And the secret to why natural approaches are a simple, safe, EFFECTIVE solution
It’s been seven months now since I declared my own independence from blood pressure drugs (last July 4th).
It was a decision that was a long time coming. After all, I had mounting concerns about warnings that popular generic blood pressure medications can be contaminated with cancer-causing chemicals. And of course, I worried about the side effects that come with any non-natural remedy.
In fact, a recent study found that people who take angiotensin receptor blockers like Avapro and Benicar have a whopping 63 percent higher risk of suicide than those who take other types of blood pressure drugs (or no drugs at all).1
Plus, another study found a 29 percent heightened lung disease risk among participants who specifically took popular ACE inhibitor drugs for blood pressure.2
So I felt confident about my decision to kick even supposedly “safe” generic blood pressure drugs to the curb. Because a growing body of science on basic biology and clinical research is showing that nutrients, botanical remedies, and mind-body approaches safely lower blood pressure as well as—or better than—most drugs…for most people…most of the time.
This evidence for using non-drug, natural approaches for blood pressure, and what actually constitutes “normal” blood pressure as you get older, has long been hiding in plain sight. But now it’s finally coming out in the open.
A recent, unprecedented, two-part article by Dr. M.C. Houston really brought down the hammer, and neatly summarized many of the non-drug approaches to maintaining healthy blood pressure.3,4
Dr. Houston, we no longer have a (drug) problem—when it comes to blood pressure, at least.
Here are some of the key takeaways from that article, along with what I’ve learned from my own professional and personal experiences with naturally supporting healthy blood pressure.
Why natural approaches for blood pressure work
Unlike some of the medical myths that suggest “high” cholesterol and “high” salt are linked to cardiovascular diseases, there’s no doubt that managing “high” blood pressure is critical for preventing such conditions—including heart attacks, heart failure, strokes, and kidney disease.
After all, science shows that the real factors that raise blood pressure relate to the biology of blood vessels, nitric oxide, and nutrient deficiencies, as well as chronic inflammation and immune dysfunction, and oxidation (free radical formation). In other words, it’s all about the health of the cells that line your arteries, and preventing ongoing damage.
Study after study shows that dietary supplements—including vitamins, minerals, and natural plant compounds—as well as small dietary and lifestyle changes, produce the same physiological effects as blood pressure drugs. But without the side effects.
So it’s not surprising that one key finding in Dr. Houston’s article is that people with high blood pressure are more likely to manifest certain dietary deficiencies.
Let’s take a look at each one…
Minerals are a gold mine
There are several minerals that are key for healthy blood pressure, but perhaps most basic to your diet and nutrition is potassium.
Studies show that potassium supplementation for as little as 12 weeks can reduce blood pressure by as much as eight points systolic (top number) and 4 points diastolic (bottom number). And a meta-analysis showed that 1,600 mg of potassium per day reduced stroke risk by 21 percent.
My recommendation: These studies essentially used food quantities of potassium. The best sources include bananas, melons, citrus fruit, spinach and other leafy greens, broccoli, potatoes, and avocados.
With the right diet, I don’t believe there’s any need to take a potassium supplement—particularly when you’re not using a blood pressure drug that makes your body lose this mineral in the first place (they’re literally called “potassium-wasting” drugs pharmacologically).
Another mineral of note is magnesium. A meta-analysis showed that taking 370 mg or more of magnesium per day reduced blood pressure by three to four points systolic, and two to three points diastolic.
In another analysis of 34 clinical trials, totaling just over 2,000 participants, taking 270 mg or more of magnesium daily reduced systolic and diastolic blood pressure by two points each.
My recommendation: It’s easy to fit magnesium-rich foods into your diet. Good sources include leafy greens, nuts, seeds, legumes, avocados, and dark chocolate.
On top of that, consider supplementing with 150-400 mg of magnesium citrate per day, depending upon your health condition and goals. Just be sure to avoid magnesium glutamate, aspartate, and oxide.
At the end of the alphabet, we find zinc, another important, but often neglected, nutrient. Plenty of studies show that zinc acts in tissues like the heart and blood vessels to reduce chronic inflammation, oxidative stress, and—you guessed it—blood pressure.
My recommendation: Meat, shellfish, eggs, dairy, legumes, nuts, and seeds are good sources of zinc. I also suggest supplementing with 50 mg daily.
Finally, let’s talk about calcium. There’s no evidence to suggest that calcium supplementation can reduce blood pressure. In fact, studies show quite the contrary…that taking calcium supplements increases the risk of heart disease and dementia.
