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‘High Blood Pressure or ‘Hypertension’ is one of the most common diseases that have affected more than half of the globe today. Popularly christened as ‘A Silent Killer’, it is almost symptomless, slowly affecting our eyes, kidneys, and even the brain. You may also be one of them who have given up on taking medicines to keep your high blood pressure under control for the rest of your life, despite knowing the fact of the side effects these drugs can have on you. But, do you know that your diet has a major role to play in keeping you safe and protected from hypertension? Indian diet plan for high blood pressure is all about making necessary and valuable dietary changes in your regular diet which can help you bring your blood pressure to normal.
Diet and High Blood Pressure
Diet and high blood pressure are inseparable in both ways – for the cause and the cure. Junk, easy and convenient foods that you may have eaten all your life like processed foods, fast foods deep fried fatty foods, and alike, have all contributed to what you are facing today. But, by altering your diet, and adopting healthy eating techniques like following the ‘Dash Diet’, you can turn around your BP.
So, what is Dash Diet?
The Dash Diet, also referred to as the high BP diet, was developed with the idea to help people with diabetes and high blood pressure to better manage their health issues. It was studied that a diet high in certain harmful elements like saturated fats and cholesterol are the main reasons for hypertension and many other diseases, whereas, foods high in proteins, fibers, calcium, magnesium, and potassium, and low in fats and cholesterol can help in reducing blood pressure.
On many an occasion, the Dash Diet has often been referred to as the high blood pressure diet. DASH meaning” Dietary Approaches for Stopping Hypertension” mainly consists of foods that have proven to lower high blood pressure, and also minimize the foods that are known to contribute to increasing our blood pressure.
The basis of Dash Diet is quite simple and very friendly to follow. The idea is to get you into an eating style, where you eat more fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds, and legumes – the major contributors to lowering your blood pressure. The diet also promotes the consumption of good cholesterol, fiber, healthy fats, and negative calories – all of that makes for a good combination of a well-balanced diet and foods that lower blood pressure.
Foods that lower blood pressure quickly
Dash diet meaning is changing the way we eat. You cut back on all the foods that contribute to high blood pressure, reduce your salt intake, load up on fruits and vegetables, and design your meals around fish, poultry, whole grains, nuts and seeds, legumes, and dairy (low-fat).
Here is a list of top foods that lower blood pressure quickly:
- Berries: Anthocyanin, the pigment that colors the berries – strawberry, blueberry, blackberry, and others, helps make our artery walls flexible and wider to aid in lower blood pressure and also improve our heart health.
- Fatty Fishes: Fishes like salmon, mackerel, and sardines are rich sources of Omega-3 and other fatty acids that aid our heart health and promote the lowering of blood pressure. The bones of these fishes are rich in calcium, which boosts our health and helps the heart.
- Leafy Greens: Salt is dangerous for us, particularly if you have high blood pressure. It bumps our blood volume, increasing the pressure on the arteries, and making the blood pressure climb. Leafy greens like kale, spinach, collards, and broccoli, boost our potassium intake, flushing out the excess sodium from the blood and relaxing the walls of the blood vessels.
- Oatmeal: Filled with the richness of fiber, oatmeal is also low in sodium. It helps keep your body weight under check and your blood pressure under control.
- Beets: Beets can be placed at the top of any food list of foods to reduce blood pressure. Drinking 2 cups of beet juice daily can help reduce your systolic pressure (the pressure on the top) in just a matter of hours. High systolic pressure is the main culprit for strokes. Beets are also loaded with the richness of potassium.
- Garlic: The logic is that the more relaxed our blood vessels are, the less our heart has to work pumping blood. Eating garlic can boost our nitric oxide levels, which dilates our blood vessels, and keeps our blood pressure down.
- Pomegranates: Drinking pomegranate juice regularly can keep our blood pressure from rising. It also is good for our heart and keeps our bowel movements regularized.
- Beans and Legumes: Peas, lentils, garbanzo beans, and beans, all can help keep our blood pressure under check and even lower it. These are high in fibers and also aid in warding off coronary heart diseases.
- Yogurt: Yogurt is rich in calcium and calcium is a key player in keeping our blood vessels tightened and even relaxing when needed. Just throw some berries into your low-fat yogurt for more blood pressure help.
