This is the everything-you-need-to-know-to-be-as-healthy-as-possible newsletter, brought to you by Kristy Russ, pharmacist and health consultant. I have close to 20 years experience in helping people improve their health. I specialize in nutritional medicine, which is the secret of "true" preventative medicine. Yes, if I'm successful in getting people to follow my advice, I will put myself out of a job.

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8 Ways to Naturally
Lower Blood Pressure

Continuing on with the heart-health theme from February, today I'm talking blood pressure...

Every person that comes into the pharmacy newly diagnosed with high blood pressure is frustrated and not impressed. Now they have to start taking pills (that cost a lot of money) for something they can't even feel. Almost without fail, I get asked this question, "Is there something else I can do to lower my blood pressure?"

Well, the good news is that the answer is a huge "YES!". Unfortunately, the usual reaction to my recommendations that follow tells me that it's not going to happen, so now they're back being angry about the pills again...

Here's why the negative reaction: the 2 best ways to lower your blood pressure is regular exercise and weight loss. 'Nuff said I think.

  1. Seriously though, most people with high blood pressure are also overweight and losing weight will lower your blood pressure. And it doesn't have to be all or nothing either. Generally speaking your blood pressure will go down by 1 mm of Hg for every kilogram you lose. That means that only a 5-10 kg weight loss would be about the same as taking an average dose of blood pressure medication.
  2. Even if you aren't overweight, regular exercise can lower your blood pressure 5-10 mm of Hg- that's about as good as most medications. That's because exercise makes your heart more efficient and it can pump more blood with less effort- that means less pressure on your blood vessels.

    And we're not talking running marathons here- just getting moving for about 20 minutes most days is enough. After about a month, you should start seeing good results. Of course the effects go away if you stop the exercise...

  3. For those of you who would rather pop a pill than change your lifestyle (don't laugh- that is the majority of society and hey, you gotta be realistic right?)... you could take a calcium and magnesium supplement. Both of these minerals have a natural relaxing effect on your blood vessels (and other parts of your body too- a topic for another day). That effect can lower your blood pressure up to 5 mm of Hg- not huge, but it can make the difference between needing medication and not. Plus the added benefits for the rest of your health...

    I highly recommend Usana's Active Calcium because it's in the proper ratio that your body needs, it's highly bioavailable (meaning you'll actually absorb it) and it has no toxins in it (others often have a lot of mercury & PCB's in them).

  4. Of course there's no point taking calcium & magnesium if you're not going to limit your salt intake. Salt can increase your blood pressure, so try to cut it out as much as you can. Besides putting the salt shaker away, avoid processed food as much as possible- that's where most of our HUGE salt intake comes from.
  5. Also try to increase your potassium intake . Potassium can help counteract the effect of the salt, so be sure to get enough. Bananas and oranges are good sources of potassium. Of course, the Essentials has all you need (and I know you're taking those already if you've learned anything from me by now ;-)
  6. Make sure you keep your alcohol consumption to "normal" levels (men = 2 drinks/day, women = 1/day). These levels or below can have some beneficial effects on your blood pressure (but don't start drinking if you don't normally- it doesn't work that way). Anything above these levels can actually raise your blood pressure quite significantly- strange but true.
  7. Quit smoking. Nicotine directly raises your blood pressure up to 10 mm of Hg. Again, 'nuff said.
  8. Limit your caffeine to 2 cups of coffee or less. Caffeine also directly increases your blood pressure. Not nearly as much as nicotine or for as long, but you don't want it in your body all day long.

See? Lots of things you can do besides medication to lower your blood pressure.

If you don't have high blood pressure, be aware that it naturally increases as you age, so you might want to start following some of these tips now and prevent it.

Because Laughter Really IS Good Medicine...

Notes Taken From Actual Medical Charts...
(#13 & 19 are my personal favorites...)

1. Patient has two teenage children, but no other abnormalities.

2. Patient has chest pain if she lies on her left side for over a year.

3. On the second day, the knee was better, and then on the third day it disappeared.

4. The patient is tearful and crying constantly. She also appears to be depressed.

5. The patient has been depressed since she began seeing me in 1993.

6. Discharge status: Alive, but without my permission.

7. Healthy-appearing decrepit 69-year old male, mentally alert but forgetful.

8. The patient refused autopsy.

9. The patient has no previous history of suicides.

10. Patient has left white blood cells at another hospital.

11. Patient's medical history has been remarkably insignificant with only a 40-pound weight gain in the last three days.

12. Patient had waffles for breakfast and anorexia for lunch.

13. Between you and me, we ought to be able to get this lady pregnant.

14. She is numb from her toes down.

15. While in ER, she was examined, x-rated and sent home.

16. The skin was moist and dry.

17. Occasional, constant, infrequent headaches.

18. Patient was alert and unresponsive.

19. She stated that she had been constipated for most of her life until she got a divorce.

What's New at

Antioxidant Skin Care: Antiaging at the source of the problem

Antioxidant skin care is one of the newest trends in beauty. That makes sense when you understand that over 90% of the signs of aging are caused by free radical damage.

BUT make sure you're using products that actually deliver or you're just wasting your money.

Antioxidant Skin Care

The Best Antioxidant Skin Care Products

Looking for antioxidant skin care products? There are more out there that are completely useless than those that actually do any good. So the odds of you choosing a good one are pretty slim actually...

The Best Antioxidants Skin Care Products

Antioxidants skin care products: you need more than creams

Usually when you talk about skin care, you're talking about things you're putting on your face. But when you're talking about antioxidants skin care products, the most effective way to get the results you're looking for is...

Antioxidants Skin Care Products

Antioxidant Discussion Forums

Create your very own webpage on my site! (Don't worry- you don't need to know anything about how to do it. If you can type, done!) If you have an interesting story to share or have a comment or question about a topic on the site, you can post it right onto the website. Read about how others have been affected by antioxidants, make a comment on someone else's submission or post your own.

It's fun. It's free. And you don't have to register for anything.

Click here to post your own story, comment or question.

Nutrition News

Here are links to informative and/or interesting news articles on nutrition...

Reheated Cooking Oils Contain Toxic Aldehydes (Another reason to avoid fast-food deep-fried stuff. They reheat the same oil everyday- changed completely rarely)

Babies' Immunity Boosted By Adding Prebiotics To Infant Formula That Feeds Their Gut Bacteria

Vegetables And Children - Openly Showing Them Is Better Than Hiding

Overeating Linked To Memory Loss

How Vitamin D Inhibits Inflammation

Breastfeeding And Caffeine Consumption

Comments? Ideas? Feedback? I'd love to hear from you. Just reply to this zine and tell me what you think!

See you next month...

Good Health to You,

Kristy Russ, BScPharm Pharmacist and Health Consultant

P.S. Give your body the best nutrition possible. You'll not only feel better now, but you'll also have that quality of life in the future that you've always imagined for yourself. Click here to find out more.