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High blood pressure

Hey Everyone! I seem to being developing an issue with high blood pressure. I'm doing a 5 day check, and after that, my doctor wants to talk meds, which I'm not really down with. I'm too young for my grandma's diseases, ya know? So I was wondering if there are specific foods I can be eating that will help regulate it. I have been off raw for about 6 months, but with this issue, my husband is finally on board with supporting healthy meals. I want to ease into it, getting rid of canned foods, and juicing, trading one bad habit for a good one. So anything you can think of will help me out. Thank you!


  • rawcanadianrawcanadian Raw Newbie

    My advice, DON"T TAKE THE MEDS.

    They are bad for you and can cause kidney damage.

    I faught high bp and won so here are my tips:

    1) dont listen to anybody wearing white.

    2) buy a bp monitor - get the automatic one for $50-$100

    3) Now you can check you bp at home, so maybe check it an hour after you wake up and then later on in the day.

    I found that it was higher in the mornings and would lower by the evening. write down the numbers.

    4) cut out all salt and alcohol and high fat foods

    5) exercise at least 30 min per day

    Notice I didn't mention anything about the raw diet. Eating raw will help, since you will cut out the sodium easier by eating more raw. But it isn't necessary to succeed, but just easier to succeed by going as much raw as possible.

    All fruit breakfasts are great, checkout the 80 10 10 Diet book. This will make it easier to ease into , like you mentioned.

    Losing weight can also help, even if it is only 5-10lbs.

    BTW my doctor told me it is "unlikely" that I can lower my bp to normal levels by changing my diet.

    I went from 150s/high 90s to 120s / 70s , and never told my doctor that I had stopped my med. lol

    So my bp isn't perfect, since I would like to see the 120s be in the teens, but it is low enough not to have to take meds, that's for sure.

    Good luck!!!

  • Thank you for the advice! I'm glad you mentioned kidney damage. I'm already prone to kidney stones, and I'm not about to deal with pain of any sort in that organ again. I've switched from cereal to fruit for brekkies this week, and already I feel more "even" until lunch. Alcohol is easy enough to cut out (but damn I love a fine bottle of wine), Salt is going to be a thorn in my side. I wen through my condiments. It's ridiculous was I've been slathering my dinner with. I'll look into the book suggestion, thank you!!

  • derrycklderryckl Raw Superstar

    I totally second raw canadian. I picked up HBP in 2005, looked around for a magic bullet for a while, then succumbed to a little daily pill. I had weight, stress and too little exercise. Tons of web sites (even govt web sites) will tell you that once you get it, you're stuck with it. But - don't believe it!

    I never accepted my situation, so I lost some weight (about 50lbs with exercise and weight wacthers), and my naturopath recommended 45 mins of exercise a day. I am still struggling to hit that during the winter. None of that helped.

    Last year I took a shot at dealing with my stress. Bingo - it went low, but the stress came back and the BP went high, but I knew that it could be done - so I threw away the pills, took a few weeks of elevated BP, but after a few weeks it went back down. Now, I am around 120 - 130 and 75 - 85 (depends on time of day - and stress).

    Here's where I sound like raw canadian. (BTW, I am raw and canadian too, despite UK roots ;-)

    - get a BP monitor. Take measurements in the morning and evening.

    Adrenaline in the morning helps you to wake up, but it also increases your blood pressure by vasoconstriction. Evening, it is lower, get to know what is normal for you.

    (I have got the monitor, thanks, mummy!)

    - really work on the exercise.

    I have set a twice daily reminder on my desk to get up and do 15 mins of walking.

    And get to gym as often as possible. Just move however you can.

    (I could do more)

    - Get rid of your stress (however you can).

    Stress and guilt will kill you, and blood pressure will be irrelevant then.

    Adrenaline from stress is a faster moving mechanism, and can cause your BP to go up and down quickly.

    (I am really working on this one, eliminating sources of stress in my life.)

    - food is also important.

    I really feel that cooked food raises my pressure. Watch out for bought food especially. Salt and sugar.

    Even a home-cooked pizza has sugar and salt in the sauce.

    Salt increases your diastolic (low#) via water retention.

    This phenomenon is a slower acting mechanism and can last hours to days.

    Juice celery - one stick a day will help.

    Aubergines (eggplant) are reputed to also be good for that. There is credible research on this.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17706416 - I am still trying it out.

    Being raw has made it easier to feel comfortable that my BP is under control.

    - breathing (I almost forgot this). Sometimes, I can take a BP reading, do about 1 minute of deep breathing

    then take another reading, and it can be up to 10mm lower on each reading.

