The number-one risk factor for death in the world (according to the Global Burden of Disease Study, the most comprehensive and systematic analysis of the causes of death ever undertaken) is high blood pressure. Also known as hypertension, high blood pressure reportedly lays waste to nine million people worldwide every year. It kills so many people because it may contribute to deaths from a variety of causes, including aneurysms, heart attacks, heart failure, kidney failure, and stroke.
Increased blood pressure may put a strain on the heart and damage the sensitive blood vessels in our eyes and kidneys, cause bleeding in the brain, and even lead certain arteries to balloon and rupture. The fact that hypertension is able to damage so many organ systems and increase the risk of heart disease and stroke, two of our leading killers, explains why it is the number-one killer risk factor worldwide.
As you age, your blood pressure tends to get higher and higher. Is high blood pressure, like wrinkles or gray hair, just an inevitable consequence of aging? We’ve known for nearly a century that this isn’t true, based on studies of population studies in areas like rural China where average blood pressures remained around the ideal of 110/70 their entire lives. Their plant-based diets may have played a factor given that the only population in the Western world that enjoys such low average pressures may be those eating strictly plant-based.
So high blood pressure may be a choice: We can continue eating the artery-bursting Western diet, or we can choose to take off the pressure by centering our diet around unprocessed (no added sodium) plant foods. Eliminating humanity’s primary risk factor for death may be simple. No drugs, no scalpels. Just forks.
The information on this page has been compiled from Dr. Greger’s research. Sources for each video listed can be found by going to the video’s page and clicking on the Sources Cited tab. References may also be found at the back of his books.
Image Credit: AlexRaths / Thinkstock. This image has been modified.
Popular Videos for Blood Pressure
All Videos for Blood Pressure
Benefits of Black Cumin Seed (Nigella Sativa) for Weight Loss
For three cents a day, black cumin may improve cholesterol and triglyceride levels, blood pressure, and blood sugar control, as well as accelerate the loss of body fat.
What About the Heme in Impossible Burgers?
Is heme just an innocent bystander in the link between meat intake and breast cancer, diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and high blood pressure?
Plant-Based Protein: Are Pea and Soy Protein Isolates Harmful?
What are the different impacts of plant protein versus animal protein, and do the benefits of plant proteins translate to plant protein isolates?
What’s the Ideal Waist Size?
Increased risk of metabolic complications starts at an abdominal circumference of 31.5 inches in women and 37 inches in most men, though it’s closer to 35.5 inches for South Asian, Chinese, and Japanese men.
The Effects of Obesity on Back Pain, Blood Pressure, Cancer, and Diabetes
Losing weight can reduce sciatica, hypertension, and cancer risk, and reverse type 2 diabetes.
Fasting for Rheumatoid Arthritis
Fasting, followed by a plant-based diet, is put to the test for autoimmune inflammatory joint disease.
Does Marijuana Cause Strokes and Heart Attacks?
The temporary quintupling of heart attack risk associated with cannabis smoking may be due to the increased heartrate, blood pressure, and carbon monoxide levels.
The Optimal Vitamin B12 Dosage for Adults
Why the current Recommended Daily Allowance for vitamin B12 may be insufficient.
How to Get the Weight Loss Benefits of Ephedra Without the Risks
The diving reflex shows that it’s possible to have selective adrenal hormone effects.
Type 1 Diabetes Treatment: A Plant-Based Diet
Is it possible to reverse type 1 diabetes if caught early enough?
The World’s Largest Fasting Study
Buchinger modified fasting is put to the test.
The Best Diet for Weight Loss and Disease Prevention
The most effective diet for weight loss may also be the healthiest.