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Podcast Snippet: Tips to Lower Your Blood Pressure Naturally

Updated: Apr 27

Partial transcript from episode: I Lowered My Blood Pressure and Changed My Life - The Unexpected Benefits of a Plant-based Diet

I started doing some research on foods and beverages that helped to lower blood pressure naturally. My meds were about to run out in the following week. And I really wanted to find a natural means to get my blood pressure normal and keep it normal.

So there were a few things I learned that seemed really simple to incorporate into my diet and lifestyle. The first was exercise. Now, yeah, exercise. So that might cause eye rolls, because yeah, yeah, we all know exercise is good for you. And I'll be honest, I have been an active person. And I used to play a lot of sports when I was younger. But over time, I had become really sedentary with the exception of playing year round golf, you know, a couple times every week, which isn't that much exercise. I mean, you get maybe a couple miles of walking in, but that's only two times a week. So my husband and I committed to taking a 20 minute walk, only two times per week, okay, just a 20 minute walk up the road. I have continued playing golf, usually twice a week, sometimes three if I can fit it in. And that's it. Now I know doctors recommend way more activity than this. But honestly, this tiny, tiny change I made with two walks down my road a couple times a week has made a huge difference in helping to lower my blood pressure and keep it there.

First, there was the walking I added, then I read about drinking hibiscus tea. I dug deep for more info on this because I thought, all right, I can substitute tea every morning for the coffee I've been missing because I don't use creamer anymore. And if you want to know more about the benefits of drinking hibiscus tea to lower blood pressure, check out nutrition, and search hibiscus. I'll actually leave a link in the show description below (click above to view description and listen to full episode).

Dr. Greger has some really great and documented information on this topic. And for the last six months, I've been drinking one cup every morning when I get up and sometimes an extra juice size glass of cold tea with my lunch if I happen to have a pitcher of iced tea made in the fridge. Now let me just say, this stuff is nothing short of amazing. My blood pressure is not only normal now without meds, it's actually excellent. I was just at my doctor's office yesterday. And you know, to get a low reading in your doctor's office, that can be kind of tough, especially if you've had to drive in DC - Northern Virginia traffic to get there like I did. She took my blood pressure and it was 117 over 70. And even the nurse said, "Wow!" And remember that my blood pressure was higher than this even when I was on meds. So on a good day, my blood pressure was probably like, you know, 127 over 80 when I was on meds. And that was perfectly acceptable to my then-doctor at the time. She's not my doctor anymore, but that is where my blood pressure was on medication. Without medication, drinking hibiscus tea, taking a couple of walks down the road, my blood pressure is sitting at 117 over 70 today.

Okay, so there are a couple of other things that I've learned about keeping your blood pressure low because this is really important to me now, not having to be on meds is huge. And there are some other items that I do try to add to my diet for increased potassium, which also helps to keep blood pressure in check. Now these are not recommended for folks with kidney issues, kidney disease, dialysis, anything like that who may already have higher levels of potassium in their system. But if your kidneys are healthy and you'd like to add more potassium to your diet, always check with your doctor first. But I try to get a teaspoon of ground flaxseed every day, sometimes in my yogurt. Other times I put it on my granola. Flaxseeds are really high in omega-3s, which help to relax artery walls and reduce inflammation. So there's the inflammation thing again.

So you can easily add flaxseeds to your smoothies as well. I mean, I don't really drink smoothies all that much. So for me, it's more handy to throw them in my yogurt or on my granola. The thing is just make sure that you buy ground flaxseed, not the whole ones, because from what I've learned, the whole seeds don't really get absorbed very well and they go kind of right through


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