Bring that Blood Pressure Down
Clean Eating,  Healthy Eating,  Healthy Living,  Heart Health,  Weight

Bring That Blood Pressure Down With These Easy Tips

I love to hear from people who read this blog!  My goal with this writing and sharing is to make a difference in your lives and in your health. So, when I received an email from Joe, I wanted to thank him and address one of the things he and his wife are working on: managing blood pressure.  Here are five tips to help reduce blood pressure.

Because a significant risk factor for heart disease is blood pressure that is consistently higher than normal, this is important to monitor.  When your blood pressure is consistently high, your heart is forced to work much harder. Over time, this eventually weakens your heart muscle. Today, I want to share a few simple ideas that may help Joe and others moderate blood pressure levels.

#1. Take a Pass on the Cookies and Chips

Our Standard American Diet is not beneficial for any aspect of your health, and that includes your blood pressure! Instead, choosing whole unprocessed foods is a good way to get on a better dietary path. The way I eat most of the time is most similar to a Mediterranean diet, but with modifications that work for me. This helps keep my chronic depression at bay and control my weight.  In my second book, “The Major Method”, I detail how I eat to keep myself healthy both mentally and physically and share a whole bunch of the recipes I’ve developed over the years.

#2. Give the Mediterranean Diet a Go

Reduce blood pressureThe Mediterranean diet focuses on whole fresh food; fruits, vegetables, fish and small amounts of lean meat. I think when we talk about a Mediterranean eating style, many of us think bread and pasta, but these are more processed and should be kept to a minimum if eaten at all.

An additional bonus is that in the past fifty years, studies have shown that eating in this Mediterranean style reduces the incidence of a wide range of other ills as well.

#3. Add Chia Seeds To Surprising Places

Yes, the same chia pet chia seeds! Chia seeds can actually help lower blood pressure. Because chia seeds are high in omega 3 fatty acids, they can work as a blood thinner and are believed to decrease blood pressure. You can sprinkle them on salads, mix in smoothies and I have a recipe or two for Chia Pudding on my website in the recipe section.

#4. Skip that Glass of Wine

Drinking too much alcohol too frequently can also raise your blood pressure. More than three drinks at one time increases your blood pressure, and drinking too much on a regular basis can really affect your blood pressure in the wrong direction.  I’m not say you have to stop drinking; just be sure you are in control of your alcohol consumption.

#5. Niacin – Yes, Niacin!

The health care providers differ on this one, but there’s enough evidence out there that I take niacin. Studies have shown niacin can boost levels of good HDL cholesterol and lower triglycerides as well as dilate blood vessels. It has the ability to raise blood sugar however, so consult your health care professional before adding this or any other supplement to your health regimen.

By the way, fish and sunflower seeds provide natural sources of niacin, too.

#6. Apple Cider Vinegar 

Remember to use apple cider vinegar (ACV). ACV has the ability to reduce blood pressure and significantly improve heart health. I like to drink a tablespoon of it in water with a squeeze of lemon and a tablespoon of tart cherry juice.  I hope you’ll try it; it’s really very tasty. I have it in the morning, and health advocates suggest having it three times a day to help with blood pressure.

Sometimes I have it in plain water and sometimes in fizzy water. I’ve also used hot water to make it, and it’s very tasty!

#7. Quit Smoking

For so many reasons, if you’re still a smoker, please get support to stop smoking. Smoking can damage your blood vessels and cause high blood pressure.

#8. Reduce Stress

Chronic stress can contribute to high blood pressure. It’s important to take time to relax and de-stress. Activities like meditation, yoga, deep breathing, and progressive muscle relaxation can help.

#9. Maintain a Healthy Weight

Blood pressure often increases as your weight increases. Losing even a small amount of weight if you’re overweight or obese can help reduce your blood pressure. In general, losing only 2-3 pounds can begin to reduce your blood pressure.

#10. Enjoy the Company of Animals

Being present and interacting with animals, particularly pets, have been widely recognized for the positive effects on human health, including the potential to lower blood pressure. This is often attributed to the calming effect animals can have on their human companions. When you interact with pets, such as sheep, dogs, cats, or even smaller pets like rabbits and guinea pigs, you often experience a decrease in stress levels. This reduction in stress is crucial as stress is a well-known risk factor for high blood pressure.

Several studies have shown that having a pet can lead to lower blood pressure and lower heart rate levels. The act of petting a dog or cat, for example, can trigger the release of relaxation-inducing hormones like oxytocin and can decrease the production of stress hormones like cortisol. These hormonal changes can help in calming your nervous system, which leads to a reduction in heart rate and blood pressure. Pets can also encourage physical activity, especially in the case of dog owners who regularly walk their dogs or for me, I need to go out to the barn twice a day to feed and water my sheep. Walking around, carrying pails of water and cleaning up their corral is all exercise that doesn’t feel like regular exercise. I always tell people caring for my sheep is my gym! Any increase in physical activity is a key factor in maintaining a healthy blood pressure level.

