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High Blood Pressure Diet: Nutrient and Food Recommendations

high blood pressure diet

What is high blood pressure?

High Blood Pressure is a medical condition that occurs when a person’s blood pressure (or the pressure in their arteries) rises above the normal range, Also commonly known as Hypertension. A person’s blood pressure is used to measure the amount of blood that passes through their blood vessels, in addition to measuring the amount of resistance the blood meets when the heart is pumping.

In this regard, narrow arteries tend to increase blood pressure, which can cause additional health issues, including conditions of the heart, brain, eyes as well as kidneys. While the main causes of hypertension are unknown, it is believed that the food we eat tends to affect it. Therefore, having a proper high blood pressure diet is quite crucial.

High blood pressure is typical of two types, each of which has different causes. While primary hypertension is caused by factors such as genetics, physical changes in the body, and unhealthy lifestyle choices, secondary hypertension is a result of other health conditions. These include sleep apnoea, kidney diseases, thyroid problems, side effects of medicines, and use of drugs and alcohol, in addition to endocrine tumors.

To control and curb this condition, it is important to include a high blood pressure diet menu, along with consulting with a Nutritionist in Gurgaon who will ensure that your symptoms are taken care of. They will also treat your hypertension by providing a proper high blood pressure diet chart.

How does nutrition affect blood pressure?

It is fact well known that what we eat can affect our health. This is true for blood pressure as well. A healthy blood pressure level should ideally be below 120/80. To regulate and maintain healthy blood pressure, it is important to limit sodium intake as well as fat intake in your diet. Additionally, including healthy foods such as fresh fruits and vegetables also help to lower blood pressure and maintain it.

Furthermore, consumption of alcohol and smoking is also known to increase blood pressure. Therefore, the intake of alcohol and the use of tobacco should be reduced as well. One must have a proper high blood pressure diet that is free from canned and processed foods, meats, fast food, soft drinks, and salty seasonings to reduce any risk of hypertension.

What should be the high blood pressure diet menu?

One of the easiest ways to treat hypertension and maintain healthy blood pressure is by having a healthy diet. According to the Best Dietician in Gurgaon, a diet for high blood pressure patients should ideally be more plant-based, devoid of any sodium, and saturated or trans-fat. It should not include any red meat.

Furthermore, people suffering from high blood pressure should also increase their intake of fruits, vegetables, leafy greens, whole grains, and lean protein (fish, chicken, tofu, etc.). Cutting back on the intake of sweets, including sugary or processed foods like bread, biscuits, and beverages, is also necessary.

A high blood pressure diet should be rich in potassium, fiber and magnesium. Some of the high blood pressure diet foods that you can include in your diet are:

  • Bananas
  • Apples
  • Melon
  • Mangoes
  • Peaches
  • Pineapple
  • Oranges
  • Carrot
  • Beetroot
  • Broccoli
  • Green beans
  • Dates
  • Grapes
  • Peas
  • Spinach
  • Tomatoes
  • Tuna
  • Yogurt
  • Legumes
  • Pulses
  • Fish
  • Poultry

Alternatively, one can also follow the DASH diet, also known as Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension. The diet allows a person to have a 2000 calorie intake in a day and includes the following:

  • 7 to 8 daily servings of grains
  • 4 to 5 daily servings each of vegetables and fruits
  • 2 to 3 daily servings of low-fat or fat-free dairy products
  • 2 or less than 2 servings of fish, poultry or other lean meat
  • 4 to 5 weekly servings of legumes, seeds or nuts
  • 2 to 3 daily servings of fats and oils
  • Less than 5 weekly servings of sweets

High blood pressure pregnancy diet

High blood pressure during pregnancy can increase the risk of complications, both for the mother and the baby. In addition to decreased kidney functions, premature birth and low birth weight, hypertension can also increase the risk of preeclampsia during pregnancy, along with complications to other organs.

It is for this reason that a woman should have a proper diet to reduce high blood pressure during pregnancy. An ideal diet to lower high blood pressure during pregnancy should include the following factors:

  • Low sodium levels, or the substitution of salt with spices like cumin, herbs, lemon, pepper, etc.
  • Inclusion of foods rich in potassium and whole grains, such as kidney beans, bananas, sweet potatoes, raisins, tomatoes, legumes, lentils, etc.
  • No intake of alcohol
  • Low intake of processed foods, fast foods, sports drinks, canned foods and other soda-based beverages

Pregnant women should also include calcium-rich foods like milk and yogurt in their diet. Additionally, they must try to eat fresh, home-cooked food to maintain healthy blood pressure. Unsalted seeds, including squash, sunflower and pumpkin seeds are also rich in minerals that help to lower blood pressure.

|Also Read: What Is The Role Of Diet In Pregnancy? |

How to fix a high blood pressure diet plan?

To fix high blood pressure, a person must ensure that they indulge in daily physical activity, to reduce their extra weight, de-stress and have a proper diet. The best diet for high blood pressure typically consists of more fish, nuts, beans, fruits and vegetables.

Additionally, a high blood pressure diet plan should also include carbohydrate-rich foods (such as bread, pasta, etc.) which are made using whole grains and whole wheat flour, instead of refined flour. While many people love to drink juice, someone suffering from hypertension should consume fresh fruits instead of juices, since they are richer in nutrients and minerals.

One must also substitute butter, margarine, coconut oil and refined oil with unsaturated fats such as olive, peanut, soybean and canola oil. Furthermore, fresh foods or frozen foods are better for hypertension than canned or processed foods, meats, etc.

Instead of snacking on sodium-rich chips, snacks or sweet treats such as cookies, cakes, etc., you can substitute that with roasted nuts, such as almonds and walnuts, fresh fruits like bananas, strawberries, raspberries or melon and roasted seeds.

Takeaway:

In addition to maintaining a healthy diet for high blood pressure, one should also make other significant changes in one lifestyle. This includes watching what you eat, losing extra weight and exercising regularly. Those who love their cup of coffee, need to watch out for their caffeine intake as well since caffeine can raise a person’s blood pressure.

On the other hand, chronic stress is also a major contributor to high blood pressure. Therefore, to regulate hypertension, one must look out for their stress triggers, and try to relax whenever they feel stressed out. One must also regularly monitor their blood pressure at home or consult a specialist or nutritionist at regular intervals to maintain healthy blood pressure. For a high blood pressure diet according to your symptoms and conditions, you can also consult a nutritionist who will consider your dietary preferences and create a diet plan that is not only suited to your tastes but will also help you to lower your risks of hypertension.