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Topic summary contributed by volunteer(s): Randy

Blood pressure is considered a key vital sign. High blood pressure may be the #1 killer risk factor in the world, as it is a risk factor for coronary artery disease (see also here), heart attacks, and possibly Alzheimer’s disease.

High blood pressure is a serious risk factor like high cholesterol. Meat and sugar increase uric acid levels, which are associated with an increased risk for high blood pressure. Attempting to reduce high blood pressure with medications may not be as effective as lifestyle approaches, as they do not treat the cause. Even those on blood pressure lowering drugs can get a further 78% drop in risk by eating and living healthfully. Salt intake (see also here) and industrial fructose (added sugars), may also be associated with high blood pressure.

On the other hand, fructose from up to 20 servings a day of whole fruit does not appear to raise blood pressure. Overall, a predominately plant-based diet appears to reduce high blood pressure risk (see also here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here) possibly due to the high fiber, potassium, and nitrate content of plant foods. Dr. Walter Kempner was able to reduce high blood pressure with a diet consisting of basically white rice and fruit (see also here). Specific foods or drinks that may help reduce high blood pressure include beans (see also here), whole grains, other legumes, beets, beet juice, cocoa, flaxseeds, greens, hibiscus tea (see also here), purple potatoes, and the seaweed, wakame.


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