An added bonus is that the companionship of pets can combat feelings of loneliness and depression, which are also associated with increased blood pressure. The emotional bond formed with a pet can provide a sense of security and support, which is particularly beneficial for individuals living alone or those who are prone to stress and anxiety. Pets provide a unique form of non-judgmental support and unconditional love, which can be incredibly soothing in today’s fast-paced and often stressful world.


Here’s a bonus tip I discovered recently:

#Bonus Tip Just for You!

Reducing or getting off caffeine isn’t something you always hear as a way to lower blood pressure, but this was my experience. I was drinking too much coffee and tea, and it was affecting my heart rate. When I decided to become caffeine free, not only did my heart rate calm down, my blood pressure dropped a significant ten points! I understand that doesn’t happen for everyone, but if you’re sensitive to caffeine, you may want to give it a try. A ten point reduction in your blood pressure is a good thing!

I hope these tips to help reduce blood pressure will help you focus on eating more healthfully and will contribute to a better blood pressure reading in your future!

If you need/want to discuss further, I am available to you.  You can email me:

Remember, it’s always advisable to consult with your healthcare provider before making major changes to your lifestyle, particularly if you have a history of heart-related problems or other health conditions. They can provide you with personalized advice and closely monitor your progress.


How may I serve you in your quest for optimal mental and physical health?

Cheryl A Major
Cheryl A Major, CNWC

Cheryl A Major

Cheryl A Major lives in Westford and is a Certified Nutrition and Wellness Consultant. Her TV show, Thin Strong Healthy, airs on WestfordCat and is an offshoot of her blog   Cheryl offers ongoing information, live and online courses and personal health coaching to help you feel better and be healthier.  Follow Cheryl on Twitter @CherylAMajor. 

Cheryl’s book, “Eat Your Blues Away” which chronicles her accidental recovery from depression by changing what she eats is available in both paperback and Kindle forms on Amazon!






I am not a medical doctor, and the views and opinions expressed in this book are not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice and counsel. They are based on my own training and experience.  You should always consult with your doctor and seek the advice and counsel of your health care provider before making any changes including changes to how you eat and changes regarding any vitamins and/or supplements you may take.

Some of the links I share are affiliate links which means I may receive a small commission. This does not affect what you will pay, and I only share what I have used or believe to be of the highest quality and value.






  • Melissa Brown

    Cheryl, this was a great summary for getting BP under control. I’ve never been able to get into the ACV, other than in salad dressings. I may have to try it again.

    Kudos for your new book that you’re working on, and I love the name! 😉

    • Cheryl Major

      Thanks for your comment Melissa! You might try a TBSP of ACV in water with a squeeze of lemon and a TBSP of organic tart cherry juice. It’s really good, and makes the ACV a little easier to get used to!

  • Tracy Eng

    Your bonus tip is spot on! My husband wasn’t feeling well one day after work. I checked his blood pressure on a hunch and it was super high. I discovered he hadn’t drunk anything other than coffee all day. Needless to say, water is now his friend.

  • Lane Therrell

    Backing off on the caffeine can be difficult to do—but I discovered it was well worth the effort for me. Reduced blood pressure has been only one of many benefits. I’ve also reduced my heart rate AND my anxiety level.

  • Michelle

    Thank you for these tips! I’m on what I’ve labeled a “healthier-ish journey” and you’ve outlined some simple tips that I can easily implement without feeling overwhelmed.

    • Cheryl Major

      Hi Michelle. Thank you for your comment. I call the whole getting healthier process “small steps for big changes”. It really seems to help with overwhelm regarding the process. I like to keep people away from the concept of dieting too. They just don’t work. I appreciate you taking the time to comment!

  • Pam Hamilton

    Great article Cheryl! There’s a lot of great info here about managing your blood pressure. I don’t like ACV, but I think I’ll give it a try using your reciept and see if that makes it better.

    Interterestingly I never had high blood pressure until they changed what was considered normal about 10-15 years ago. Until then my blood pressure was considered good, now it’s not.

    Because my pressure hadn’t actually changed, just how they categorized it, I mostly ignored it, although Tai Chi did make it drop a few points. However, because of your explaination of what a high bp does to your heart, I’m going to put some effort into getting it down to the new normal.

    Thanks for posting this.

    • Cheryl Major

      Hi Pam. Did I tell you about the ACV drink I make with lemon and a TBSP of organic tart cherry juice. You want to watch juice consumption because of sugar, but a TBSP IN AN 8 oz glass of water (sparkling or plain) would be fine. I actually like the drink that way. Sometimes you can work your way back to just ACV and a squeeze of lemon. Getting off caffeine helped my pressure drop about 10 points which they thought was a bit odd, but if you’re sensitive to caffeine, it can happen. Hope this helps, and thanks so much for your comment!

    • Cheryl Major

      Hi Ellen! Thank you for your question. Yes, flax seeds have been shown to assist in lowering both systolic and diastolic blood pressure. Also, regarding niacin, that’s a more complicated answer. Depending upon your source, the advice can run from 14 mg to 50 mg. As I’m not a doctor, I would suggest you consult your health care provider. I take 50 mg, but not every day. I hope that not so specific answer is of some help. Thank you Ellen! Cheryl

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