DASH Diet Tips for Hypertension/High Blood Pressure

The only way to keep your health is to eat what you don’t want, drink what you don’t like, and do what you’d rather not.” – Mark Twain

It seems that more than ever, that today’s youth appears to be extremely health conscious. Putting in extra effort or getting to the gym seems to be a significant part of many people’s daily routine. With advancement of internet of things people are considering diet tips by experts online.

DASH Diet Tips for Hypertension

Even after being health freaks, the statistics reveal that almost 40% of the people above 25 years of age are patients of high blood pressure and half of them aren’t even aware of it. The number of people living with it is predicted to be 1.56 billion worldwide by the year 2025.

Now the question is what actually is Hypertension?

Also called High Blood Pressure, hypertension is a condition in which the force of the blood against the artery walls is too high and is usually defined as blood pressure above 140/90 mmHg, (A mmHg is a manometric unit of pressure, formerly defined as the extra pressure generated by a column of mercury one millimetre high), and is considered severe if the pressure is above 180/120 mmHg.

Causes of Hypertension

Prescription drugs, such as birth control pills, can contribute to high blood pressure. It’s not known exactly what causes most cases of high blood pressure. Some conditions and medications can lead to hypertension, including the following:

  • Kidney problems
  • Adrenal gland tumours
  • Thyroid problems
  • Blood vessels defects
  • Obstructive sleep apnea
  • Alcohol abuse or chronic alcohol use
  • Smoking

How can we control it?

What you eat affects your chances of getting high blood pressure. A healthy eating plan can both reduce the risk of developing high blood pressure and lower a blood pressure that is already too high. Maintaining a healthy diet not only helps in weight loss but also helps in increasing nutrient content. It prevents a number of diseases and is one of the various ways to control hypertension is a proper diet plan among which is a DASH diet which stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension and Mediterranean Diet. These dietary plans are very simple and easy to follow with excellent results within a span of a couple of weeks.

High Blood Pressure

Let’s now focus on a few diet tips which will help bring this heightened pressure in control:

1) Consume food rich in potassium

In order to lower the High BP, the content of the sodium in the body should be less and this can take place with the intake of potassium.

In Layman’s language, consumption of salt should be avoided and leafy green vegetables like lettuce, spinach, turnip green, kale etc. should be taken as it contains high amount of potassium.

2) Limit the consumption of alcohol and tobacco

Both alcohol and tobacco should be avoided as it causes an immediate spike in the level of blood pressure which in turn increases the risk of developing cardiovascular disease.

3) Magnesium and fiber rich food to be consumed

Magnesium is very beneficial for hypersensitive individuals. Green leafy vegetables, potatoes, seeds and nuts (e.g. almonds, cashew nuts, sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds) are good sources of magnesium. Seeds and nuts also contain heart-healthy fats. Fresh vegetables and fruits are also good sources of fibre which helps keep hypertension under control. HPB recommends a minimum of 2 + 2 servings of fruit and veggies per day. One serving of fruit is equivalent to one small fruit, 1 medium banana, 10 grapes or ¼ cup of dried fruits. One serving of vegetables is 100 g (or ¾ of a mug) of cooked vegetables.

4) Calcium rich food

The DASH diet recommends increasing the amount of calcium-rich foods that we eat. Skim milk is an excellent source of calcium and is low in fat. These are both important elements of a diet for lowering blood pressure.

We should stop having high fat milk, start with skimmed one and you are someone who hates milk, then yogurt without sugar should be good. One cup of fat-free plain yogurt provides 49% of the calcium, 12% of the magnesium, and 18% of the potassium which you need every day.

5) Whole Grains

White rice and refined noodles should be substituted with whole grain products like brown rice and whole wheat noodles. Whole grain foods contain fibre, potassium and magnesium which are especially important for people with high blood pressure. Dietary fibre from whole grains helps in improving the blood cholesterol level and hence brings down the pressure. The Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet and the Mediterranean diet both suggests including whole grains as part of a healthy diet.

6) Reduce sodium in your diet

Choose foods that are low in salt and other forms of sodium. Use spices, garlic, and onions to add flavor to your meals without adding more sodium

As it is rightly said by H. Stanley Judd, “A good plan is like a road map: it shows the final destination and usually the best way to get there.”

These were a few diet tips which I am sure if taken into consideration will help us curb down Hypertension among the people. So, guys always eat healthy and stay healthy!

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