Lowering High Blood Pressure and Cholesterol…Naturally

A reoccurring question I get is about how to lower high blood pressure and/or cholesterol. And while I’m not a doctor and would never attempt to diagnose someone via the Internet, I will say this: these are seldom isolated problems, in and of themselves. They are typically symptoms of a lifestyle that’s falling short in a few areas. So in many cases, if you simply take care of the lifestyle and start living healthier, these symptoms improve radically.

More specifically, to lower cholesterol, stop eating it! Dietary cholesterol is only present in animal products. Accordingly, the most compelling and enduring evidence I’ve seen in lowering cholesterol and supporting heart disease reversal has been in strict, low fat, moderate calorie, plant-based eating regimens. Check out the work of Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn, Dr. Joel Fuhrman, and Dr. Dean Ornish, among others. These guys have collectively treated thousands of patients without surgery by emphasizing a radical dietary shift toward unrefined, high-fiber, plant-based foods.

Speaking of fiber, there is an awful lot of science that shows how raising fiber in the diet lowers cholesterol, as well. Soluble fiber helps to remove bile acids by binding with them in the intestines and escorting them out of the body. This causes the liver to convert more cholesterol to bile acids, which creates a drop in LDL (bad) cholesterol. This is how even as little as two to four servings of fruits and veggies can cause a 5% reduction. And this is also why you’ll see certain cereal companies making the claim, right on their boxes, that their product can lower your cholesterol. It’s all about the fiber.

High blood pressure is basically about your blood moving through your arteries at a higher rate of pressure than normal. The medical community’s response to this is usually to treat this symptom by prescribing drugs that thin your blood. But the wiser doctor will generally look to the lifestyle first to see why the blood pressure’s high to begin with.

A few lifestyle adjustments that should be at the top of your list would be:

• Reduce body fat levels if you’re overweight
• Quit smoking cigarettes if you smoke
• Eat more fresh fruits and veggies (work toward 10+ servings per day – no shit!)
• Try to keep your total sodium intake under 2400 mgs. per day, but preferably under 1800
• Exercise regularly
• Engage any number of relaxation/stress relief techniques like meditation, visualization and deep breathing
• Avoid alcohol and caffeine (although most medical folks say to “restrict” the total amount of it).

Finally, there are a number of whole foods, herbs and spices with medicinal properties that have been proven to have some affect on lowering high blood pressure and/or cholesterol. These include garlic, hawthorn berries (in tonic form), ginger, green tea and Cayenne Pepper. HOWEVER: If you have medical issues with cholesterol or high blood pressure and are looking to combat them in part with these natural remedies, ALWAYS CONSULT A HOLISTIC MEDICINE PROFESSIONAL ABOUT TAKING ANY OF THESE THINGS, ESPECIALLY IF IT’S IN CONJUNCTION WITH, OR AS AN ALTERNATIVE TO, SOME KIND OF MEDICATION YOU MIGHT ALREADY BE ON!!!

Until next time…

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About Bobby Rock

Bobby Rock is a world renown drummer, the author of seven books, and a recognized health and fitness specialist with certifications in exercise, nutrition and meditation. He has recorded and toured with a variety of artists, released three CDs as a solo performer and is recognized as a top drumming educator. (He is currently touring with rock icon, Lita Ford.) Through speaking, writing and activism, Bobby remains committed to a number of animal and environmental causes. Bobby lives in Los Angeles.
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7 Responses to Lowering High Blood Pressure and Cholesterol…Naturally

  1. trinity says:

    thanks rock for the info. your site is always enlightening.

  2. CJ says:

    Bobby! Thanks for the blog man, it very useful and informative. This might not be the appropriate place for this question, but I was wondering if you could talk about some of the weight training supplements on the market, such as creatine, protein powder, “muscle milk”, etc. Are these beneficial or harmful to take for a person who is trying to gain muscle mass? Thanks again for your insight!

  3. Despina says:

    Hi Bobby, during the time i had my little cancer scare, I suddenly had a problem with my blood pressure it was too high, its alot better now, I”m working out everyday and eating everything I’m supposed to, The doctor prescribed water pills , are they really neccessary?
    I’m doing everything i can to avoid medication because i don’t want to wind up taking them for the rest of my life lol. Do you think there is something i can do instead of taking those water pills? My common sense tells me too drink more water and i wrong? lol I just turned 30 couple of months ago i don’t want to take pills if i can control it on my own.

    Thanks for all the advice,
    Despina :o)

  4. Bobby Rock says:

    CJ –

    Your question touches on two primary Rock-Solid principles:

    1. For whatever good something might contain nutrient-wise, what’s the downside?

    2. Is it sustainable? Is it something you can healthfully be ingesting at your 100th birthday party?

    So in the case of “Muscle Milk” or some kind of whey-based protein powder, let’s assume that it’s a protein that is highly-absorbable. Okay…but what else does it have? What’s the total bang for the buck that you’re getting for those 200 or 300 or more calories? Not much. There’s little to no fiber, zero phytonutrients, very few non-synthetic vitamins and minerals, etc. Sure, these things can help you gain some muscle weight, but I maintain that it’s largely because of the extra calories, not because of some kind of magical protein assimilation that’s going on, as these manufacturers want you to believe. I would pass on all of that shit, opting instead for plenty of nutrient-dense whole foods for your protein like legumes, spirulina, The Ultimate Meal smoothie mix, nuts, whole grains, a few soy products and the occasional soy or rice-based protein shake that includes “real food” in it. More on this in the book and in future blogs.

    As for creatine, this is one of the only over-the-counter products that I’ve seen that quantifiably CAN build some extra muscle mass and increase strength. And yes, you’ll even find that most of it is pharmaceutical grade and, therefore, 100% “plant-based.” BUT, again, this is not a sustainable food item. You would not want to be running this shit through your kidneys year after year. So the ONLY way I would possibly recommend it is if you were a natural bodybuilder, football player, had some kind of important “shirt-off” photo session coming up, etc. and you needed to use it on the SHORT-TERM for a bit of an edge. And even then, you shouldn’t even think about it until you absolutely hit a wall with your progress. Personally, I would pass on that, as well.

    The bottom line is, when your diet and exercise program is “Rock-Solid,” you should be able to reach all of your fitness goals, provided that they’re not too far outside of your natural genetic capability. More on this in the book and in future blogs, as well.

  5. Bobby Rock says:

    Despina –

    As I’m sure you understand, I simply cannot comment here on anything medically related. My specialty is more “preventative medicine” type stuff, based on particular lifestyle philosophies. Plus, there are always 101 variables to consider on this issue, including one’s diet, medical history, total meds they’re taking, type of meds they’re taking, genetic predisposition, and on and on it goes.

    But what I will say is this: always ASPIRE to be drug-free. This will likely mean that you will have to seek out a “second opinion” from a holistic medicine specialist who does not prefer to prescribe drugs. So when looking for such a professional, always state your intention up front: “I’m looking to transition off of all forms of drugs or medicine. My current situation is such and such. Can you help me?” Then see how receptive they are.

    Thanks for the post.

    BR

  6. CJ says:

    Thanks for the input Bobby! I will inevitably have more questions. I’m a regular visitor to the blog and dig it!

  7. Despina says:

    Thank you Bobby your the best!
    Despina :o)

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