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5 Top Superfoods to Counter Hypertension & Know about Dash Diet

What is Dash Diet?

The DASH diet is one of the most popular diets among weight watchers and has made its way to the headlines once again. The DASH diet has been voted the best overall diet for six years in a row and bagged the

If you are suffering from hypertension or high blood pressure and don’t know how to treat it. You can ask a Truweight nutritionist for FREE. 

What is the DASH diet?

DASH stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension. This diet is a scientific approach to prevent or treat high blood pressure (hypertension) by regulating sodium intake which is a driving factor in controlling blood pressure.

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5 Food that Controls High Blood Pressure or Hypertension

There are foods that have blood pressure regulating properties. Out of them the 5 super foods that work best in preventing hypertension and are active contributors to a DASH diet are

  • Fresh Fruits-  Their potassium is the main ingredient in regulating the sodium level in the body.
  • Moringa leaves- they are rich sources of potassium, vitamin E, calcium, magnesium and zinc, all of these play active roles in controlling hypertension.
  • Quinoa seeds- besides potassium and magnesium, this is also a good source of protein.
  • Unflavored yogurt- hypertension controlling nutrients like calcium, magnesium and potassium are present in.
  • Beans- Along with the 3 key nutrients calcium, magnesium and potassium, these are rich in fibre too.

Dash Diet Chart

Dash Diet for hypertension
Dash Diet for hypertension

The DASH diet calls for:

  1. Consumption of vegetables, fruits, and whole grains
  2. Inclusion fat-free or low-fat dairy products, fish, poultry, beans, nuts, and vegetable oils
  3. Limiting foods that are high in saturated fat, such as fatty meats, full-fat dairy products, and tropical oils such as coconut, palm kernel, and palm oils.
  4. Limiting sugar-sweetened beverages and sweets

Based on the calorie requirement, the DASH diet recommends a certain number of servings from each food group.

Daily and Weekly DASH Eating Plan Goals for a 2,000-Calorie-a-Day Diet

Food GroupDaily Servings
Grains 6–8
Meats, poultry, and fish6 or less
Low-fat or fat-free dairy products
Fats and oils
Sodium2,300 mg*
Food GroupWeekly Servings
Nuts, seeds, dry beans, and peas
5 or less

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Source: National Institutes of Health

*1,500 milligrams (mg) sodium lowers blood pressure even further than 2,300 mg sodium daily. 

High Blood Pressure Diet Recommendation

It is very important to choose foods that are heart-healthy:

  • Low in saturated and trans fats
  • Rich in potassium, calcium, magnesium, fiber, and protein
  • Low in sodium

Your diet plays a big role when you are suffering from high blood pressure. Learn about the superfoods that may help you lower your high blood pressure.

8 Foods to Avoid to Control Hypertension

8 foods to avoid if you have hypertension are:

  • Red meat
  • Deli meat
  • Canned soups
  • Canned tomato products
  • Soft drinks
  • Meals that are frozen
  • Pastries
  • Alcohol

4 Categories of Medication for Hypertension – Pros & Cons

People with hypertension or high blood pressure is often prescribed a regular pill. If taken under physician’s supervision, the pills aren’t harmful.

However, we mustn’t overlook the importance of natural remedies if we can find them. 4 categories of hypertension medications [1] with their pros and cons are:

a) Diuretics

They are used to clean out the excess salt from the body along with excess water.

Pros: Helps in kidney functioning as well as lowers the blood volume that helps in controlling blood pressure.

Cons: Weakness, frequent urination, muscle cramps.

b) ACE inhibitors

Pros- relaxes the blood vessels.

Cons- fluid retention, cough, rashes.

c) Calcium channel blockers

Pros- Stops calcium from entering blood vessels and the heart.

Cons- heartburn, headache, dizziness.

d) Beta-blockers

Pros- Helps in reducing blood pressure by slowing down heart beat with less force.

Cons- Tiredness, headaches, dizziness.

Watch Video on 5 Top Super Food to Counter Hypertension

Hypertension or high blood pressure is dangerous as it makes the heart pump blood faster to the other parts of the body leading to stroke, kidney disease, hardening of arteries and heart failure.

The 5 superfoods to be included in your high blood pressure diet to manage or prevent it, as mentioned above, are explained elaborately in the video given below.

Quick tip #1 How to identify hypertension?

The worst part of high blood pressure is that it doesn’t have proper symptoms. In fact, you can have hypertension for years without even being detected.

However, sudden high blood pressure is often characterized by

  • Frequent headaches
  • Dizzines
  • Nose bleeding (in extreme situations)
  • Chest pain
  • Nausea
  • Shortness of breath

Note: High blood pressure can be confirmed with proper diagnosis.

How to curb sodium intake?

Reduce sodium intake
Reduce sodium intake

Restricted sodium consumption is key to a successful DASH diet. Here are a few tips to curb your sodium intake.

While shopping

  • Read food labels, and choose products that are lower in sodium and salt, especially for convenience foods like ready to eat and ready to cook food items.
  • Choose fresh produce (fruits, vegetables, poultry, fish, and lean meats) instead of cured, canned or frozen food.
  • Avoid food with added salt. These include pickles, pickled vegetables, olives, and flavoured food products.

While cooking

  • Substitute salt with salt-free seasoning blends, fresh or dried herbs and spices, or fresh lime juice to flavour your foods.
  • Remove the sodium content of canned foods and pickled foods by rinsing it thoroughly under fresh water.

While eating

  • Avoid using additional table salt.
  • At restaurants order for dishes to be prepared without added salt or MSG (monosodium glutamate) and limit choosing menu items that have salty ingredients (like pickles, cheese, french fries, chips, etc.).

Quick Tip #2 : During sudden high blood pressure levels, you must see the doctor immediately because it might lead to brain hemorrhage, sudden cardiac arrest, heart attacks.

However, here are 5 features to prevent from such sudden hypertension conditions:

  • Keep yourself stress free
  • Avoid smoking and alcohol
  • Lower your sodium intake
  • Take up routine exercises
  • Get your bp checked every once in a while

5 Tips to Maintain Normal BP

In order to avoid being trapped into high blood pressure problem, which is a common problem these days, you can follow certain lifestyle changes.

5 major lifestyle changes that you can come up with are:

1]  Lose weight:

High BP is closely related to heavy weight. According to your BMI, maintain a healthy weight. Particularly, cut down your weight around your waistline. This majorly contributes to high BP.

2] Cut down your sodium intake:

Make sure you reduce your sodium intake level. You can avoid packaged foods, avoid adding extra salt, choose low-sodium alternatives.

3] Avoid high consumption of alcohol:

Drinking more alcohol will raise your blood pressure level and may also lower the effects of the medications.

4] Take up regular exercises:

You must indulge yourself in at least some amount of physical activities. Make sure you take up an exercise for at least half an hour every day.

5] Have a healthy Diet:

Maintain a healthy diet and try to avoid foods that can bring about high blood pressure levels.

Benefits of DASH Diet

The DASH diet ensures an increased consumption of fiber, phytochemicals, antioxidants, calcium, magnesium, and potassium.

On the other hand, there is reduced dietary intake of saturated fat, cholesterol, sugar and sodium. Thus, it goes without saying that the diet helps to maintain normal blood pressure, and reduce cholesterol level.

The diet may prevent heart attacks, stroke, diabetes, osteoporosis, and cancer.

What’s more, it can help overweight individuals lose weight by merely ensuring healthier dietary choices!

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