
6 – BEETS
Take it in a powder, eat a whole beet, drink the juice, etc. Do your thing. Beets are an all-around fantastic food for your body. It’s also really good for your brain and it fights all types of disease.
There are SO MANY foods that lower blood pressure, I could probably create a list of 15 (some sources have). For the most part, eat healthy! Changing your diet entirely is the best thing you can do, but if all else fails, try these guys out. Remember to consult a health professional whenever you’re trying to get off any medication. Stopping medication cold turkey is very risky and could lead to life-threatening issues such as blood clots and stroke. Here are Mayo Clinic’s suggestions on maintaining blood pressure levels.
Photo source: Nutrition Facts