An unhealthy lifestyle – with lack of exercise and improper food habits – has been well-established as one of the factors contributing to hypertension, in addition to stress, weight issues, genetics, and pre-existing medical conditions.
A controlled diet is definitely one way to keep high BP in control and luckily for us, Indian food has a tradition of healthy, wholesome but tasty meals that goes back thousands of years!
To help you enjoy tasty and healthy meals ideal for BP troubles, we’ve mapped out an Indian diet plan for high blood pressure and specific foods suitable for high BP patients.
Breakfast:The first meal of the day and also the most important! Start your day with:
A handful of roasted flax seeds (flax seeds are a super-food and extremely useful in lowering blood pressure) and sunflower seeds (high in nutrients).
Have a carrot or spinach paratha made with wheat flour with a side dish of curd. Spinach is rich in potassium (vital for maintaining blood pressure levels in the normal range), while carrots are a rich source of beta carotene, potassium, and Vitamin A. Carrot juice helps maintain normal blood pressure by regulating heart and kidney functions and curd is a low-fat dairy that helps in lowering blood pressure. An all-rounder meal if there ever was one!
If not a paratha, you can opt for a 2 egg omelet and a slice of brown bread. Eggs are high in protein, riboflavin and selenium and have a beneficial effect on blood pressure when consumed in moderation.
Mid-morning Snack: Instead of munching on chips or some other packaged foods, fresh fruits are a great option for a mid-morning snack. Opt for:
Apples, Kiwis (helps reduce both systolic and diastolic blood pressure)
Bananas (low in sodium and rich in potassium, which helps lower blood pressure)
Guavas (rich in Vitamin C and antioxidants, packed with potassium and soluble fibre)
Grape fruits (high in water content, Vitamin A, C, which helps to naturally lower blood pressure)
Oranges (packed with Vitamin C, which lowers the risk of developing high BP)
Lunch: Lunch is the first full daytime meal and can include meal options like:
Vegetable Brown Rice Pulav Or Vegetable Oats Upma – Vegetables commonly added in pulav such as carrots, green beans are a rich source of potassium and are low in fat and high in fibre. Oats are high in fibres that help lower blood pressure and improve digestion.
Cucumber, Carrot, Beetroot And Onion Raita – Beetroot has a high nitric content that improves blood flow and relaxes the blood vessels. It is said that a glass of beetroot juice can considerably lower blood pressure. Cucumbers contain a lot of fibre, potassium and magnesium which work effectively for regulating blood pressure. Onions contain quercetin that helps lower blood pressure.
Roti / Phulka – Made from wheat flour-Whole-grain foods are a rich source of healthy nutrients, including fibre, potassium, magnesium, folate, iron and selenium, and reduce the risk of high blood pressure.
Bhindi / Parval/ Bottle Gourd Sabzi – Bhindi or Okra is rich in magnesium and is a safe but effective way to lower blood pressure. Bottle gourd or Lauki is high in Vitamin C, K and calcium and helps stabilize blood sugar levels and maintains blood pressure.
Dal – A staple diet in most Indian households, dal (especially moong dal) or lentils are protein-rich legumes that help reduce high blood pressure.
Salads – Generally a salad of tomatoes, onions, cucumber is a side accompaniment in the midday meal in many Indian homes. Tomatoes are rich in lycopene, which has been shown to help reduce blood pressure.
Green Tea / Tea / Coffee Without Sugar Or A Glass Of Beetroot Juice – Green tea helps widen heart arteries by allowing the vessels to relax and allows blood to flow more freely, thus helping maintain normal blood pressure levels.
Unsalted Puffed Rice – Puffed rice helps to keep low sodium content and regulates blood pressure levels.
Watermelon – Watermelons, in addition to fibres, lycopenes, vitamin A and potassium also contain an amino acid called L-citrulline, which has proven to lower blood pressure.
Dinner: The last meal of the day should also be the lightest. So include a wholesome but light diet that will not only leave your stomach full but will also be easy to digest.
Roti / Phulka Made From Wheat Flour – As stated above, whole grains play an important role in maintaining/lowering blood pressure.
Mix Vegetables / Drumsticks / Palak – Green veggies are a rich source of potassium, drumsticks have a compound called quercetin that naturally reduces blood pressure without side effects. Palak or spinach is low in calories, high in fibre, and packed with heart-healthy nutrients like potassium, folate, and magnesium that are key ingredients for lowering and maintaining blood pressure levels.
Dal / Curd / Dahi – Lentils packed with proteins and dahi – the ideal low-fat dairy product – are both useful in lowering blood pressure levels.
Before going to bed, have a glass of warm milk (preferably cow’s milk) and 4 soaked almonds. Eating almonds daily helps reduce blood pressure due to their high potassium content. In addition to being full of calcium, magnesium and potassium milk also contains a special type of protein, called bioactive peptides, which have been shown to have a positive effect on blood pressure control.
This is a broad outline of how an Indian diet plan for high blood pressure can be charted and what foods can be included in order to control high blood pressure. A healthy diet designed to help you maintain normal blood pressure levels or reduce high blood pressure.
Note of caution: This article is for information purposes only. Always consult your doctor before altering any diet plans, medications or in case of any other blood pressure-related troubles.