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High Blood Pressure Diet Plan

High Blood Pressure Diet Plan

Also known as the 'silent killer', high blood pressure or hypertension is known to affect one in four adults in the United States. This article speaks of the importance of a high blood pressure diet plan.
Rajib Singha
In the United States, around 50 million people have hypertension, and worldwide, the figure comes to around a whooping 1 billion. This condition is asymptomatic, meaning, it generally shows no symptoms, at least not until it has reached a severe or a life-threatening stage. This is the reason most people have high blood pressure for years, without even knowing about it. When this disorder reaches a critical stage, it may become the prime reason for complications such as heart failure, stroke, kidney failure, metabolic syndrome, aneurysm, damaged blood vessels in the eyes, and heart attack to name a few. Given the asymptomatic nature of this medical disorder, it is wise to have your blood pressure checked regularly (at least every two years starting at age 18). In this way, you can keep a close watch on your health. Equally important is to inculcate a diet plan that aims at managing high blood pressure.
Incidence of high blood pressure, and other cardiovascular problems is found to be the least among vegetarians. This is simply because, a vegetarian diet has abundant quantity of potassium, complex carbohydrates, polyunsaturated fat, fiber, calcium and magnesium. All such nutrients increase a person's immunity against hypertension. Following is a list of some vegetables that help manage this condition:
• Brussels sprouts
• Bok choy
• Kale
• Broccoli
• Cauliflower
• Cabbage
• Chive
• Elephant Garlic
• Garlic
• Green onion
• Leek
• Lettuce
• Mustard greens
• Spring onion
• Spinach
• Swiss chard
• Water chestnut

Foods High In Fiber
A high fiber diet has always proved effective in countering various heart-related diseases, and according to new studies, they may help people keep their blood pressure under control. Apart from vegetables, fruits and whole grains are rich sources of fiber.

• Apples
• Apricots
• Avocados
• Banana
• Blackberries
• Blueberries
• Cantaloupe
• Dates
• Mango
• Oranges
• Papaya
• Peach
• Pears
• Prunes
• Raisins
• Raspberries
• Strawberries
• Tomatoes
• Watermelon

Whole Grains

• Breakfast cereals
• Brown rice
• Barley
• Corn
• Grams
• Millet
• Oats
• Rye
• Whole-meal bread
• Whole wheat berries
• Whole wheat bulgur
• Wheat
• Whole wheat couscous pasta

Fish Products

An alternative to food items which although are high in protein, raise cholesterol levels in the body, is fish. Fish products are known to prevent and manage various heart diseases, and so forms an important part of a prudent diet to manage high blood pressure. Fish contains high level of omega 3 fatty acids. These acids seem to expand blood vessels, and this helps bringing blood pressure down. Fish that you can include in your hypertension diet plan are:
• Mackerel
• Halibut
• Herring
• Salmons
• Trouts
• Tuna

Other Beneficial Food Items
• Almonds
• Amaranth
• Brazil nuts
• Chocolate
• Dill
• Fenugreek
• Figs
• Flax seeds
• Nutmeg
• Oysters
• Parsley
• Pomegranates
• Pumpkin seeds
• Quinoa
• Rosemary
• Sunflower seeds
• Tangerines
• Walnuts

Cut Down on Salt and Sugar
Avoiding salt in the diet can significantly help people suffering from high blood pressure. Studies have revealed that people who have high quantity of salt in their diet, are the most vulnerable to develop this condition. The recommended intake of salt per day must be less than 2,300 mg. For people older than 51, the intake must not exceed 1500 mg a day. The same goes for people with chronic medical problems such as diabetes, kidney disease, and for obvious reasons, hypertension.
Sugar, has also been a major cause of high blood pressure in people who have cravings for the 'sweet stuff'. Excessive sugar in the diet leads to weight gain, and ultimately to an increase in blood pressure level. Sweet products have a tendency to make their way to the intestines immediately after they have been consumed. This triggers an instantaneous reaction for the pancreas to produce insulin. Too much production of insulin cannot be handled by the kidneys, and this causes blood pressure to rise. So sticking to the required amount of sugar in the diet, and not going for excess of 'sweet stuffs', greatly helps in keeping blood pressure under control.
To conclude, a high blood pressure diet, as we can infer from the above description, is a prudent one; smart and careful selection of healthy foods. Adequate control, and discipline is needed in order to maintain a normal blood pressure level. Although it may not be so simple as it seems, a bit of compromise now, will let you enjoy a healthy life later.