If you have a blood pressure reading that constantly falls under 140/90, you may not think you need to be concerned about hypertension, or high blood pressure. But the reality is that high blood pressure is called the “silent killer” for a reason – it typically does not display any symptoms, but it can do a lot of damage to your body. It puts additional pressure on your heart and blood vessels, which can lead to several serious complications such as aneurysms, heart attacks, heart failure, strokes, and kidney disease. As such, it is crucial to measure your blood pressure regularly and visit a doctor to confirm the diagnosis if it consistently reads higher than 140/90.
One of the significant factors that can impact your blood pressure is your diet. Some types of foods can exacerbate your blood pressure, such as those with high sodium and sugar content. To reduce the risk of high blood pressure, it is advised to limit the consumption of sodium to 1,500 mg daily and stay away from sugary products that can lead to obesity—a leading contributor to increased blood pressure. Additionally, it is recommended to limit alcohol to one or two drinks per day, as heavy drinking can also raise blood pressure.
However, some foods can help alleviate hypertension by containing nutrients that have beneficial effects on the body. Fruits and vegetables rich in potassium, magnesium, and fiber are natural remedies that can help normalize blood pressure. Incorporating these foods into your diet can be a simple yet effective way of combating high blood pressure.
One dietary plan known to reduce blood pressure is the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet, which aims to minimize foods that can raise blood pressure while introducing those that contain nutrients beneficial to people suffering from hypertension. It was designed by the USA National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute with the aim of reducing blood pressure. It has further been found helpful for weight loss, lowering cholesterol, and controlling diabetes, and for six years in a row has been proclaimed as the best diet by US News and World Report.
The DASH diet is rich in fruits, vegetables, low-fat or non-fat dairy products, whole grains, lean meats, fish and poultry, nuts, and beans. It follows recommendations on sodium intake and healthy nutrient consumption. With many available recipes, it is easy to incorporate DASH food into a diversified diet that suits your taste.
A high blood pressure diet plan can be easy to follow and can encompass delicious meals throughout the day. A healthy breakfast option can be applesauce french toast. To make this, mix together four egg whites, half a cup of milk, one teaspoon of ground cinnamon, two tablespoons of sugar, and a quarter cup of non-sweet applesauce. Soak six slices of whole wheat bread in the mixture, then cook them over a lightly greased skillet until they turn golden brown. Serve with light yogurt.
For lunch, you can try a pizza in a pita. Preheat the oven to 3500F (or 1800C). Split two pieces of whole wheat pita bread in two parts and add half a cup of grated mozzarella cheese that is low on sodium, a quarter cup of tomato sauce, and vegetables of your choice. Wrap in aluminum foil, and bake it in the oven for 7-10 minutes. Serve with nonfat milk and a side of cantaloupe for a well-rounded meal.
For a delicious snack, make blueberry muffins. Mix 1 1/2 cups of flour, 1/2 cup of raw oatmeal, 1/3 cup of sugar, 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder, 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt in a bowl. In another bowl, mix one cup of milk, 1/2 cup of dry milk, 1/4 cup of oil, and an egg. Pour the wet ingredients into the bowl of dry ingredients and add 2/3 cup of frozen blueberries. Put the mixture into a muffin tin and bake for 20 minutes.
For dinner, try brown rice burgers. Mix two cups of cooked brown rice, half a cup of chopped parsley, one cup of finely grated carrot, half a cup of finely chopped onion, one clove of minced garlic, a quarter teaspoon of black pepper, one teaspoon of salt, two beaten eggs, and half a cup of whole wheat flour in one bowl. Divide the mixture into 12 patties. Put two tablespoons of vegetable oil into a skillet and heat it. Cook the patties for 4-5 minutes on each side. Serve with a side dish such as baked potato or a salad like a tomato spinach salad with balsamic vinaigrette. Enjoy some fruit for dessert.
Before you make any changes to your high blood pressure diet, it is important to seek medical advice from a doctor to confirm your diagnosis and receive any helpful recommendations. That being said, incorporating a range of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats can promote optimal health and assist with combating high blood pressure. By making some changes to your diet, it is possible to take control of your hypertension and improve your overall health.