How to Create a High Blood Pressure Diet you can Enjoy
Understanding High Blood Pressure
We’re sure you’ve heard at least one person you know say they’re taking blood pressure tablets. Current studies show that at least 1 billion people worldwide suffer from high blood pressure. 1 billion. That’s 1/8th of the world’s population. But, what is high blood pressure?
High blood pressure refers to a condition in which an individual has a blood pressure of over 140 (systolic) and 90 (diastolic). For reference, the normal levels are <120 (systolic) and <80 (diastolic).
Ideally, it rises as you age as your blood vessels become frailer over time, but in addition to that, there are other risk factors such as your race, weight, lifestyle, and even family history. Although it’s not a symptomatic condition, it can lead to an onslaught of more chronic issues such as heart attack or even a stroke.
Let’s say you’ve been diagnosed with high blood pressure; that doesn’t mean medication is your best bet. Sometimes your diet could do wonders too. In this article, we’ll give you tips on how you can curate a high blood pressure diet for yourself at home.
Why build a high blood pressure diet?
One of the easiest ways to keep your blood pressure in check is to control your diet. Curating a high blood pressure diet is not as hard as it seems. Since it’s a silent killer, it can get tough to understand when the actual damage is happening within your body. Sometimes, it might be too late.
A high blood pressure diet helps track the kinds of food you’re regularly eating. Not just that, it helps you monitor the quantity, and calories, which makes it easy to identify the problem at hand.
The main intention with such a diet is that you should be decreasing the amount of sodium you take and increasing the potassium intake at the same time. We’re sure you’ve heard about controlling your salt intake — that’s what a high blood pressure diet will help you do.
DASH — the Anti-hypertension Diet
The Dietary Approaches to Hypertension (DASH) diet is curated specifically for those suffering from high blood pressure. It consists of fresh fruits and vegetables, legumes, poultry, fish, and low-fat dairy.
This high blood pressure diet was made keeping in mind the need to reduce salt and sugar intake — usually found in excess in today’s American diet. It’s high in calcium, potassium, and magnesium — limiting sodium intake to 2300 mg a day.
What to eat from this high blood pressure diet?
In this diet, typical items include citrus fruits, salmon and other high-fat fish, beans and lentils, nuts, carrots, celery, tomato, low-fat yogurt, flax seeds, spinach, chicken, etc. A comprehensive list of servings has also been drawn based on the recommendation for a 2000-calorie diet.
Items and their recommended servings/day
Grains 7-8 servings
Vegetables 4-5 servings
Fruits 4-5 servings
Low fat/fat-free dairy products 2-3 servings
Lean meat/ fish <2 servings
Nuts, seeds & legumes 4-5 servings
Fats & oils 2-3 servings
Sweets <5 servings/week
Recipes for a high blood pressure diet
Chicken & Vegetable Penne with Pesto — Contains the goodness of parsley, walnuts, garlic, chicken, parmesan cheese, green beans, and cauliflower. A simple blend and mix recipe for your pasta keep your BP in check.
Slow-cook Chicken & Chickpea soup — A delicious one-pot recipe that contains the goodness of chickpeas, tomato, paprika, pepper, chicken, artichokes, olives, and parsley. An easy to cook recipe with highly recommended ingredients from the DASH diet.
Avoiding high blood pressure is most definitely possible, but if you do get diagnosed, it’s not the end of the world. It’s important to watch what we eat because it directly affects our health. Once you start cutting out processed food and using this high blood pressure diet, you’ll begin to notice the difference yourself.