Blood pressure meds? Pucker up instead!

Struggling with high blood pressure is a lot like playing a round of golf.

You're always aiming for low numbers -- but things don't always go your way.

But according to the latest research, there may be an easy way to keep those blood pressure numbers in line -- without the dizzying side effects and risks that come with prescription meds.

And the best part? It's delicious!

A new study out of the UK finds that people who drank about two ounces of juice made from the tart Montmorency cherry saw their systolic blood pressure (better known as the "top number" in your BP reading) lowered by 7 percent in just three hours.

While a 7 percent drop may seem like peanuts, it's about as much as any drug can lower your BP. And, over time, it can be enough to lessen stroke risk by 38 percent and heart disease risk by 23 percent.

And if your blood pressure is very high, a 7 percent reduction can make a world of difference.

This study was small, but the results are encouraging enough to warrant future studies -- and to urge you to have another talk with your doc about the BP meds he has you taking.

In many cases, you don't need them at all.

As I've shared with you before, I take issue with what mainstream medicine considers "high" in the first place.

You might even be experiencing a phenomenon called "white coat hypertension," which means that just BEING in the doctor's office and having that cuff strapped to your arm may be making your blood pressure spike higher than it normally is.

Tart cherries work to promote healthy blood pressure (without the hazards that come with prescription drugs). Plus, they're loaded with artery-protecting phenolic acids, which work to lessen artery stiffness that can lead to heart disease.

The benefits of tart cherries don't stop there. Their anti-inflammatory properties help fight gout flare-ups... they're high in vitamin A, potassium and fiber... and they contain melatonin, which is proven to help you sleep.

Now, we're not talking cherry pie, Cherry Coke, or cherry-flavored hard candy. The study used tart cherry juice concentrate -- which you can find pretty easily online.

You can also pick up tart cherry as a supplement in capsule form at your local health food store.