    Try to incorporate tummy-breathing (is that the right name?) into your life.

    (I try this as much as possible, and it get easier with time).

    - Mediation, Tai Chi and Qi Gong are supposed to be good as well, but I have not managed this, despite getting books and things from my mum.

    (still working on this one).

    I am still in the fight. Drop me a note (derryck.lamptey@gmail.com) if you want to chat further...

    All the best. - and may your blood forever find its right pressure.

    p.s. I have also read that 120/80 is the normal pressure for the "average" person. My mum and sister function perfectly well on quite low BP, and I expect that some peoples' "normal" BP is a bit over the 120/80 number.

    I have read that it also normally increases as people age -

    Finally, re: the kidney damage question, read up a bit about kidney cleanses, and adrenal cleanses. Once your kidneys are clean, the kidney are better able to do their work. If you are raw (and 80/10/10 ish), you are probably helping your kidney considerably anyway....

    Also have a chat with your doctor. you are blessed if your doctor accepts/believes in the ability of your body to heal and normalise itself. The blood-pressure regulation system is a surprisingly complicated feedback control system (involves interaction between 5 or 6 organs), and I am constantly amazed at the way that the medical profession tries to correct it with a couple of chemicals.


  • Thank you, this is so insightful. I feel like I'm having a big awakening about taking care of my health. I know what to do, and I make some healthy decisions, but not enough. This is the only body I have, and I'm looking at it as a gift I don't want to damage. I try to live a simple, low stress life, but certain factors are unavoidable. Taking the time to focus on breath and being feels so good, but I never take the time. I haven't excersised in months, but this is changing NOW. I will add celery to my grocery list. I have heard that it's an effective diruetic. I love how it adds to juice anyway. I believe I will get it under control, and will not allow anything else into my conciousness.

    Thanks and blessings!


  • one more thing--derrykl, you mentioned adrenaline. Do you happen to know if caffeine plays into HBP? I've been cutting back on coffee (from 2-4 giant mugfuls, down to a latte if I'm getting a headache). I'm sure it's terrible for me anyway...

  • SuasoriaSuasoria Raw Newbie

    Oh my, yes, the caffeine would be ill-advised. I don't have HBP (that I know of) but I weaned off coffee by switching to tea, and then eventually, to nothing. I can have a cup of coffee or tea occasionally, but I don't *need* it.

    I would be curious if any of you with HBP have experimented with music - Steven Halpern has several CDs for relaxation/stress relief. Love his work - he has researched the effects of sound on things like endorphins, immune system function, pain relief, etc.

  • rawcanadianrawcanadian Raw Newbie


    I'm living in St. Catharines so we are neighbours ;-)

    Here is what I am doing for exercise right now:


    This routine is awesome, I was even going to do it , but people at work kept talking about it so I checked it out.

    The next thing you know I got hooked on it, and I now think it is one of the best programs out there.

    I just workout to a different video everyday:

    day 1 - chest and back and abs

    day 2 - plyometrics -jump

    day 3 - arms shoulders and abs

    day 4 yoga

    day 5 back and legs

    day 6 kempo

    day 7 stretch or rest

    and that is just phase I

    Do that for 3 weeks and then a rest week where you don't use weights.

    Then I walk my dog 30 minutes per day at a fast pace.

    In the spring I'm going to be doing cycling 1 hour / day.

    Just remember to "Do your best, and forget the rest!!!" lol

    Good luck!!!

  • rawcanadianrawcanadian Raw Newbie

    Oh I had my own theory on caffeine intake and sodium and alcohol.  I tried to search the web bet could only find one article on this. My idea was that all 3 of those have a connection, yet nobody points it out. They all dehydrate people causes them to lose water.

    So people with high HP should cut those out and drink extra glasses of water. It makes sense to me, but nobody in the medical community mentions this, or the connection between the 3.

    But you know where you heard it first.

  • good idea. I think I have a cd around here from when I did massage. Hmm.....

  • I'm sensing some hostility towards the medical profession in some of these posts, and as a white coat myself (a short white coat, but a white coat none-the-less) I can explain to you why we go straight for the pill. It's because 99% of patients will not make lifestyle changes. In an ideal world, things would be different. In the real world, the more you try to treat their lifestyle, the more patients of yours are getting strokes or heart failure because they don't follow your advice. That's just not acceptable. Your practice of medicine must be based on what has been shown to work.

