In BLOOD PRESSURE DOWN: The 10-Step Plan to Lower Your Blood Pressure in 4 Weeks - Without Prescription Drugs nationally recognized nutrition, health, and fitness expert and Cholesterol Down author Dr. Janet Bond Brill shows how high blood pressure can be lowered and prevented quickly and safely-without the side effects of many blood pressure medications.
In 10 simple-and delicious-steps, Janet's unique plan harnesses the power of the lifestyle changes, including elements of the DASH diet, proven to be the most effective medicine for hypertension: blood pressure power foods like bananas, yogurt, soy, and dark chocolate, as well as exercise and stress reduction.
Backed by solid research, Brill cuts through the medical jargon to explain how and why each step in her program works. The Blood Pressure Down plan is both thorough and accessible, including many convenient checklists, charts, meal plans, and over 50 delicious heart-healthy recipes that make incorporating each step into a heart-healthy lifestyle easy, practical, and never overwhelming.
Learn simple steps to lead a healthy lifestyle and get your blood pressure under control.
Once again the brilliant Dr Brill has made the ubiquitous problem of high blood pressure an understandable disease for everyone. She has a knack for making cardiac disease simple to understand and conquer. She respects the medical field for its ability to treat the disease with prescription medications but emphasizes the absolute need for lifestyle changes in addition.
As a very busy cardiologist I am not able to give my patients comprehensive advice to lower their blood pressure through lifestyle change. This book is the ideal tool to supplement a doctor's visit to effectively lower a patient's blood pressure with or without medications.
This book is so comprehensive - it gives guidance on how to monitor one's blood pressure at home, reminds people about stroke symptoms, what type of exercise works best and of course the foods that can lower blood pressure.
The recipes at the end of the book emphasize how delicious a heart healthy diet can be, no deprivation of delicious foods here.
Patients often ask me how they can lower their cholesterol and blood pressure on their own. For years I have recommended Dr. Brill's first book "Cholesterol Down" and now I am happy to recommend this new "Blood Pressure Down" book not just to my patients but for everyone.
Annabelle S. Volgman, MD, FACC
Professor of Medicine, Rush College of Medicine
Medical Director, Rush Heart Center for Women
"A simple, holistic and achievable 10 step plan that is highly effective in reaching the ideal blood pressure in 4 weeks. Maintaining optimal blood pressure is critical in preventing heart disease and stroke."
Jennifer H Mieres, MD, FACC, FASNC, FAHA
Professor of Cardiology & Population Health
Hofstra North Shore, LIJ School of Medicine
Thank you so very much for your book, Blood Pressure Down. It has changed my life and I was able to lower my BP from a startling 160/99 to 130/80 in just 5 weeks and headed toward my goal of 120/70.
Your book is the best book I have read on nutrition and you explain why we should eat Potassium, Magnesium and Calcium, which makes so much sense after reading your book.
Thank you again--you have spared me from the devastating effects of a heart attack or stroke. I will be forever grateful.
Your plan is THE way to go for lowering BP and leading a healthy life.
Bob Niehoff, Ames, Iowa
Potentially lifesaving information
"Brill does a good job of explaining that hypertension is a silent killer that hurts blood vessels without pain or symptoms and then causes huge problems, such as stroke, kidney failure, and heart attacks...anyone who wants to try non-drug approaches to lowering blood pressure can find much useful, potentially lifesaving information in this guide book."
Karen Springen, Booklist
"I was impressed with the amount of helpful information I was able to glean from this book. I've read quite a few health and weight loss books, so getting NEW information that I had not learned before was surprising. I plan to pass the book on to my mother and younger sister, both of whom are being medicated for high blood pressure. After about a month of following the guidelines to the best of my ability, I feel healthier. And, on my doctor visit this week, my blood pressure was down to normal levels compared to what it's been over the past 7 months. I have never taken blood pressure meds, btw."
Chris Jackson, San Antonio, TX
Frequently called the "silent scourge," high blood pressure is as insidious as it is devastating. Almost invariably, it damages blood vessels silently - causing no pain, no discomfort, no symptoms - until disaster strikes in the form of a stroke, a weakened heart, a burst or dangerously dilated blood vessel, kidney failure, or a heart attack.
According to the most recent Global Health Risks report issued by the World Health Organization, high blood pressure is the leading global risk for mortality. Their research attributed to the condition a staggering annual death toll of 7.5 million, or more than one out of every eight of the world's deaths each year. In the United States, data from the National Health and Nutritional Examination Survey indicate that 67 million Americans - almost one-third of all U.S. adults - have high blood pressure, and of these, more than half have uncontrolled high blood pressure.
