As I was searching the Internet for ideas of things I may not realize in my diet are raising my blood pressure, becase (in fairness) I had never really though about it before, I came across a link saying "how much Liquorice is bad for your blood pressure?" A little health news article.
WTF, I thought. I had never heard of that kind of link before, so I googled that up. Found a bunch of medical journal articles from Scandanavia, where chronic liquorice consumption is an issue. Why do I care? I ate about a kilo of Liquorice Allsorts in about a week right before my blood pressure showed up suddenly high.
Turn out, large doses of liquorice (naturally flavoured - like the ones I was eating) contain a quantity of glycyrrhetinic acid that will spike your blood pressure - fast.
How large? I was eating them. How fast? The study tested pressure first at two weeks, at which time the healthy control group had spiked a mean of 14.4 points of blood pressure. It looks like they stopped the experiment for that group when they discovered this result.
I ain't saying that this explains anything, but if my pressure comes down a bunch and stays there as I stop eating a ridiculous quantity of liquorice, it may have had an effect. I'm going to play it safe and continue to exercise daily and lose 30 pounds, if you don't mind.