    It sounds like your doctor is giving you a chance to prove that you can make lifestyle changes, which is great. The physiology behind high blood pressure is complicated and I would read the previous posts with that in mind. What has been PROVEN to work are low sodium diets, daily exercise, loosing weight (which is usually a nice consequence of following the previous two), abstaining from stimulants (like tobacco and caffeine especially), and calming practices (like meditation or yoga. Yes, there have been studies of both. Yoga was actually studied here at UC Davis, a little fact I'm particularly proud of, and was shown to lower blood pressure over the long run). Show your doctor you can do these things and he or she will be much more comfortable with prescribing you less medication!

  • SuasoriaSuasoria Raw Newbie

    When working on the film "Simply Raw" about diabetics who change their diet, we heard that argument countless times - people will not change their lifestyle. This is of course overly simplistic. Another twist we heard was that people can only manage one change, not two - either they can change their lifestyle OR they will learn to take a lot of medications, but they can't handle both at the same time.

    With all due respect, assuming that people won't make lifestyle changes is dabbling in psychology, cultural anthropology, sociology - something medical doctors aren't all qualified to do. I understand that not everyone will change their diet even to save their own life. But if both drugs and lifestyle work - at least for many patients - why go for the pills first? Isn't part of the goal of medicine to take the safest, least harmful route?

    All that said, I definitely believe that doctors should not dispense nutritional advice. Their training in this area is lacking. But it is unacceptable not to at least tell patients that nutritional approaches to reversing, arresting and preventing disease exist and are proven to work.

    Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine is a very worthy organization that aims to address some of these problems in medicine. I like the angle that it is irresponsible for doctors not to recommend a vegan diet as an approach to obesity, diabetes, heart disease, etc. They provide boatloads of resources to medical professionals as well as research diet and disease.

    Finally, the belief that doctors prescribe pills because patients won't change their lifestyle disregards the massive influence of the pharmaceutical industry on individual patients, physicians, and healthcare in general. Keep in mind there is a great deal of corruption and payola going on, especially when it comes to trendy new pills hitting the market. Conversely, there are no incentives for doctors to recommend green smoothies and lots of vitamin C.

  • rawcanadianrawcanadian Raw Newbie

    I think it is a lot more work to try to convince somebody to change their lifestyle vs giving somebody a pill.

    IMHO it is WAY easier to say "here, take these pills everyday for the rest of your life" and come back once or twice a year for a followup, then to sit down and actually talk to the patient for an extended period of time.

    Let's compare: Visit for pills = 5 minutes plus repeat customer = ez money

    Visit for no pills = actually talk to patient for 1/2 hour and teach about lifestyle changes.

    Comes back a couple more times to verify that the changes have worked, and the doctor loses lots of money over the years due to a healthier patient.

    Here in Canada the doctors get paid per visit, so they don't want to spend more than 5 minutes on one patient anyway.

    Surgeons don't make much money either, unless they are doing surgery. This is going to sound stupid, but my knee surgeon did orthoscopic surgery on my knee oct. 2007 and gave me a knee brace that cost my insurance company $1800. He didn't mention that losing 20 lbs or changing my diet would help my knee. This guy used me and how do you think I feel now. I'm just glad I am discovered the truth about these white coated people. Although some of them are sincere , most are like everybody else in the world, out to make a friggin $1.

    So who would have thought that losing 20lbs would make my knee feel 10x better??? I never thought of that at the time, although now it seems so obvious. I believed and trusted this guy, because he was suppose to be a professional. Did you know they stopped doing those surgeries in england, because they found out that they don't help in the long run? Well they help one thing, and that is the surgeons make money.

    So to sum this up cuz it is getting too long lol

    most people need 4 things to be healthy (there are more, but these are the ones lacking):

    eat healthy

    exercise body

    exercise mind

    lose weight

    You would have to do a lot of debating to convince me otherwise.

    Thanks. I feel better now. ;-)

  • You know, I totally understand the ill sentiment against doctors; I've been through it myself for a heart condition, and I vowed to never visit a doctor for it again.

    I'm also getting a degree in Holistic Nutrition, which is thankfully NOT FDA accredited; I chose one that was not in accordance with the FDA or the ADA for a reason.

    HOWEVER, I do also have a certificate in FDA/ADA approved nutrition, so I've seen both sides. I will agree that most of the FDA/ADA stuff is not worth following if you are willing to go raw. The problem is, most people are not willing to even care about their health that much.

    Something that is prescribed (yes prescribed) by doctors to patients with High Blood Pressure is called the DASH diet; google it. It has reccomendations for 6 servings of fruit and 6 servings of vegetables per day, as well as very low sodium, and low saturated animal fats. For someone following the typical SAD diet, this may even be too difficult to follow, but it is a nice step in the right direction. I'm sure if you expressed an interest in using lifestyle to help your hypertenstion, your doctor would either mention DASH or refer you to a nutritionist who would then mention DASH.

