BOOK REVIEW: ‘Blood Pressure Down’: Lowering Blood Pressure Through Diet, Lifestyle Changes

  • Reviewed by David M. Kinchen 


BOOK REVIEW: 'Blood Pressure Down':  Lowering Blood Pressure Through Diet, Lifestyle Changes

If you’ve been prescribed any type of blood pressure medication, as I have, you’ll quickly discover all kinds of side effects — real or imagined. The real ones are listed in the material you’ve probably tossed away — the big sheet stapled to the prescription package. Doctors treating hypertension — the technical name for “high blood pressure” — often prescribe medication, which — along with diet and lifestyle changes– has as its goal treating a condition that affects 75 million Americans and is often called the “Silent Killer.”

In “Blood Pressure Down: The 10-Step Plan to Lower Your Blood Pressure in 4 Weeks Without Prescription Drugs” (Three Rivers Press, an imprint of Crown Publishing, a Random House company,  352 pages, notes, index, recipes, $15.00)  Janet Bond Brill distills what she’s learned over decades of helping her patients lower their blood pressure into a ten-step lifestyle plan that’s manageable for anyone.  If I can follow it — and I’m trying my darndest, anybody can. By following Brill’s program, you’ll:

• Harness the power of blood pressure power foods like bananas, spinach, and yogurt

• Start a simple regimen of exercise and stress reduction

• Stay on track with checklists, meal plans, and more than fifty simple recipes

I’m currently taking blood pressure medication, but I hope after my next doctor visit in a couple of weeks to have my doc take me off it and allow me to continue my diet/lifestyle plan. I never thought I had high blood pressure, regularly getting readings in the 120/70 range, but lower is better.

Bond, author of the best-selling books “Cholesterol Down” and “How to Prevent a Second Heart Attack”, offers For the 75 million Americans with hypertension, a safe, effective lifestyle plan—incorporating the DASH diet principles and much more—for lowering blood pressure naturally

If you have high blood pressure, you’re not alone: nearly a third of adult Americans have been diagnosed with hypertension, and another quarter are well on their way. African-Americans are particularly vulnerable to hypertension, with a whopping four times as many people afflicted with high blood pressure than caucasians. Much of this difference is diet and lifestyle related, with African-Americans much more susceptible to obesity and diabetes than other racial groups. 

But don’t pat yourself on the back too much if you’re not black: Every racial and ethnic group is at risk to some degree. On top of this a whopping 56 percent of diagnosed patients do not have it under control. The good news? Hypertension is easily treatable (and preventable), and you can take action today to bring your blood pressure down in just four weeks—without the potential dangers and side effects of prescription medications.
Caution: Don’t discontinue any prescribed blood pressure medication until you discuss it with your doc. Brill’s book includes a foreword by Emil M. deGorma, M.D.

Here’s another M.D. endorsement of Brill’s plan:    Annabelle S. Volgman, MD, FACC, Professor of Medicine, Rush College of Medicine, Medical Director, Rush Heart Center for Women – Annabelle S. Volgman, MD, FACCOnce 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

About the Author

Dr. Janel Bond Brill

Dr. Janel Bond Brill

Dr. Janet Bond Brill, Ph.D., RD, LDN  is a nationally recognized expert in the field of health, wellness and cardiovascular disease prevention and is frequently sought after by the media as a trusted source of nutrition and fitness information.

She  holds master’s degrees in both nutrition and exercise physiology and a doctorate in exercise physiology.

She is a registered dietitian and certified by:

  • American College of Sports Medicine
  • National Strength and Conditioning Association
  • Wellcoaches, Inc.
  • Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Certified Specialist in Sports Dietetics

Her website:


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