If you happen to be one of the 200 million adults with high BP in India, your doctor may have advised you to watch what you eat. As much as you hate to hear it, diet plays a big role in improving or worsening hypertension in people. And with the right diet, you may also lessen your dependence on prescription medicines.
That’s why the US-based organisation National Heart, Lung and Blood institute promoted the DASH diet, a dietary pattern meant to improve hypertension. The term is an acronym for Dietary Approach to Stop Hypertension and as the name suggests, it is based on a healthy eating pattern, rich in fiber, nutrients, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Going by recent studies, patients on a DASH diet reported reduction in their blood pressure in just two weeks!
If you are struggling with high BP, here are somethings you SHOULD eat.
1. Eat a lot of vegetables
Go green by munching on fresh veggies and fruits. DASH diet recommends that you increase your intake fiber and antioxidant-rich foods to alleviate hypertension. Such a diet ensures that you get a massive boost of antioxidants and minerals every day.
2. Include whole grains
It’s time you banned white flour from your diet. To bring down your blood pressure, eat a diet rich in whole grains because, like fruits and vegetables, they are also rich in antioxidants and minerals.
3. Have low-fat dairy products
You don’t have to shun dairy products completely in the DASH diet. Instead, the diet recommends that you include low-fat, sugar-free dairy products every day. It’s always better if the products are organic and hormone free!
4. Eat nuts, seeds and healthy oils
Stock up on nuts and seeds like walnuts, almonds, flax seeds, sesame, etc. for your daily source of healthy fats. Evidence also suggests that consuming them helps in reducing cancer risks.
5. Include legumes
Indian diet is replete in legumes such as beans, peas, peanuts, lentils, soybeans, chickpeas, etc. Many of our everyday preparations revolve around these foodstuffs. But insist on cooking them with less salt and more healthy fats for anti hypertensive benefits.
For best results, it is better to combine the DASH diet with exercise and medication. It goes without saying that BP patients should reduce salt in their diet. But salt can also lurk in everyday food products that may seem harmless. Pickles, pappads, cured meats, soy sauces, etc. are all replete in salts which can cause a spike in your blood pressure. So avoid sodium, alcohol and tobacco like the plague.