- Olive Oil: Olive oil is one of the best foods that we should consider while we make our choices on top foods for high blood pressure. It makes for a smarter choice of healthy fat in comparison to butter, canola oil, and other vegetable oils. Olive oil contains polyphenols (a protective antioxidant) that improve the health of our blood vessels and maintains their elasticity.
Fruits for high blood pressure
Fruits, due to their high fiber, mineral, and antioxidant contents have always been regarded for their capabilities in managing and controlling cardiovascular diseases, including hypertension. Fruits in general are considered good for people with high blood pressure, however, the best fruits for high blood pressure to be included in any hypertension diet are:
- Berries: Almost all types of berries, particularly blueberries, are loaded with polyphenols and many other antioxidant compounds that not only help in improving the health of our blood vessels but also keep our blood pressure under control.
- Prunes: Being lower in sodium and rich in potassium, prunes are an excellent addition to any high BP diet. It helps lowering blood pressure, promotes heart health, and prevents the hardening of our blood vessels.
- Citrus fruits: Lemons, limes, grapefruit, and oranges are all citrus fruits with a high percentage of vitamin C and flavonoids that promote better heart and blood vessel health. Being rich in potassium and fiber, and low in sodium, citrus fruits are an excellent choice in a diet to lower blood pressure.
- Bananas: Bananas are superfoods laced with the richness of potassium, magnesium, fibers, and antioxidants. It aids in managing our blood pressure in the best possible ways.
- Melons: With the goodness of fiber, folate, vitamin C, and potassium, melons helps in managing blood pressure and keep our cardiovascular health good.
Foods to avoid with high blood pressure
If you are suffering from high blood pressure issues, a diet is perhaps the best way to manage it. As it is important to consume foods that lower blood pressure you should also avoid certain foods that have been known as the foods that raise blood pressure quickly.
Here is a list of all the foods to avoid with high blood pressure:
- Salt: Mainly table salt, also known as sodium is one of the main culprits. Try new herbs and spices to flavor your dishes instead of adding table salt.
- Sauces and condiments: Foods like soya sauce, ketchup, and many salad dressings have plenty of sodium in them. Avoid them all.
- Saturated and Trans fats: Foods and meats fried in a lot of oi have lots and lots of fats and are bad for our overall health including blood pressure and cholesterol. Reduce the consumption of red meats, avoid full-fat dairy and be careful with cheese with high salt.
- Processed, canned, and frozen foods: These foods might be convenient to consume, but at the same time have high amounts of added salts and preservatives, and it is not good for our blood pressure.
- Cured and Deli Meats: These meats are loaded with sodium and are often cured and preserved with salt.
- Fast Foods: It is always a bad idea to go for fast foods if you have high blood pressure. These foods are mainly frozen and processed and are cooked in high-fat oils, making them dangerous for people with high BP.
- Deep-fried foods: Deep-fried foods have loads of salt and fats, all that we should strictly avoid with high BP.
- Too much caffeine: Not only coffee, but you can find caffeine in tea, energy drinks, and sodas too. Caffeine is known to increase our blood pressure, and hence should be avoided.
Dash diet for hypertension goes much beyond reducing and controlling our blood pressure. It has many other potential benefits like reducing the risks of developing cancers and weight loss. It is always possible to align your Dash Diet plan with your current diet by simply adding more fruits and vegetables, choosing low-fat foods, and lean protein sources, and limiting your intake of high-fat, high-salt, processed, and sugary foods.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):
Eggs are generally considered good for high blood pressure, especially white eggs. Eggs are very good sources of proteins, which makes them a perfect choice for the breakfast. Make some scrambled eggs and add vegetables to them to make them more nourishing. Eggs also aid in weight loss, and this makes them a good choice for people with high blood pressure. Make sure that you avoid using excess salt while making eggs and avoid sprinkling table salt. Eggs are an excellent source of heart-healthy unsaturated fats, and vitamins like vitamin B6, B12, and Vitamin D.
A variety of fruits can be enjoyed in the Dash diet, from apples, oranges, and bananas to apricots, dates, and berries. The Dash diet ensures that people suffering from high blood pressure and who are on the diet get a good mix of fruits and vegetables to stay healthy, as fruits and vegetables are enriched with the goodness of essential nutrients and packed with immune boosters like antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals.
Also, fruits are high in fiber, which suppresses our appetite and keeps our weight in check. They are essential in keeping our cholesterol levels under check, and also regulating the blood sugar levels.