Fortunately, the battle against high blood pressure is not lost. I firmly believe you hold in your hands a critical component to winning your personal struggle with high blood pressure, as well as the greatest hope for defeating the epidemic we face as a society: Blood Pressure Down. Bringing her extensive experience as a dietitian, researcher, and author to bear on the prodigious problem of high blood pressure, Dr. Brill has created a scientifically rigorous, engaging, and practical guide to lowering your blood pressure through specific dietary, physical activity, and weight loss interventions. In doing so, she has distilled decades of research into an easy-to-read treatment program comprised of proven prescriptions for lifestyle changes that lower blood pressure. How effective are these measures? Consider that in one large, rigorously designed trial, over half of the people previously on a blood-pressure-lowering medication were able to stop taking their medication after weight loss and reduction of their salt intake - just two of the ten interventions detailed in this guide. Make no mistake: these changes work.
In a call to action, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention director Dr. Thomas Frieden charged the health care community to make high blood pressure "a priority for every doctor's visit." In the same vein, I urge you to prioritize the daily choices you make about your diet and physical activity in order to improve your blood pressure and overall health.
I urge you to read this book and to heed Dr. Brill's evidence-based recommendations.
Emil M. deGoma, MD
Medical Director, Preventive Cardiovascular Program
Division of Cardiovascular Medicine
University of Pennsylvania
A: As a nutritionist specializing in cardiovascular disease prevention, I saw a need among Americans that was not being filled. Sadly, 1 in 3 Americans has this condition-hypertension - making this a public health epidemic of great magnitude.
The statistics are chilling. Every 39 seconds, we lose another American to a fatal heart attack or stroke. Yet, despite the fact that the largest risk factor for cardiovascular death - high blood pressure - is both reversible and preventable, 78 million adult Americans continue to suffer from this life-threatening condition. And another 2 million will be diagnosed over the next year.
Perhaps even more alarming, 56% of those already diagnosed with this potentially fatal affliction still do not have their blood pressure under control, with many deterred by the frustrating side effects of medications.
The good news? Lifestyle changes can be just as effective as prescription drugs in reversing and preventing hypertension. In fact, the government-endorsed Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet was rated the #1 Best Diet Overall by the U.S.News & World Report. Drugs alone will not solve the problem. Americans need to know that lifestyle is the first line of defense against this silent killer.
I give people the optimal science-based blood pressure-lowering lifestyle on a silver platter in an easy-to-read and follow 10-step plan.
A: My program is a nutrition and exercise-based therapy that has been scientifically-proven to reduce blood pressure.
This book shows how high blood pressure can be lowered and prevented quickly and safely - without the side effects of many blood pressure medications. In 10 simple and delicious steps, this unique plan harnesses the power of lifestyle changes, including elements of the DASH diet, proven to be the most effective dietary medicine for hypertension.
There are several books on the market that outline the DASH diet. Essentially, the Blood Pressure DOWN plan is the DASH diet and much, much more. It includes blood pressure power foods like bananas, yogurt, soy, and dark chocolate, as well as exercise and stress reduction.
Each component of the plan tackles high blood pressure from a different angle; together, this potent, natural combination therapy can lower blood pressure as much as most single prescription blood pressure medications. Put them all into action simultaneously, and you have the safest and most effective natural method to get your Blood Pressure Down.
Backed by solid research, the plan cuts through the medical jargon to explain how and why each step in the program works. The Blood Pressure Down plan is both thorough and accessible, including many convenient checklists, charts, meal plans, and over 50 delicious heart-healthy recipes that make incorporating each step into a heart-healthy lifestyle easy, practical, and never overwhelming.
It's not complicated. Many of the steps in the plan are basically plain old healthy eating, with no harmful side effects or expensive prescription medications. Most can be purchased at your local supermarket. Add in a few supplements, lose a few pounds, cut down on your sodium intake and get some exercise in, and you have a safe and effective natural alternative (or adjunct) to prescription medication.
Best of all, over time the benefits endure and continue to improve. Following these 10 simple steps will surely be conducive to a salubrious lifestyle - you will add years to your life and life to your years.
A: Normal - Normal blood pressure is defined as a top number (systolic) of less than 120 mm mercury and a bottom number (diastolic) of less than 80 mm mercury.
Numbers Your Doctor Will Be Concerned About:
Prehypertension - The following numbers categorize you as having prehypertension: systolic blood pressure (top number) of 120 to 139 mm Hg or a diastolic blood pressure reading (bottom number) of 80 to 89 mm Hg.
