Benefits of a High Blood Pressure Diet
The food that we eat has a direct relation to our overall health. One such crucial health condition is high blood pressure or hypertension.High blood pressure symptoms are difficult to detect and that’s why in most cases hypertension happens when least expected. Most patients don’t even know that they are suffering from high blood pressure unless they get it checked from the doctor or when it starts to affect other major organs. But if we keep a close watch, the body does send out some early signs of hypertension including breathing difficulties, irregular heartbeat, severe headaches, chest pain, fatigue & weakness, etc.
Smoking, alcohol, diabetes, lack of exercise, irregular lifestyle, genetic history, obesity, etc. maybe some of the causes of high blood pressure. But the good news is that in the case of hypertension, a healthy diet can play a big role in lowering blood pressure.
Although drugs are useful in lowering blood pressure, a healthy diet is the first line of defense to keep it under control. Not only does it provide an initial cure if the blood pressure starts hiking into the danger zone, a healthy, blood pressure compatible diet also gives perfect complementary support to medications. It is not just one type of food that helps in lowering blood pressure but an all-round healthy eating strategy that will help control it. Tracking what you eat (food portions, calories, cholesterol increasing foods, etc.) and knowing what to eat will help in controlling high blood pressure naturally.
So, let’s find out what foods to include, what foods to omit and the overall health benefits of a high blood pressure diet.
Foods To Include In A High Blood Pressure Diet
- Fruits & Vegetables –
Vegetables and fruits are high in fibre and low in sodium and are the ideal inclusions for keeping the blood pressure in a normal range. Leafy green vegetables including broccoli, spinach, cauliflower, kale, beans, and others are rich sources of potassium, a mineral that helps the kidneys remove salts from the body, and is thus essential to maintaining blood pressure levels. A normal person should consume 3500 – 5000 mg of potassium per day. Beetroot and garlic, both high in nitric content, are important ingredients that help widen blood vessels. Make sure to include fresh fruits such as bananas, apples, grapes, mangoes, oranges, peaches, pineapples in your regular diet.
- Whole-grains & Nuts –
Oats, quinoa, dried beans, brown rice, berries, pistachios, unsalted pumpkin or sunflower seeds are all low-sodium, high-fibre foods rich in potassium and magnesium that need to be a part of your weekly food schedule.
- Low-fat Dairy Products –
Calcium is a vital mineral that helps in lowering blood pressure. Low-fat dairy products such as skimmed milk or yogurt are rich sources of calcium and should be consumed daily.
- Skinless Poultry And Fish –
Eating salmon, trout, and mackerel helps to not only lower blood pressure but also keep the bad cholesterol down as fish are an excellent source of lean protein.
Foods To Avoid When You Have High BP
It is well known that salt intake is not good for high blood pressure, but in addition to salt, there are other foods that need to be avoided or eaten in moderation to keep blood pressure in check.
- Food Items High In Saturated & Transfer – Prepackaged or processed food items contain saturated or trans fats that can increase LDL levels of cholesterol thereby increasing the risk of high blood pressure as well as heart problems.
- Consume Less Sugar – Sugar is the main reason for weight issues as well as diabetes, both factors that can cause high blood pressure.
- Eat Less Salt – The lower the sodium content in your diet, better the chances of controlling your high blood pressure. Ideally consume less than 2300 milligrams of salt per day.
- Check Nutritional Facts – Make sure to check nutritional facts on food packages and select those with 5% or less daily value sodium and avoid those with 20% or more daily value sodium.
Note of caution: This article is for information purpose only. Always consult your doctor before altering any diet plans, medications or in case of any other blood pressure related troubles.