A new vegan program has been established to help patients combat high blood pressure without medication.
The NEWSTART Lifestyle program was developed by a team of researchers led by M. Alfredo Mejia, the associate professor at the Department of Public Health, Nutrition & Wellness at Andrews University in Michigan. Meija conducted a study on the program and presented his findings at the American Society for Nutrition’s recent annual meeting.
During Meija’s study, 117 patients diagnosed with high blood pressure underwent two weeks of lifestyle intervention. The program included a whole-food, plant-based diet involving fruit, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds that centered around foods rich in potassium. The study’s participants also ensured to sleep adequately, drink sufficient water, and exercise regularly.
In just two weeks, half of the participants reduced their blood pressure to the recommended level without medication or other medical devices. Ninety-three percent of participants were able to reduce or eliminate their blood pressure medicine following the two-week period because of drastically reduced blood pressure levels.
Cardiologist Dr. Andrew Freeman, from National Jewish Health in Colorado, spoke to Healthline about the study’s results. “[W]e know that fruits and vegetables rich in potassium and naturally occurring nitrates can actually lower blood pressure as effectively as many of the medications,” Freeman said. “So that, to me, is no surprise. It’s nice that they put it all together in this study.”
The NEWSTART Lifestyle program claims to be “just what you need.” The program combines what it believes are the eight pillars of health and well-being: Nutrition, Exercise, Water, Sunlight, Temperance, Air, Rest, and Trust. According to the team, the program will not only assist in reducing blood pressure, but will also help to reduce neuropathy, renew the immune system, increase energy levels, reverse heart disease, and assist patients in overcoming depression.