It is estimated that 15% of deaths from heart attacks occur in people with blood pressure in the prehypertension range. Individuals with prehypertension face twice the risk of developing full blown hypertension compared to those whose blood pressure is normal.
Stage 1 hypertension. Systolic blood pressure (top number) of 140 to 159 mm Hg or a diastolic blood pressure reading (bottom number) of 90 to 99 mm Hg.
Individuals with stage 1 hypertension are advised by the medical establishment to take a prescription medication (typically a thiazide diuretic) - in addition to lifestyle therapy - to treat their hypertension.
Stage 2 hypertension - Systolic blood pressure (top number) of 160 mm Hg or more or a diastolic blood pressure reading (bottom number) of 100 mm Hg or more.
Individuals with stage 2 hypertension are advised by the medical establishment to take at least a two-drug prescription medication combination - in addition to lifestyle therapy - to treat their high blood pressure. Both side effects and medication costs pose significant problems for these people, associated with increasing doses and increasing numbers of medications.
A: Persistent high blood pressure is a life-endangering situation. It is the number one cause of stroke and a major cause of heart attacks, blindness and kidney failure. These are diseases that kill nearly 1 million Americans each year, more than any other condition.
Get your blood pressure down and you can prevent premature disease, disability and death.
A: High blood pressure is also known as "the silent killer" because it is a largely symptomless disease. This is what makes high blood pressure so insidious: you can't see or feel it, yet if left untreated, it will kill you.
It is no wonder that 8% of the adult U.S. population has undiagnosed high blood pressure - they can't feel that anything is wrong. Perhaps this is one reason that, of the over 78 million adult Americans already diagnosed with high blood pressure, a whopping 56% do not have it under control.
If you are one of the people who believes that if there was really a problem, you would feel it, think again. You are taking a chance with your life. The fact is, the higher your numbers and the longer you have uncontrolled high blood pressure, the greater your risk of developing the devastating health consequences that often accompany high blood pressure - all the more reason for you to find out your numbers and start today to get your Blood Pressure Down.
A: Many of the foods I recommend are packed with blood pressure-lowering minerals and are no more dangerous or expensive than bananas, spinach and walnuts.
Many of the steps in the plan are basically plain old healthy eating, with no harmful side effects or costly prescription medications. Most can be purchased at your local supermarket.
Add in a few supplements, lose a few pounds, cut down on your sodium intake and get some exercise in, and you have a safe and effective natural alternative (or adjunct) to prescription medication.
When it comes to preventing and treating high blood pressure, it's strength in numbers - the more steps added together on a daily basis, the more powerful the blood pressure lowering additive effect of this combination lifestyle therapy plan.
Many different foods, supplements, and exercise routines are individually effective in lowering blood pressure, but my patients and I have found that my Blood Pressure Down combination creates the most potent health-promoting and non-pharmaceutical strategy for getting those numbers under control.
A: Our food supply is tainted. The fact is that salt, America's prized condiment, is actually a slow poison. Excess sodium intake is inextricably linked to the development of serious diseases in American women and men, namely heart disease (the No. 1 killer) and stroke (the No. 3 killer).
In fact, according to data from the world famous Framingham Heart Study, a whopping 90% of us will eventually develop high blood pressure from a lifetime of too much salt - making almost all of us "salt sensitive."
Slash the salt and you slash your blood pressure numbers - it's as simple as that. The bottom line is that although your body needs some sodium to function properly, most people eat far too much sodium, which contributes heavily to high blood pressure.
Cut out all forms of added seasoning salts (including table salt, sea salt and kosher salt) and you will take a huge step in getting, and keeping, your blood pressure down.
The book will teach you how to enjoy delicious food - prepared without salt - and seasoned with tasty herbs, spices and vinegars. Train your tastebuds to enjoy foods the way Mother Nature intended and you will be surprised at how you lose the craving for salt and how quickly your pressure drops.
There are over 50 delicious, easy-to-prepare blood-pressure-lowering recipes included in the book.
A: The 3 most powerful blood pressure-lowering lifestyle strategies known to humankind are diet, exercise and stress management. Note that food is just one part of this equation. Hence, the final step in the Blood Pressure Down plan is exercise and stress management.
The best medicine for healing the arteries and reversing high blood pressure is moderate aerobic exercise combined with relaxation therapy (such as deep breathing exercise), practiced on a daily basis.
A: Relying on drug therapy to treat and prevent this global epidemic is akin to putting a Band Aid on a gaping wound.
Lifestyle modifications should serve as first line therapy for the prevention and treatment of this disorder - with the specific changes outlined in this book as the foremost strategies for combatting this disease.
