In the present scenario, high blood pressure or hypertension is one the major health problems that concerns us. According to statistics, approximately one out of every three adults has blood pressure higher than the normal recommended levels. As per medical science, the normal level is supposed to be 120/80 mm/Hg. And a reading above 140/90 mm/Hg for an extended period is considered high. With several health risk and complications, hypertension is the main leading cause for heart attacks and stroke.
Though hypertension is incurable in maximum cases, it can be managed with healthy lifestyle and medication. After being diagnosed with hypertension, one should follow the doctor's advice in terms of a diet plan, and exercise correctly to keep the blood pressure under control. Thus, while dealing with hypertension, it is very important to have a fair knowledge of the foods beneficial for this condition, and those that should be avoided.
As one of the main reasons responsible for causing this condition is diet, it is imperative to follow a healthy diet plan for lowering blood pressure naturally. Following is a list of foods that help, which can be included in the regular diet plan of a hypertension patient.
When somebody mentions these foods, the first and foremost tip is to incorporate adequate amounts of fruits and vegetables. Healthy fruits for hypertension individuals are apricot, apple, banana, passion fruit, strawberries, orange, and kiwi fruit.
As mentioned already, an individual diagnosed with hypertension should have ample amounts of vegetables such as spinach, broccoli, tomato, potato, and carrot. They contain a high percentage of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, which help in maintaining the blood pressure within the recommended range.
Pulses are rich sources of dietary proteins, which in turn are crucial for all people, including patients of high blood pressure. But, it is to be borne in mind that pulses also contain carbohydrates in high amounts. Hence, an obese individual suffering from this condition should consume pulses under strict guidance.
» Whole Grains
Whole grains are natural sources for complex carbohydrates, thus making them ideal food items for the patients. Foods based on whole grains such as hearty bread, pita bread, oats, and barley products should be included in the diet plan.
» Dairy Products
According to recent studies regarding treatment, calcium is shown to have positive results in reducing blood pressure. Considering this, low fat dairy products such as skimmed milk, yogurt, and fat-free cheese are healthy food items for hypertension patients.
» Certain Fish
Fish, either fresh or frozen can be consumed frequently by hypertension patients. However, processed fish may contain salt, which is strictly not recommended for hypertension patients. Hence, make sure to refer to the label of the packaged or canned fish for any salt treatments, prior to including it in the regular diet.
» Lean Meat
Healthy foods also contain moderate amounts of lean meat, either red or meat. One can also include skinless poultry recipes in the diet plan, so as to lower the blood pressure. During preparation of the poultry and meat dishes, they should be grilled or baked, instead of deep frying.
Coming to the point, the foods to avoid, low salt intake, and foods with negligible fats are the key factors for reducing blood pressure. Thus, restricted foods include buttermilk, processed foods containing salt, cheese, refined sugar, and packaged foods. Overall, the diet should contain low fats, moderate proteins, complex carbohydrates, and high amounts of fiber. Medical experts are also of the opinion that potassium and calcium are effective for lowering blood pressure.
Along with consuming these foods, and avoiding unsuitable food items, one should get their blood pressure monitored on a regular basis. By doing so, the individual will have a fair idea whether the blood pressure is under control or not. The thumb rule is to strictly abide by the directions mentioned by the physician.