16 Non-Drug Ways To Lower Blood Pressure (Continued)
15. Be social. Researchers at the University of Chicago found that people with fewer social connections were more likely to have high blood pressure. In fact, blood pressure readings of "lonely" people were 30 points higher on average than non-lonely ones.
16. Enjoy chocolate, as long as it's dark. Indulge in a little dark chocolate every day. Several studies show it's good for heart health and reduces blood pressure. (Not to mention what it does for your mood!)
Reviewed by Susan Weiner, R.D., M.S., C.D.E., C.D.N. 10/08
- American Academy of Family Physicians. High Blood Pressure: Things You Can Do To Lower Yours. (Accessed July 28, 2008)
- American Diabetes Association. Treating High Blood Pressure in People With Diabetes. (Accessed July 29, 2008)
- American Heart Association. Blood Pressure. (Accessed July 23, 2009)
- American Heart Association. Your High Blood Pressure Questions Answered: Blood Pressure and Exercise. (Accessed August 1, 2008)
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2010, press release: http://www.cdc.gov/media/pressrel/2010/r101001.html?s_cid=mediarel_r101001 (Accessed January 24, 2011).
- Chan, P., B. Tomlinson, Y.J. Chen, J.C. Liu, M.H. Hsieh, and J.T. Cheng. 2000. A double-blind placebo-controlled study of the effectiveness and tolerability of oral stevioside in human hypertension. British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology. 50:215-220
- Duke, James A. 1997. The Green Pharmacy: The Ultimate Compendium of Natural Remedies from the World's Foremost Authority on Healing Herbs. Emmaus, Pa.: Rodale Press.
- Fatehi, M., T. Rashidabady, and Z.F. Hassanabad. 2007. Effects of petals extracts of saffron on rat blood pressure and on responses induced by electrical field stimulation in the rat isolated vas deferens and guinea-pig ileum. Acta Horticulturae. 739:347-350
- Ferrari, Antonella, Giuseppina Costanzo, Annamaria Vetere, Ignazio Simonetti, Gian F. Gensini, and Pietro A. Modesti. Daily Sessions of Music Listening in Mild Hypertension Can Reduce 24-Hour Ambulatory Blood Pressure after One Month. Paper presented at the 23rd Annual Meeting for the American Society of Hypertension, May 14-17, 2008 in New Orleans, La.
- Forman, J.P., E.B. Rimm, M.J. Stampfer, and G.C. Curhan. 2005. Folate intake and the risk of incident hypertension among US women. Journal of the American Medical Association. 293(3):320-9.
- Hawkley, L.C., C.M. Masi, J.D. Berry, and J.T. Cacioppo. 2006. Loneliness is a unique predictor of age-related differences in systolic blood pressure. Psychology and Aging. 21(1):152-64.
- Houston, Mark C. and Karen J. Harper. 2008. Potassium, magnesium, and calcium: Their role in both the cause and treatment of hypertension. Journal of Clinical Hypertension (Greenwich) 10(7 suppl 2): 2–11.
- Institute of Medicine. Dietary Reference Intakes: Electrolytes and Water. http://www.iom.edu/Object.File/Master/20/004/0.pdf (accessed August 4, 2008)
- Linus Pauling Institute. Micronutrient Information Center. Calcium. http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/infocenter/minerals/calcium/ (accessed August 12, 2008)
- Linus Pauling Institute. Micronutrient Information Center. Essential Fatty Acids. http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/infocenter/othernuts/omega3fa/ (accessed August 4, 2008)
- Linus Pauling Institute. Micronutrient Information Center. Magnesium. http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/infocenter/minerals/magnesium/ (accessed August 12, 2008)
- Linus Pauling Institute. Micronutrient Information Center. Potassium. http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/infocenter/minerals/potassium/ (accessed August 4, 2008)
- Medline Plus, Herbs and Supplements. Omega-3 fatty acids, fish oil, alpha-linolenic acid. (accessed August 4, 2008)
- National Heart Lung and Blood Institute. Your Guide To Lowering High Blood Pressure. (Accessed July 23, 2008)
- Norat, Teresa, Richard Bowman, Robert Luben, Ailsa Welch, Kay Tee Khaw, Nick Wareham, and Sheila Bingham. 2008. Blood pressure and interactions between the angiotensin polymorphism AGT M235T and sodium intake: a cross-sectional population study. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 88:392-397.
- Parr, A., F. Mellon, I. Colquhoun, and H. Davies. 2005. Dihydrocaffeoyl polymines (kukoamine and aillies) in potato (Solanum tuberosum) tubers detected during metabolite profiling. Journal of Agriculture Food Chemistry. 53(13):5461-5466.
- Pescatello, Linda S. Exercise and hypertension: Recent advances in exercise prescription. 2005. Current Hypertension Reports 7:281-286.
- Rainforth, Maxwell V., Robert H. Schneider, Sanford I. Nidich, Carolyn Gaylord-King, John W. Salerno and James W. Anderson. 2007. Stress reduction programs in patients with elevated blood pressure: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Current Hypertension Reports 9:520-528.
- Reid, K., O.R. Frank, N.P. Stocks, P. Fakler, and T. Sullivan. 2008. Effect of garlic on blood pressure: a systematic review and meta-analysis. BMC Cardiovascular Disorders. 8:13.
- Taubert, D., R. Roesen, C. Lehmann, N. Jung, and E. Schomig. 2007. Effects of low habitual cocoa intake on blood pressure and bioactive nitric oxide: a randomized controlled trial. Journal of the American Medical Association. 298(1):49-60.
- Webb, A.J., N. Patel, S. Loukogeorgakis, M. Okorie, Z. Aboud, S. Misra, R. Rashid, P. Miall, J. Deanfield, N. Benjamin, R. MacAllister, A.J. Hobbs, and A. Ahluwalia. 2008. Acute blood pressure lowering, vasoprotective, and antiplatelet properties of dietary nitrate via bioconversion to nitrite. Journal of Hypertension. 51(3):784-90.
- Whitaker, Julian M. 2001. Reversing Hypertension: A Vital New Program to Prevent, Treat, and Reduce High Blood Pressure. New York: Grand Central Publishing.
- Xin, X., J. He, M.G. Frontini, L.G. Ogden, O.I. Motsamai, and P.K. Whelton. 2001. Effects of alcohol reduction on blood pressure: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Journal of Hypertension. 38(5):1112-7.
In junior high school, I'd gotten my hands on one of my father's old English books and read a story by Nathaniel Hawthorne, "The Great Stone Face". The story is based on the natural mountain/rock formation in New Hampshire of the same name (you can see an image of it on New Hampshire state quarters). In the story, there was a legend that the person whose face looked like The Great Stone Face would be "the...