Q. My blood pressure has steadily been rising during the last year. I’m 27, fit, slim and don’t eat junk food. The doctor says we need to watch my blood pressure and possibly treat it with medication. I’m quite averse to taking regular medicines.
I listen to your radio show and have read books and websites on the topic of blood pressure. What I’ve gleaned is reduce sodium and work out. I don’t use salt at the table or eat out and I rarely eat prepared foods.
Is there something natural that could lower my blood pressure so I won’t need a prescription drug?
A. It is unusual for someone who is young and fit to have hypertension, but it is not unheard of. There are several natural approaches that might be helpful including breathing exercises, magnesium supplements, beet juice, pomegranate, Concord grape juice and dark chocolate. All have been shown scientifically to lower blood pressure.
We are sending you our Guide to Blood Pressure Treatment with details about these and other approaches to controlling hypertension.
Ask your doctor to check you for sleep apnea, a condition that can contribute to hypertension. Correcting it can sometimes lower blood pressure almost as much as medication (Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, Oct. 15, 2012).