That’s why calcium must come from a balanced diet that includes plenty of full-fat dairy, leafy greens, and bony fish like sardines—and not from supplements.
Meat and seafood for healthy blood pressure
Next are some strong findings that won’t go down easily with the anti-meat, low-protein, low-fat, politically correct crowd. (Another reason why the faulty recommendations of cardiologists and their co-dependents, such as the American Heart Association, go against the grain, so to speak).
I recently reported on a new bombshell analysis of prior studies totaling almost 4 million people. The conclusion? Red meat consumption does not make you unhealthy.
That’s right…researchers found no convincing data that suggested eating red or processed meat increases the risk of developing cancer, Type II diabetes, or heart disease. In fact, they found the exact opposite—eating red meat in place of other processed foods filled with sugars and refined carbs was associated with a lower risk of developing these diseases.
Meanwhile, other research shows that a higher intake of complete proteins (the kind found in meat and seafood) is strongly associated with lower blood pressure.
A huge analysis of 40 controlled clinical trials showed that a diet higher in protein and lower in carbs was associated with reduced blood pressure.
And one study found that adding protein to the diet was associated with reductions of six points systolic and three to four points diastolic in people with high blood pressure. Plus, another study found that eating an extra 20 grams per day of protein for six weeks reduced blood pressure by 8 points systolic and 5 points diastolic.
Seafood is an excellent source of this type of protein. One study found that consuming 1.5 grams of protein daily from mackerel and tuna lowered blood pressure by more than 10 points systolic and 7 points diastolic.
Part of the benefits of protein may relate to its amino acid content. In fact, consuming 12 grams a day (a food quantity) of the amino acid arginine has actually been found to lower blood pressure by six points systolic and seven points diastolic.
Plus, a small study of people who consumed 6 grams a day of the amino acid taurine for seven days showed a blood pressure reduction of nine points systolic and four points diastolic. And finally, a larger study of 120 participants found that taurine reduced blood pressure by seven points systolic and three points diastolic.
My recommendation: A healthy amount of protein is 1.5 grams per kilogram of body weight per day. But you don’t have to break out the calculator if you follow my simple, balanced diet.
Eat at least two servings of wild-caught fish a week, including fatty fish like salmon and mackerel. And three to four times a week, eat meat from organically raised, grass-fed cattle.
Combined with daily doses of full-fat dairy, this gives you the optimal amount of protein and amino acids that will help keep your blood pressure in check (not to mention protect you from many other chronic diseases).
Don’t forget the healthy fats
Like red meat, fats are often demonized by the mainstream. But even the most crony-corporate doctors are starting to see the value of omega-3 fatty acids for a variety of health conditions—including high blood pressure.
A huge analysis of 70 clinical trials found that taking 300-15,000 mg of omega-3s for four to 26 weeks reduced systolic blood pressure by up to five points.
Of course, that’s a big range. So here’s what I suggest…
My recommendation: Fish oil is the best source of omega-3s. But even if you eat my recommended two to three servings of fish or seafood a week, that’s likely still not enough. So I recommend supplementing with 4-5 grams of fish oil daily. Look for a product that contains 1,400-1,800 mg of EPA fatty acids and 1,000-1,300 mg of DHA fatty acids.
Pluss, the essential fats in olive oil and olive leaf extract have also been shown to lower blood pressure. In one study, doses of 500 mg per day reduced systolic pressure by six points and diastolic by five points. Meanwhile, 1,000 mg per day of olive leaf extract reduced systolic pressure by 13 points and diastolic by five.
In a study of older people with high blood pressure, olive oil reduced systolic pressure by 14 points. And another study found that people who regularly consumed olive oil cut their use of blood pressure drugs in half.
My recommendation: Olive oil is a key component of a heart-healthy Mediterranean diet (which I often write about). You can take olive oil supplements, but I prefer a hearty drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil on my vegetables, seafood, and salads.
Of course, there are many more natural ways you can maintain healthy blood pressure—without resorting to drugs. You can read all about them in my Heart Attack Prevention and Repair Protocol.
This innovative, online learning tool provides step-by-step guidance, unlocking the natural, heart-healing pathway to low blood pressure, a stroke-free brain, and never taking a dangerous heart medication again. To learn more, or to enroll today, click here or call 1-866-747-9421 and ask for order code EOV3W100.
1“Association Between Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme Inhibitors, Angiotensin Receptor Blockers, and Suicide.” JAMA Netw Open. 2019;2(10):e1913304.
2 “Angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors and risk of lung cancer: population based cohort study,” BMJ 2018;363:k4209