About a month ago I wrote about my desire to control my blood pressure naturally because I was experiencing an annoying and uncomfortable cough as a side-effect of the blood pressure medication I was taking. Yes, I could have tried another medication, but my goal was to get off of medication if possible. So, I spoke with my doctor and received his approval to give it a try; however, he asked me to monitor my BP closely and report back. (If you are on medication for hypertension, do not try this without talking with your physician.)
I am happy to report that my experiment has been successful. As a matter of fact, my blood pressure is lower than it has been in many, many years. As a little background, I have been borderline hypertensive for my entire adult life, even when I was running marathons in my twenties and thirties. I just chalked it up to “it runs in my family.” Then about six months ago I started experiencing some health issues (partially stress related) and when I checked my BP it was consistently 170+/100+. This is when my doctor prescribed the medication. It worked like a charm, other than the side-effect.
Since I have been in the health and wellness field as a career for over 38 years, I certainly care deeply about my health and about helping others achieve and maintain their optimal health, so finding a solution was important. Determined, I dug into the research in a big way, which led me to modify my diet and see what happened. I continue to exercise very similar to what I was doing before, but the changes in my diet have been the key to my results.
In the past, I have eaten what is considered a healthy diet. You know, whole grains, fruits and vegetables, low fat, meat, fish, poultry, and limited sugar. My research helped me understand the damaging effects of high insulin producing carbohydrates and grains on your system. I also have a much better understanding of healthy and unhealthy fats and the importance of fat in our diet. I am beginning to believe the trusted Food Pyramid, now My Plate, published by the USDA has lead us astray.
Basically, I have eliminated sugar, grains, industrialized polyunsaturated fats, and legumes because of their negative impact on the body.
What it boils down to is I am eating primarily “real” food, which is food that has one ingredient. Natural food, not processed food. It has not been as hard as you might think, and I am a guy that likes to eat. I thought I would really miss the bread especially, but I really don’t.
I have lost about ten pounds in the last month, although that was not my goal, and my blood pressure is around 130/80 daily, with no medications, which is back in a safe zone. I am hoping it will continue to go down a little more. I have found that beets, and beet juice, can do a great job lowering your blood pressure also; however, my BP is lower even without the help of beets.
So why did the change in diet lower my blood pressure. Dropping some weight always helps, but the biggest reason is because the grains and high insulin producing carbohydrates were causing inflammation. When I reduced the inflammation, my arteries could relax a bit, thus lowering my BP. Obviously this is an oversimplification, but hopefully you get the point.
The bottom line is eating the right foods can heal and keep us healthy. We all know that, most people just don’t know what the “right” foods are. I am anxious to share more about what I learn on my personal experiment.
Live healthy! ?