According to Centers for Disease Control (CDC), nearly half of adults in the United States out of 116 million people have high blood pressure or hypertension. Undetected or controlled, high blood pressure can lead to a variety of health problems, including heart attack, stroke, heart failure, kidney disease, vision loss, and even sexual dysfunction.
Fortunately, diet plays a role in managing blood pressure. Below are four eating habits to help control your blood pressure. Read on, and for more, don’t miss 5 Eating Habits That Secretly Increase Your Blood Pressure.
The DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet was created by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) to combat high blood pressure. One of the key elements of the diet is to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables. The DASH diet recommends eating four to five servings a day of each fruit and vegetable. To research also showed that short-term and long-term consumption of plenty of fruits and vegetables can help lower blood pressure.
It is a misconception that fresh fruits and vegetables are healthier. Frozen, canned, dried, and freeze-dried can also help meet your daily recommendations. A few of my favorite easy recipes to help you add fruits and/or vegetables to your diet include Sweet potato toast with almonds and blueberries, Yogurt with berry compoteand that Salad of young shoots and mushrooms.
The original DASH study found that the systolic (higher blood pressure number) and diastolic (lower blood pressure number) systems were reduced when participants ate not only fruits and vegetables, but also fruits, vegetables , and milk and dairy products. As such, the DASH diet recommends two to three servings of low-fat or fat-free milk, cheese, and yogurt daily. Quick and easy dairy recipes to try include Honey-Ricotta with Strawberries, Peanut butter and cherry smoothieand this three ingredients Easy Eggplant Parmesan.
The 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend no more than 2,300 milligrams of sodium per day to help prevent or manage high blood pressure. However, the NHLBI recommends reducing sodium even further to 1,500 milligrams per day to help lower blood pressure even further.
The 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans identify major sources of sodium in the diet, which include sandwiches, rice, pasta and other mixed grain dishes, pizza, chips, crackers and soups. . Restaurant meals are also known to be very high in sodium, so read the nutrition information if it’s provided, or minimize restaurant meals by cooking more at home to control your sodium.
The DASH diet recommends six to eight servings of grains per day, with an emphasis on whole grains. A Study published in 2020 found that participants who ate whole grains more often, classified as “sometimes or always”, were associated with a lower risk of high blood pressure compared to participants who did not eat whole grains. The researchers concluded that consuming more whole grains may reduce the risk of developing hypertension.
Whole grains include brown rice, quinoa, 100% whole wheat bread, and oats. A few simple whole grain recipes you can try include my Brown rice with shallots, Meal Prep Oatmeal with Walnuts and Raisins, and Lemon-garlic spaghetti with prawns and spinach.
Toby Amidor, MS, RD, CDN
Toby Amidor is an award-winning dietitian and the wall street journal best-selling cookbook author who believes healthy and healthy can also be appetizing and delicious. Read more