Reversing high blood pressure on a whole food plant-based diet

Shireen Kassam
3 min readMay 12, 2024


I received a diagnosis of high blood pressure around 2006 and was prescribed medication, which quickly became a routine part of my life. With a family history of both high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes, I attributed these health issues to genetics. My GP reinforced this belief by stating that once medication was initiated, it typically remained a lifelong necessity.

However, my perspective shifted dramatically when my brother passed away from a heart attack in 2018, despite being on high blood pressure medication. Witnessing this tragedy prompted me to reevaluate my own health situation, especially considering I had been on medication for over a decade by that time.

During a conversation with my eldest brother residing in the US, he mentioned a documentary he had watched showcasing the reversal of high blood pressure through nutrition. Intrigued, I embarked on a journey of online research, discovering documentaries like PlantPure Nation, Forks Over Knives, and The Game Changers. These films featured individuals who had successfully reversed their health conditions by adopting a whole food plant-based diet. Recognizing this as a lifestyle change rather than a mere diet, I delved deeper into understanding its principles.

My dietary journey wasn’t always plant-based; for much of my life, I consumed animal products, with meals often revolving around meat, eggs, dairy, and processed junk food. In December 2019, I made the decision to inform my GP of my intention to transition to a whole food plant-based diet, eliminating salt, sugar, and oil, and cutting out all animal products to maximise the potential benefits for reversing my condition.

To start off my journey I looked through a whole lot of recipes and decided to choose a few that are easy to prepare and also incorporate some of my African foods so I don’t feel I am missing out. Below are some of my meals:

Breakfast: Organic Oats with Plant milk and fruits, oatmeal cookies, scrambled Tofu with sourdough bread, Yam with mixed pepper & mushroom sauce, Ogi & moin moin (Nigerian food) Green smoothie.

Lunch: Stir fry vegetables with Quinoa or bulgur wheat, Bean chilli and air fried plantain, Amala (Nigerian food) with spinach stew or Okro,

Dinner: Scrambled Potatoes using vegetables and spinach, Nigerian made Beans & sweetcorn, home made oven chips & vegetables, wholewheat pasta & Lentils bolognese

About six months into this new lifestyle, my medication dosage was halved, and after a year, I was completely taken off medication. This achievement filled me with immense joy and served as a stark deviation from the trajectory of my family’s health history.

Having experienced significant improvements in my own health and well-being over the past four years, I am now eager to share my knowledge and support others facing similar health challenges. I’ve already begun coaching and assisting individuals on their journeys toward better health, and I’m excited to continue this endeavour.

Olaide Aderemi, May 2024



Shireen Kassam

Consultant Haematologist and Lifestyle Medicine Physician. Founder and Director of Plant-Based Health Professionals UK.