    There's even a salt free herbal seasoning called Dash!

    In any case, I'm just saying that not all doctors are idiots or are only out for a dollar. I know things have become ridiculous with the medication industry and all, but there are definitely alternatives reccomended by those in white.

  • I'll second vegansquared's opinion on this. (Though I'm not a doctor.) But, IF a person does not want to try to change their lifestyle, and the best other option is to use medicine- I would think the doctor would be negligent in NOT taking the second (if they won't change the lifestyle), less desirable treatment of medicine. Yes, kidney failure could be a long term effect. But, a stroke of heartattack (from NO treatment) can kill a person tooThere are good doctors, and bad ones. There are good (put in any profession) and bad of anything thing

    Unfortunately, I have know of people who are cracks who are pushers of natural remedies too. Doesn't mean that all or most of natural remedies are bad.

    I think to rule anyone out who wears a "white coat" can be a dangerous generalization. Just my opinion. I can understand that people have had bad experiences with docs- my parents have landed some real duds. But, if you get a dud that won't work with you- find a different doctor. Just because someone is a doctor doesn't, of course, make them God. But then on the other hand- doesn't mean that they (doctors) are all trying to drug you up either. I am fortunate that I have a doctor than when I suffered from some pretty sound depression, she encouraged me to look into relaxing, exercise, diet. At the time, I just needed the help of meds to even be able to take the steps to help myself by those more natural techniques. So, she ultimately prescribed some anti-depression medicine to help me get a handle on it enough that I could really do the hardwork of more natural routes. I'm med free now, and want to stay that way. But, the "natural" way IS more work, and at the place I was in emotionally- I couldn't function without some short term help.

    This long babble really comes down to my thoughts on not throwing out the baby with the bathwater. Your issue is blood pressure, not depression. But, some of the issues are the same.

    Some doctors may not be willing to work with you, but sounds like you have one that will. That's great. And IF you can not for some reason get it under control by diet and exercise right away and do end up having to get help by medicine (I know many on this forum will disagree with taking any med help)- it is still possible to work off of meds too in a later date. I don't know (and none of my business really) how high, high is. If your blood pressure is dangerously high, it might not be medically safe in some circumstances for a doctor to agree with a patient to just go the natural way and wait for the diet and exercise to work. (IF it's REALLY high and the situation is more immediate, I mean).

    Doesn't sound like yours is that way, by your description.

    Just something to keep in mind, because I sense the opinion sometimes that it is an all or nothing thing. You can be all natural, and fix it all with diet and exercise, or you let yourself go and drug up. I think there can be an middle ground.

    Just adding it for a point of thought.

    Sounds like you have a good doctor, and are working on your medical issue the right way. Sorry if this sounded preachy. Good luck too.

  • zinfandelzinfandel Raw Newbie

    If you could only have one car your entire life how would you treat it?

  • rawcanadianrawcanadian Raw Newbie

    HBP doesn't mean you will get a stroke or heart attack, just higher chance. Kidney damage isn't the only side effect of the medication, and mixing meds could make then lethal as well.

    Most people that wear white coats know nothing about us, and don't take the time to find out either. For every problem there is a "magic" pill and I am not imagining this:

    You can't sleep = take a pill

    You can't wake up = take a pill

    You have high bp = take a pill

    You seemed stressed = take a pill

    You seem nervous = take a pill

    You want to lose weight = take a pill

    You have high chloresterol = take a pill

    You need to go poo = take a pill

    Obviously there are some good docs out there , but we all know that most are very quick to give us pills.

    "But, if you get a dud that won't work with you- find a different doctor."

    Unfortunately that doesn't always work. By the time somebody figures out their doc is a quack , the damage might already be done with the meds. That's why I don't recommend trusting them. People get second opinions for car repairs, but for our health most of us are just to trusting.

  • Ditto vegansquared words on the BP.

    Vegansquared, are you a med student? Pls see my post in the Into section "raw physicians". I am trying to obtain a running directory of providers (MD's DO's ND's) who themselves primarily consume a raw diet. Med students are welcome to submit contact info- as it is basically our generation ( I am a resident) that will make up most of the list I'm hoping to generate. No, I won't spam you or anything like that! I'm looking to get a network up and running of raw docs coast to coast.

    Sorry to hijack the thread. Back to blood pressure...

  • Venti,

    If you go 80% raw, I doubt you will need to take pills.

    Good luck!

