A healthy eating can both reduce the risk of developing high blood pressure and lower a blood pressure that is already too high.
What is DASH diet?
For an overall eating plan, consider DASH, which stands for “Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension.” You can reduce your blood pressure by eating foods that are low in saturated fat, cholesterol, and total fat, and high in fruits, vegetables and low fat dairy foods.The DASH diet includes whole grains, poultry, fish, and nuts and has low amounts of fats, red meats and sugared beverages. It is also rich in potassium, calcium, and magnesium, as well as protein and fiber. Eating foods lower in salt and sodium also can reduce blood pressure. Change gradually. Add a vegetable or fruit serving at lunch and dinner.
Salt and High Blood Pressure
Too much salt or sodium can cause your body to retain fluid, which increases blood pressure.
To stay on track,
Limit the salt you eat to no more than about 1 teaspoon per day.
Buy fresh, plain frozen, or canned “with no salt added” vegetables.
Use fresh poultry, fish, and lean meat, rather than canned or processed types.
Use herbs, spices, and salt-free seasoning mixes in cooking and at the table.
Cook rice, pasta, and hot cereal without salt. Cut back on instant pasta or flavored rice and cereal mixes, which usually have added salt.
Rinse canned foods, to remove excess some sodium.
Cut back on frozen dinners, packaged mixes, pizza, canned broths or soups, and salad dressings—these often have a lot of sodium.
Choose ready-to-eat breakfast cereals that are low in sodium.
When available, buy low- or reduced-sodium or no-salt-added versions of Foods
Get Plenty of Potassium
Since potassium helps balance the amount of sodium in your cells, not getting enough can lead to too much sodium in your blood. Hence, getting plenty of potassium can help prevent and control high blood pressure.
Limit Alcohol Consumption and restrict smoking
Alcohol can raise your blood pressure, even if you don’t have hypertension, so everyone should monitor alcoholic intake.
Healthy women of all ages and men older than 65 should limit themselves to one drink a day, while men 65 and younger can stick to up to two drinks a day.
Supplements and High Blood Pressure
There’s no solid evidence that any supplement can help lower your blood pressure, but a few healthcare providers believe that supplements might have some benefit.
Talk with your doctor before taking any of the following since some supplements can interact with medications and cause deadly side effects.
Minerals, such as calcium and potassium
Fiber, such as blond psyllium and wheat bran
Supplements that increase nitric oxide or widen blood vessels, such as cocoa, coenzyme Q10, or garlic
Omega-3 fatty acids
DASH limits the following:
Red meats (including lean red meats)
What about the Mediterranean Diet?
Common features of a Mediterranean diet include the following:
High consumption of fruits, vegetables, potatoes, beans, nuts, seeds, brown breads and other cereals
Olive oil as a common monounsaturated fat source
Little red meat is eaten
Dairy products, fish, and poultry are consumed in low to moderate amounts
Wine is consumed in low to moderate amounts
Eggs are consumed zero to four times a week
While you may have heard of the health benefits surrounding a Mediterranean diet, the American Heart Association states that before it would recommend the diet, further studies are needed to determine if the diet alone is the reason for lower probabilities of death rates from heart disease in Mediterranean countries, or if other lifestyle factors such physical activity and extended social support systems contribute.