With the Blood Pressure Down plan, I hope you will see how you can focus on the "cans" rather than the "cannots." You will learn about all the delicious foods and activities that you can enjoy while making your health a priority.
A: On a personal note, I know all too well about the dangers of high blood pressure. Not just because of my profession, but because my grandmother, my brother (at just 56) and my father, who had his first heart attack at 45 and died several years later from a second heart attack, all had high blood pressure which led to their premature demise.
This haunts me as high blood pressure is easily detected and has a multitude of safe and low-cost non-pharmacological and pharmacological interventions to rapidly bring blood pressure under control - and yet millions of Americans continue to live with and die from high blood pressure.
It is my grandmother, brother and father's untimely deaths from this insidious disease that has inspired me to write with great passion about cardiovascular disease (CVD) prevention through simple lifestyle changes.
That is part of the reason why I wrote my latest book, BLOOD PRESSURE DOWN: The 10-Step Plan to Lower Your Blood Pressure in 4 Weeks - Without Prescription Drugs (which will be released by Three Rivers Press May 7, 2013).
I hope that this book will help others suffering from this "not-so-silent" killer to avoid my grandmother, father and brother's fate.
It worked. I found I had high blood-pressure quite by accident when I went to get new glasses and technician checked me. 154/81. I made the guy check me 2 more times, sure enough, it was high. Two months of herbs and exercise, checking my BP with a home machine, it was coming in between 174/84 and 150/81 every time, except very first thing in the morning. I bought this book, went to the grocery and checked every label for sodium. It was sad. Say good-bye to cheese and most bread. I tracked nutrients on MyFitnessPal.com, which I use with my Fitbit anyway, and once you get a menu in there, you can just replicate it day to day. Good news. 5 days on the diet I'm at 127/79 - 124/81. Consistently, different times of day. Exercising at least 1/2 hour a day. Sodium was tough, and I'm not ready to go out to dinner yet, but here's the thing, 5 days I'm in the normal range. You are going to eat a LOT of greens. Spinach and arugula for me, and a LOT of bananas, to get your potassium up to 4700mg a day. I've only made it one day, and that's with smoothies and stuff -- but it has worked. It's going to be tough to stay on this diet. Some tips. There is a low sodium ricotta cheese available you can sort of press into service. And balsamic vinaigrette and balsamic vinegar reduction are about the only salad dressings that have no sodium. Commercial dressings ridiculously high in sodium. The ranch dressing I like is over 650mg per serving, so that's over a 3rd of your daily allowance for 2 tablespoons of dressing. Not acceptable. Mrs. Dash helps give your food some flavor, too. In short, this plan works, and works fast. Now I need to see if I can stick with it.
By Denise M.
I followed the advice given, lost some weight, and eureka my BP came down.
By Ronald E Mattey
Recently I experienced some extreme side effects from blood pressure medication. Let's just say they have altered my life. And my pressure while taking medication was 125/85. My doctor recently added a water pill to the mix and I ended up losing 2 months of my life. So I started looking for a solution that did not include supplements if at all possible. In one week - after making just a few of the suggestions in this book my blood pressure this morning was 107/77. Does it mean I have to make a few changes - you bet. Do I need to be aware of food decisions I am making - yep! Is it worth it to have my life back and not be on drugs - you bet. I eat a banana and kiwi every day....that's just a few of the tips worth noting. Totally recommend taking your life back - and I do think this book is eye opening.
It's not just another book on high blood pressure. In fact, it's a guide to fitness and a healthy heart, especially for those suffering from high blood pressure as it addresses everything from the concept of hypertension to suggesting effective solutions to control and maintain a healthy blood pressure.
The best thing about the book is its in-depth research that goes into writing the book, which is quite evident from the references and scientific aspects provided by the author to prove her point.
It's not one of those books that preach, preach and preach. 'Blood Pressure Down' offers effective and easy-to-follow checklists and dietary plans that will help you keep a check on your blood pressure.
My recommendation is - go for this book! You will need it more in your kitchen than on your book shelf or in the library.
Almost one in three Americans over 20 has high blood pressure, which is considered one of the most treatable causes of heart disease and strokes. Yet a majority of people with the condition fail to keep their blood pressure under control, at least in part because hypertensive medications produce lots of side effects, like fatigue. Blood Pressure Down presents a credible plan to lower your blood pressure without medication via diet, exercise and stress reduction. Some key foods include kiwis (almost as much potassium as bananas but with half the calories), low-fat yogurt (tons of calcium), dark chocolate (packed with flavanols) and red wine (it combines the benefits of antioxidants and alcohol). The book also recommends a daily glass of low-sodium vegetable juice as a way to get a megadoseof potassium.
