High blood pressure or hypertension is a condition caused when the systolic blood pressure rises to 140 and above, and diastolic blood pressure rises to 90 and above. There are several factors like stress, obesity, smoking, irregular lifestyle, certain diseases, etc., that can cause high blood pressure. People suffering from hypertension should look for measures to lower it immediately or it can lead to several complications like heart diseases and heart attack. Although there are medications available in the market, one should look for natural methods and also make changes in the lifestyle to lower high blood pressure naturally. Following a diet is one such effective method.
Diet Menu to Lower High Blood Pressure
As obesity is one of the major causes of hypertension, it is essential to get rid of obesity and watch your weight. In order to maintain a healthy weight, following a proper diet is essential. Certain foods like fried foods, fatty foods, marinated and buttered foods, sweets, etc., should not be consumed as they increase the level of cholesterol in the body and lead to obesity. Secondly, foods containing high amounts of sodium like salty foods, chips, fried foods, crisps, preserved foods, smoked and canned meats, sauces, pickles, etc., also tend to increase blood pressure, and hence, should be excluded from the diet or consumed in limited amounts.
Safe diet foods include fruits, vegetables, grains, healthy or lean meats and poultry, fish, nuts, etc. Based on these guidelines, the DASH diet is advocated by National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute of the United States.
DASH stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension and is an effective high blood pressure diet. According to this diet plan, one should have fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds, low-fat dairy and lean meats and poultry in the diet. The daily diet should consist of high amounts of carbohydrates, good amounts of proteins, and very little amounts of fats and sodium. A vegetarian DASH diet should focus on eating more lentils, nuts, and seeds to gain essential amounts of proteins. This diet should also be followed by other people to maintain proper health and a healthy weight.
The following chart shows food groups and recommended foods from each group. You should plan your daily diet menu such that it should be inclusive of these foods. Foods not mentioned in this chart should either be excluded or consumed in very little amounts.
It is recommended to follow the diet plan only after consulting the doctor.
|Food Group||Recommended Foods|
|Fruits||Apricot, avocado, banana, dates, orange, mango, melon, peach, pineapple, prunes, raisins, strawberry, tangerine|
|Vegetables||Artichokes, beans, broccoli, carrots, collards, eggplant kale, peas, squash, spinach, tomatoes, turnip greens|
|Nuts/Seeds||Almonds, walnuts, sunflower seeds, lentils, all unsalted nuts|
|Grains||Whole wheat products, cereals, oatmeal|
|Meat/Poultry/Fish||Lean meats and poultry, fish, unsalted pork and unsalted meats|
|Dairy||Skim milk, low-fat dairy, buttermilk, low-fat yogurt|
|Miscellaneous||Low sodium sauces (preferable non preserved), all spices, condiments, lemon juice, pepper sauce, green tea, herbal tea, plain drinking water|
The following is the list of foods to be avoided in this diet.
- Salty foods, chips, crisps, fried foods
- Cured or smoked meats, fried meat
- Whole milk, cheese, butter, margarine
- White bread, white rice, white pasta, potatoes
- Preserved foods, sauces, pickles, ketchup
- Alcohol, soft drinks
Disclaimer: This article is meant only to provide information. It is not to be substituted for doctor's advice.