Hypertension, if unmanaged, may prove fatal.
It has the potential to damage your arteries, heart, brain, kidneys, eyes, bones and even cause erectile dysfunction. It is therefore advised to keep high blood pressure in check with medicines and proper lifestyle. Most importantly, the food that you eat makes a world of difference to your health.
There are certain foods that help lower hypertension and there are some foods that make your blood pressure shoot up. Diet plays a crucial role in the management of hypertension. For example, 6 grams of salt is all an adult needs in a day. But you tend to take more ‘hidden’ salt via processed foods like ketchup, bread, pickles, chips, cookies, cereals, fast food etc. which may lead to hypertension.
Let us embark on a list of dietary changes to reduce hypertension:
Say No To Salt!
Yup, salt is the main culprit that makes your blood pressure shoot up. The more salt you consume, the higher your blood pressure will be. It interferes with your hypertension medications and causes water retention.
Slowly reduce the amount of salt you put in your food at home. Your taste buds will adjust to it gradually. Add other forms of flavoring agents like ginger, chili, pepper, lemon juice etc. to make your food tastier.
Choose Your Fats Wisely!
Foods are full of all kinds of fats. Some are good and some are bad for your health. Saturated fat will spike your cholesterol and eventually elevate your blood pressure. clarified butter (Ghee), butter and red meats are full of saturated fats.
Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats help lower your LDL cholesterol levels. These fats are good for your heart. Olive oil, sunflower oil etc. are beneficial if consumed in moderate amounts.
Give Alcohol A Miss!
Alcohol, in any form, will increase your blood pressure. It makes you gain extra pounds and elevates your cholesterol that damages your arteries. So shun all forms of alcohol and caffeine to keep hypertension under control.
- Add fresh fruits and veggies to your platter. It will nourish your body and keep you energized and healthy. Snack on different seasonal fruits daily instead of bakery items. You may go for yummy smoothies and juices too. They will give you lots of energy and improve your digestion.
- Fresh vegetables cooked with minimal oil and salt, salads and soups are good. They are packed with loads of antioxidants, vitamins, fibre and other nutrients that keep your immunity high, reduce high blood pressure and check binge eating.
- Choose whole grains to prevent high blood pressure. Brown rice, wholegrain cereals and whole wheat pasta are a few choices you may go for. Consume low fat dairy items like skimmed milk, cottage cheese and low fat yoghurt.
- Snack on nuts and seeds. They are full of nutrients and antioxidants that help lower high blood pressure. Avoid the roasted and salted ones.
Following these dietary changes will surely help lower your high blood pressure and keep you in great health!