Best Diet for High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure is much more common in our society than we’d hope to believe. Of course, to combat this ailment, there are several medications on the market. But why use medication when you can control your blood pressure naturally through food? Below are some diets for high blood pressure:
Low-sodium (salt) diet
Sodium is known to increase blood pressure. So it is best to choose foods that are low in sodium. Try to avoid processed and fast foods since they tend to be high in salts. Salt substitutes can also be used instead of table salt or salt-based seasonings. Try using herbs and spices instead! It can be difficult to decrease our intake of salt especially since it has become integral in our daily diet.
Decrease alcohol intake
Though it is said that drinking in small amounts can slightly decrease blood pressure such as a glass of wine or a bottle of beer for example, drinking more than that a day for women can dramatically increase blood pressure. It can even limit the effectiveness of any blood pressure medication being taken.
Increase Potassium & Magnesium Intake
Potassium and Magnesium tend to aide in controlling blood pressure. Keep an eye out for leafy greens like spinach, chard, and kale the next time you are out grocery shopping. Bananas are a famous source of potassium so remember to keep them in your diet as well. Other fruits to add into your diet are kiwi, cantaloupe, and citrus fruits (oranges, grapefruits, etc.). Whether you decide to eat these fruits and vegetables by themselves, in a salad, or use fruits as a topping on yogurt, try to eat them raw without cooking them since they tend to lose some of their minerals during that process. You can even freeze the fresh-bought veggies and throw them in a blender for a great morning smoothie!
Keep an Eye on the Meat
Meat can be an integral part of many people’s daily meal. Turkey, chicken, tuna, and seafood such as salmon and bass are some great options. It is best to stay away from red meat and move towards lean meat. They are also a fantastic source of magnesium, potassium, and calcium! Just remember to use alternatives to salt when preparing these meats! Try baking these meats with oregano, a hint of olive oil, rosemary, and lemon slices. It always works for me!
Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, or DASH for short, is a popular plan that incorporates what we’ve talked about above as well as whole grains, nuts, legumes, and low-fat dairy into your daily diet. Since these foods are rich in nutrients such as potassium, magnesium, calcium, fiber, and protein, they are a great way to keep yourself healthy and your blood pressure in check.
It is difficult to change your diet suddenly, even if it is for a critical reason such as high blood pressure. Take it slow. Opt for an apple or a yogurt with bananas and oats rather than that cheesecake or ice-cream sundae. Try recipes that use alternatives to salt. Definitely look for support in family and friends. Try to get them to eat similarly. This way not only are you getting healthy with others close to you, the support will be critical in changing your diet. Add some exercise to the mix and you have a recipe for success in decreasing your high blood pressure.
You can do it! Good luck!