In Blood Pressure Down, Brill highlights the fact that behavior changes can strongly influence blood pressure and employs the DASH principles in her lifestyles therapy plan. By following her plan, patients and clients can avoid undesirable side effects and eliminate the expense of blood pressure medications.
Brill's contribution is to combine DASH with other helpful advice and break it all down into 10 easy-to-follow steps. From losing that crucial first five pounds, through cutting out salt, adding key foods such as spinach and crucial supplements including vitamin D, and finally adding exercise, the idea is to present one manageable task at a time instead of overwhelming the reader with too much information at once-an overload that for many newly diagnosed patients leads to lifestyle paralysis and poor pressure control.
Dr. Janet thoroughly explains high blood pressure and does it in a way we can all understand... Since this book arrived, I go back to the lists when making my grocery shopping list. I feel inspired to buy more foods rich in potassium, calcium, and magnesium and eliminate the higher sodium junk that can creep into my diet. I honestly love the way I feel when I eat better and it really does help you shed those unwanted pounds.
Yet, Janet Bond Brill makes everything beautifully clear. When I read her books, I always find myself wishing she'd taught my biology classes. She puts everything "within reach" of her readers, which is wonderful of her considering this is life and death information... This book presents a DOABLE action plan. You're given 10 clear steps that you can begin implementing the very day you open the book.
Blood Pressure Down book is for ANYONE, whether you have high blood pressure now, have a family history of high blood pressure, love someone who has high blood pressure, or simply want to eat healthy as a preventive step.
Blood Pressure Down takes six individual blood-pressure-lowering foods - all scientifically shown to independently reduce blood pressure - and combines them on a daily basis with a manageable amount of weight loss, salt restriction, exercise, and relaxation. Combining all these proven blood-pressure-lowering strategies is as effective as combining several types of blood-pressure-lowering drugs.
Blood Pressure Down is the ultimate tool chest that provides a wealth of ideas and information on how to lower blood pressure and take less prescription drugs. This is not a quick fix, or band-aid, or an ultimate cure-all. It gives a straight forward way to understand what is potentially damaging and how to tweak bad habits without going to the extreme.
Brill's clever approach and deft knowledge has taken on both the psychological and physiological factors of a healthier lifestyle to deliver the most comprehensive, sustainable and empowering program. The approach can be personalized to each reader's needs; whether a person is already on a different plan, has a prescription or is under therapy, it is incredibly modifiable.
Never has it been easier than what is laid out in Blood Pressure Down, it's time for every individual to take responsibility and acknowledge when enough is enough.
The Ten Step program is so obvious it's brilliant. The way Brill lays it out makes each step not only easy to follow, but also hard to resist.
Her message is unfailingly simple. Lifestyle is always the first strategy, first line of defense. You can pop all the pills in the world, but you won't live a long life unless you live the lifestyle as well and walk the walk. And even if you are in your 70s, studies have shown that even if you have not lived a heart healthy life, it's not too late
Dr. Janet gives a fantastic explanation of hypertension and ways to control it. I found her 10 step plan to be easy to follow, understand and effective for me. I do suggest talking to your own doctor before starting, as everyone is different. Highly recommended for all who would like to learn how to control your blood pressure without meds.
I give Blood Pressure Down a 5 star rating.
Blood Pressure Down" is a detailed, well researched book for anyone serious about lowering his or her blood pressure. The science behind each step is explained as well as how they each lower blood pressure.
Without a hint of pain or discomfort, high blood pressure damages blood vessels, the heart, even your brain.
Many people don't know they're living with it until it's too late and suffer a heart attack or stroke.
Registered dietitian Janet Bond Brill says it's now a worldwide epidemic. She offers the five best foods to lower your blood pressure from her new book, Blood Pressure Down...
Brill delivers a couple of messages with this book, "High blood pressure is the most preventable cause of premature morbidity and mortality in the United States and the world, and that lifestyle therapy is the cornerstone of treatment of the disease.
What sets this 10-step plan apart is the simple way the author lays it out for the readers...The steps and the implementation are presented so that readers can easily start tomorrow.
One way to start eating healthier is to remove tempting foods filled with fat and sugar. If you're pantry is filled with chips and cookies it will be harder to resist temptation.
For those just starting to eat healthy, the old adage 'Fail to plan and you plan to fail,' could not be truer," says Dr. Janet Brill, nutritionist and author of Blood Pressure Down: The 10-Step Program to Lower Your Blood Pressure in 4 Weeks - Without Prescription Drugs (May 2013).
The best way to prepare for healthy eating is to have a stocked and organized healthy pantry and refrigerator," says Dr. Brill.