High blood pressure, also referred to as hypertension, does not show any symptoms in the initial period. Blood pressure (BP) refers to the amount of pressure the blood applies on the arteries. BP readings are summarized by two measurements, namely: systolic and diastolic. Systolic pressure is a measurement of the force the blood exerts on the vessel walls when the heart pumps, and diastolic pressure is a measurement of the same force when the heart is at rest between two heartbeats. BP is said to be high when the systolic pressure is greater than or equal to 140mmHg and diastolic pressure is greater than or equal to 90mmHg. Hypertension greatly increases the risk of a heart attack and stroke. Diet plays a very crucial role in lowering high BP. People suffering from it need to bring about major changes in their lifestyle, which include a change in the diet and a regular exercise program (yoga, gym, aerobics, etc.).
Diet for Lowering High Blood Pressure
Salt intake and weight are the two important factors that need to be monitored in high BP patients. It is necessary to follow a nutriment that will help in maintaining proper body weight and BP. The DASH diet is a very renowned diet plan that has proved to be beneficial for many hypertension patients. Let's have a look at it.
♟ Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, more commonly known as the DASH diet, is a researched diet plan that helps in lowering BP within a few weeks.
♟ The DASH diet was researched and established by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI). This nourishment plan concentrates more on the intake of food, which is rich in nutrients, especially 3 minerals that include calcium, magnesium, and potassium.
♟ It also limits the intake of salt and fatty food. It emphasizes on the intake of whole grain, vegetables, fruits, and low-fat meat and dairy products.
♟ This diet plan has helped in reducing hypertension in many people within a short span of 14 days. It includes servings of various food items, and one should be acquainted with the right amount of serving for each item.
The table given below elucidates on the type of food, number of servings, and what should be included in each serving.
|Food Item||Number of Servings||One Serving|
|Grain||6 to 8 per day||1 slice bread, ½ English muffin or bun, ¼ bagel, ½ cup cooked pasta, cereal, corn, or rice|
|Vegetables||4 to 5 per day||½ cup cooked or raw vegetables, 1 cup leafy raw vegetable, and 6 fluid ounces of vegetable juice|
|Fruits||4 to 5 per day||6 ounces of fruit, 6 ounces of juice, 1 medium-sized fruit, ½ cup canned, frozen fruit, and ¼ cup dry fruit|
|Dairy||2 to 3 per day||1 cup milk or yogurt, 1½ ounces of cheese, and 2 cups of cottage cheese|
|Meat, Fish, and Poultry||2 or less per day||2½ to 3½ ounces of cooked meat, 2 egg whites, 1 fluid ounce egg substitute, and 1 egg|
|Fats and Oils||2 to 3 per day||1 tablespoon soft margarine, 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, 1 tablespoon low-fat margarine, and 2 tablespoons light salad dressing|
|Nuts and Beans||4 to 5 per week||¼ cup or 1 ounce of nuts, 2 tablespoons or 1 ounce of seeds, 2 tablespoons of peanut butter, and ¼ cup of cooked lentils, beans, or peas|
Sodium in cooking salt is a major causative factor behind elevating the BP. Thus, high BP patients are strictly advised to lower their sodium intake. Please bear in mind that before resorting to any diet plan, always consult your physician to avoid any unpleasant consequences.
Disclaimer: This HealthHearty article is for informative purposes only and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.