Simple lifestyle changes lower blood pressure as well as medicine

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In Massachusetts, researchers demonstrated that a program aimed at helping people modify lifestyle factors such as diet and exercise is as effective as medication at reducing blood pressure.

“By adapting selected lifestyle health principles, half of the people in our study achieved normal blood pressure within two weeks while avoiding the side effects and costs associated with blood pressure medications,” said research team leader M. Alfredo Mejia, associate professor at Andrews University. “The Newstart Lifestyle program works quickly, is inexpensive and uses a palatable diet that allows for moderate amounts of salt and healthy fats from nuts, olives, avocado and certain vegetable oils.”

Newstart Lifestyle program participants follow a vegan diet, walk outside daily, drink substantial quantities of water, get adequate daily sleep and participate in optional spiritual activities. The program’s vegan diet consists of legumes, whole grains, vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, olives, avocados, soymilk, almond milk and whole-grain breads.