Health

A diet against high blood pressure

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How is it possible to lower blood pressure with food? You should stop generously spreading salt on your food, of cause. Absence of salt, however, does not guarantee safety for your heart and blood vessels. I have found out what one should or should not eat to not bother about the blood pressure drops and spikes.

Who started it all

Scientists of the American National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI), who have developed the DASH diet (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension), able to make the blood pressure normal.

What does it mean

The main reasons of high blood pressure

The main reasons of high blood pressure are bad heredity, excessive weight, excess of water in the body and narrowing of the blood vessels (atherosclerosis). You can’t do anything about the first reason, just bear with it. But you shouldn’t chalk all issues up to it only. If you pull yourself together, loose weight, do not allow collection of too much water in your body and keep an eye on your blood vessels healthy state, then no hereditary predisposition towards high blood pressure would bother you.

So, let’s adjust your blood pressure in two steps: adjust your blood pressure

  • To loose weight lessen the amount of sweet and fatty food.
  • To get rid of excessive water in your body and make your heart and blood vessel system healthier, forget about salt and eat more food rich with potassium, magnesium, calcium, vitamins В6 and С (please carefully review the table below).

How do I switch to this diet?

“Just stop adding salt to your pasta or rice, eat more vegetables and fruits”, — says one of the nutrition scientists. “You will find that there are enough of natural salts in vegetables and fruits!”

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If your food seems dull without salt, add more seasoning: garlic, horseradish, onion, radish, parsley, coriander and dill. Do not salt the water before cooking vegetables or rice, add lemon juice and spices instead.

Try to include two or more vegetarian dishes in your menu each day, make bigger servings of rice and beans. Nutritionists consider hypertension one of the conditions for which vegetarian diet is especially beneficial thanks to it’s almost nonexistent level of cholesterin and salt in the food. According to the “Naturopathy digest” magazine, keeping a strict vegetarian diet for about two weeks would make your bottom (diastolic) blood pressure number 37 mm lower and the top (systolic) number 13 mm lower than usual when simultaneously dropping your body weight by 7 kg.

vegetarian diet

Eat no more than 2 servings (each about 100g) of meat or poultry per day. Limit amount of red meat in your menu: according to the research results made by the King’s College of London eating more than 100 g of this product would make your blood pressure higher.

To not harm your blood vessels you can eat no more than 2-3 teaspoons of butter, oil and fats a day (including the healthy olive oil).

Choose nuts (no more than 200 g a week), dried or fresh fruits instead of sweets and snacks. Sweetened yoghurts and fatty types of cheese replace with kefir, baked yoghurt, sour milk, natural yoghurt and lightly salted fresh cheese.

You should not limit the amount of water you drink. You can drink about 1,5 – 2 L a day, just avoid too much water retention in your body.

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Which types of food are preferable

Which types of food are preferable

All types of cabbage, carrot, beet-root, turnip, vegetable marrow, tomatoes,cucumbers, leafy greens. Apricots, melon, kiwi, avocado, bananas, any citrus fruits, grapes, strawberry, cherries, mango, water-melon and dried fruits. Skimmed milk and fermented milk products. Nuts, seeds and beans. Cereals and whole-grain bread. Lean types of meat and fish. Cranberry, pomegranate, carrot and orange juices, cacao.

Which types of food should you not eat

Pork, chicken with skin, goose, duck, sausages, canned meat, variety meat, fatty kinds of fish, smoked food, salted and fatty kinds of cheese. Fresh bread, sweet dough or puff pastry, pancakes. Salted and pickled vegetables, mustard, pepper, ketchup and sauces made with meat, fish or mushroom broth. Coffee, carbonated soft drinks, alcohol (as they prevent potassium absorption).

Which types of food should you not eat

How many times a day should I eat

You should have meals four time a day (preferably at the same time each day), don’t dine later than 1,5 hours before sleep.

How long it would take to see any results

If you strictly follow the DASH diet you will loose weight and considerably improve your blood pressure numbers in 6 months. It is recommended to repeat the diet in 3-4 month.

Healthy food for people with high blood pressure

Vitamins/minerals benefits Source food
Potassium Neutralizes sodium, which can lead to liquid retention in your body. Beans, potatoes, pumpkin, broccoli, bananas, citrus fruits, sea weed, spinach, fish, dried apricots and plums.
Magnesium Helps to widen the blood vessels and lowers blood pressure. Whole-grain rye bread, porridge, buckwheat, millet, peeled barley cereals, beet-root, oysters and nuts.
Calcium Too little calcium in your food increases the risk of hypertension. Milk products, hard types of cheese, beans, salmon and green vegetables.
Vitamin В6 Helps absorption of potassium. Liver, fish, eggs, nuts.
Vitamin С Strengthens blood vessels.  

Bell pepper, citrus fruits, rose-hip, kiwi, black currant, sandthorn, chokeberry, hibiscus tea.

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