Blood pressure is the force of blood against the walls of arteries. Blood pressure rises and falls throughout the day. When blood pressure increases over time, it is called high blood pressure or hypertension. There can be a diet plan control for hypertension.
Hypertension is too dangerous as it can make the heart work too hard and contribute to atherosclerosis. It increases the risk of heart disease and stroke. If blood pressure is not checked regularly, hypertension could go unnoticed and could lead to heart stroke and kidney diseases.
There are some risk factors that contribute to heart disease. They are:
- High blood pressure
- Abnormal cholesterol
- Tobacco use
- Physical inactivity
A blood pressure level of 140\90 mm Hg or higher is considered high. About two-thirds of people over age 65 have high blood pressure. If your blood pressure is between 120\80 mm Hg and 139\89 mm Hg, then you have prehypertension. That means you do not have high blood pressure but you are likely to develop in the future. Diet plan control for hypertension is necessary.
Reduce the intake of salt and sodium in your diet
Too much salt can cause your body to retain fluid that causes high blood pressure. Salt intake has to be reduced for controlling hypertension.
- To reduce salt or sodium intake, you may have to buy fresh, plain frozen or canned foods without salt content.
- It is better to use fresh poultry, fish, lean meat, rather than canned or processed foods.
- Rinse canned food to reduce sodium. Use herbs, spices and salt-free seasonings instead of seasoning with salt.
- Avoid all food that have added salt as preservatives.
Supplements and High Blood Pressure
Though supplements have no evidence to lower blood pressure, supplements might have some benefits. Some are
- Fiber such as Psyllium and wheat bran
- Minerals such calcium and potassium
- Omega-3 fatty acids
Once diagonized from high blood pressure, your doctor may recommend DASH (Dietary approaches to stop hypertension) eating plan that focuses on heart healthy food that are low in fat cholesterol and sodium, rich in nutrients, protein and fiber.
DASH foods may include the following
- Whole grains
- Low-fat dairy products
DASH limits the following
- Red meats
- Added sugars
- Sugar-containing drinks
For someone consuming 2,000 calories per day, following servings are recommended, although the doctor may make a plan that suits your needs.
- 6-8 servings of grains
- 4-5 servings of vegetables
- 4- 5 servings of fruits
- 2 -3 servings of dairy
- 6 or less servings of lean meat, poultry, fish
- 4 – 5 servings f nuts, seeds and legumes
- 2-3 servings of fats and oils
Eat leafy greens
Foods high in potassium give you more potassium than sodium. This allows you to get rid of sodium through urine, that lowers blood pressure. Leafy greens such as lettuce, arugula, kale, collard greens and spinach are high in potassium . Opt for frozen or fresh greens as canned greens have sodium content.
Berries are rich in natural compounds called flavonoids. Consuming these compounds can prevent hypertension and help to reduce blood pressure according to a study. Blueberries, raspberries and strawberries can be added to your diet for good results. Add them to your cereal daily in the morning.
Potatoes are rich in magnesium and potassium, that can help lower blood pressure. Take a baked potato for a dinner as the main course. Add plain yogurt for flavor instead of fattening and salty butter.
As per the recommendation of DASH, including calcium rich food is good. Skimmed milk is an excellent source of calcium and low in fat .These are the elements to be considered for blood pressure. Substitute high fat milk for low fat milk and eat more low-fat or fat free yogurt.
Fruits like kiwi, peaches are good in calcium and magnesium that can help lower blood pressure.
Vegetables like kale, bell pepper, broccoli, sweet potato are fiber rich as well as low calorie foods that can help blood pressure.
Eating foods low in calorie and rich in calcium and magnesium can help lower the blood pressure or keep it in control. Including them in your diet can be very much beneficial to your heart health too.
By Pradeepa Polineni