  • Always good to hear from the other side, vegansquared. I think my college has yoga classes. I actually love yoga. I don't actually love bundling up and driving 20 mintues through nowhere to get to the gym. (snow foiled my plans today, and I'm bitter) So I think you are onto something when it comes to unwillingness to change lifestyle. In any case, I feel like a sad sack of potatoes, and it's time to take care of myself. I don't think doctors are all bad, either...I just wish I'd get some compassion and someone who can take the time to ask me about habits and stresses. If I got that, I'd go more often, and not avoid them for years and find out I'm not totally healthy.

  • rawcanadian, i know what your saying seems to be the trend nowadays, but I also know that in the same way white coats think there's a magic pill for everything, people in the raw community seem to think that going raw is the magic panacea that can cure anything, and this is not so.

    Just sayin!

  • rawcanadianrawcanadian Raw Newbie

    "So I think you are onto something when it comes to unwillingness to change lifestyle."

    Don't you think it should be the doctors responsibility to find out who is willing and who is not willing to change their lifestyles?

    Some people are willing to change a little and some people are willing to change a lot.

    Maybe in Canada it is different, because of our health system, I don't know, but the doctors up here don't seem to want to spend a lot of time with their patients.

    Some doctors even do "one issue per visits". This way the doctor can get the patient in and out quicker, and this results in the doctor making more money. These are hard facts, and this is what is going on.

    My favorite uncle passed away last year, he was released from the hospital and the next day he was found dead.

    They say it is an accident. Well, he couldn't even barely walk, and we just got back the coroners report the other day.

    Our family is thinking about suing the hospital.

    "people in the raw community seem to think that going raw is the magic panacea that can cure anything"

    This is not true because there is so much more to a healthy lifestyle.

    - diet

    - exercise

    - sunshine

    - relaxing

    - relationships

    - laughing

    - finding new jobs ( to reduce stress)

    - relocating

    - trying new things

    - fresh air

    - alcohol

    - smoking

    - drugs

    - meds

    - doctors


    Diet is only part of it, but when you look at a list of things to do to make one healthy, how many of those things do doctors actually address??

    There could be 100 things on that list and the doctors may address only one or two.

    I've seen this first hand with myself, and with my family members and trust me , it has absolutely nothing to do with the raw diet.

    However, if everybody adopted the raw diet it would definitely hurt the pharmaceutical companies.

  • Agreed, rawcanadian!

    I used to work in a raw restaurant, and I guess I got really peeved by a lot of the raw community because of it; it was as if raw was their religion.

    I love raw and it has done great things for me, but I have found that people get so narcissistic about it; they begin to care more about coffee enemas and how many superfoods they're consuming than the world at large. That's why I'm automatically like 'raw is not magical, guys!'

    I agree with what you're saying though. Raw DOES 'cure' a lot of stuff simply because SAD creates a lot of stuff...so by not eating SAD anymore, we're bound to feel better.

  • derrycklderryckl Raw Superstar

    Zinfandel - "If you could only have one car your entire life how would you treat it?" - I use this analogy all the time, especially when I am spending a lot of "needless" time on reading about nutrition - or spending the little extra $$ on organic or superfoods (which people sometimes consider to be a waste).

    It is a very poignant reminder that we have only one vessel for our lifetime.. (I do realise that where it falls down a bit is that cars (unlike us) cannot self heal. )

  • As i stated before I had a work injury that had me down and out of commission for almost 3 years. During that time my BP went high primarily due to pain and stress of all the pill pushing worker's comp doctors I was seeing. My reg doctor whom I love because she knows I'm not into medications and all convinced me to start taking a low dose BP until I get myself together because it has beeen ongoing and she was worried it could do more harm the more prolonged it was.

    I know I do have some extra weight on my frame so have been trying to get that under wraps. I have lost about 20 lbs of the 30 I gained since this whole fiasco but my BP is still kinda high. I don't take the pills like I'm supposed to either. I forget...think it's a "unintentional-intentional forgetting" phase I'm experiencing LOL anyway I was rambling, I think it is possible that some people do have a naturally higher BP. Plus the AMA is forever changing what the exceptable range is. We are all different so stands to reason our BP's will be different. I don't think there is a catch-all number for everyone. If yours is not outrageously high I would def try to stay away from the meds. Mine got to 150/120ish, but again mine had a pain factor and ALOT of stress involved. It's still higher than it used to be but I'm also older than when this issue arose. Think last time it was 130/88 or something. I'm hoping it has come down since losing some of the added weight. But I don't really track it like I probably should. Why add more stress to my day...dreading the reading or whatever. Not like there is anything i can do at the moment of the read ya know what I'm saying.

    derryckl you are right...sadly my vessel ain't what it used to be. Hoping eating more raw will help refurbish it before the bottom rusts out LOL

    Best of health to all!



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