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Struggle with High-Blood Pressure? Try this “DASH” High-Blood Pressure Diet Plan!

Struggle with High-Blood Pressure? Try this “DASH” High-Blood Pressure Diet Plan!

If your blood pressure is constantly 140/90, or higher, that means you have hypertension, or high blood pressure. Since it mostly does not display any symptoms, the only way to know for sure if you have high blood pressure is to measure it regularly and visit the doctor to confirm the diagnosis.

High blood pressure is called the “silent killer” for a reason – you don’t feel any symptoms, but it can do a lot of damage to your body. It puts additional pressure on your heart and blood vessels, and may lead to several serious complications such as:

  • Aneurysm
  • Heart attack
  • Heart failure
  • Stroke
  • Kidney disease

Having a high blood pressure requires changes in your lifestyle, with the diet being one of the aspects that can greatly influence this condition.

How food influences your blood pressure

Some types of foods can aggravate your blood pressure. You should stay away from foods that contain a lot of salt. You should reduce the daily intake of sodium to 1,500 mg. Furthermore, stay away from sugar, as it leads to obesity which in return increases the blood pressure. The American Heart Association advises limiting  the intake of alcohol to one or two drinks per day as this also causes the increase in blood pressure.

Foods that are high in potassium, magnesium and fiber should be a part of your high blood pressure diet as they can be natural remedies that help you normalize the blood pressure. There is a vast range of fruits and vegetables rich in those nutrients, thus you can easily incorporate them into your dietary plan.

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Foods that increase your blood pressureFoods that help normalize blood pressure
Canned soupsBananas
Pickled vegetablesApricots
Deli meatPotatoes
Frozen pizzaSpinach
SweetsGreen beans
Canned tomato productsBeets
Red meatOatmeal

Regulate your blood pressure with DASH diet

DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) is a dietary plan that aims to reduce the foods that can spike up your blood pressure and it introduces various types of food that contain nutrients that can bring benefits to people suffering from high blood pressure. It was designed by the USA National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute with the aim to reduce blood pressure but it was found helpful with weight loss, reducing cholesterol and controlling diabetes, and for six years in a row it has been proclaimed as the best diet by US News and World Report.

The DASH diet is rich in fruits, vegetables, low-fat or nonfat dairy, whole grains, lean meat, fish and poultry, nuts and beans. It follows recommendations on the sodium intake and the consumption of healthy nutrients. It has been evaluated by numerous researches.

The DASH plan includes:

Type of foodNumber of servings for 1600 – 3100 Calorie dietsServings on a 2000 Calorie diet
Grains and grain products
(include at least 3 whole grain foods each day)
6 – 127 – 8
Fruits4 – 64 – 5
Vegetables4 – 64 – 5
Low fat or non fat dairy foods2 – 42 – 3
Lean meats, fish, poultry1.5 – 2.52 or less
Nuts, seeds, and legumes3 – 6 per week4 – 5 per week
Fats and sweets2 – 4limited

High blood pressure diet plan

With many available recipes, it is easy to incorporate DASH plan and to have a diversified high blood pressure diet that suits your taste.

Breakfast

Applesauce French Toast

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What you need:

  • 4 egg whites
  • 1/2 cup of milk
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons of sugar
  • 1/4 cup non-sweet applesauce
  • 6 slices of whole wheat bread

How to prepare:

Mix all ingredients in a bowl and soak the bread slices, then cook them over a lightly greased skillet until they become golden brown. Serve it with some light yogurt.

Lunch

Pizza in a Pita

What you need:

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  • 2 pieces of whole wheat pita bread
  • 1/2 cup of grated mozzarella cheese low on sodium
  • 1/4 cup of tomato sauce
  • Vegetables of your choosing

How to prepare:

Preheat the oven at 3500F (or 1800C). Split the bread into two pieces and put the tomato sauce, cheese and vegetables. Wrap in aluminum foil and bake it in the oven for 7-10 minutes. Serve it with some nonfat milk, and treat yourself with some cantaloupe afterwards.

Snack

Blueberry muffins

What you need:

  • 1 – 1/2 cups of flour
  • 1/2 cup of raw oatmeal
  • 1/3 cup of sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 cup of milk
  • 1/2 cup of dry milk
  • 1/4 cup of oil
  • 1 egg
  • 2/3 cup of frozen blueberries

How to prepare:

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Preheat the oven at 3500F (or 1800C). Mix the dry ingredients and the wet ingredients in two separate bowls. Pour the wet ingredients into the bowl with the dry ingredients and mix a little, then add the blueberries and mix again. Put the mixture into a muffin tin and bake for 20 minutes.

Dinner

Brown rice burgers

What you need:

  • 2 cups of cooked brown rice
  • ½ cup of chopped parsley
  • 1 cup of finely grated carrot
  • ½ cup of finely chopped onion
  • 1 clove of minced garlic
  • ¼ teaspoon of black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 2 beaten eggs
  • ½ cup of whole wheat flour
  • 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil

How to prepare:

Mix all ingredients, except the vegetable oil, in one bowl, and divide the mixture into 12 patties. Put the vegetable oil into a skillet and heat it. Cook the patties for 4-5 minutes on each side. You can serve the burgers with side dishes such as baked potato, or a salad, such as a tomato spinach salad with balsamic vinaigrette. Treat yourself with some delicious fruit afterwards.

Before taking any actions in treating your high blood pressure, you should consult a doctor to confirm the diagnosis and get some helpful medical advice.

Featured photo credit: https://unsplash.com/ via unsplash.com

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Last Updated on January 14, 2019

7 Ways To Make Exercise Fun For Everyone

7 Ways To Make Exercise Fun For Everyone

From Atkins to Paleo to eating gluten-free despite not being one of the rare few people afflicted with celiac disease, fad diets are everywhere. It drives me crazy because I believe these diets do more harm than good. Your body is made up of a variety of vitamins, nutrients, and minerals, and losing weight healthily isn’t possible when you fill your body with unnecessary synthetic plastics, sugars, and powders. There’s no easy button in life.

What you need to do is exercise, which isn’t very appealing to many people. Workouts take work, so there’s already a stigma involved in going to the gym. Starting a healthy workout regimen becomes easier when you make it fun. If you want to live long and prosper, get off the couch and try these methods to turn your workout into a playout.

1. Take the scenic route.

Walking is an easy way to transition to a healthy lifestyle, and it’s free. Not only do you burn calories (check out this calculator for how many calories you burn based on your weight), but you see the world in a different way. Hiking in nature is great if you have access to it, but don’t let living in an urban area deter you from walking.

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Whenever I’m creatively stuck I get my head straight by walking a couple of miles. It’s also how I discover new paths, meet new people, and stumble upon hole-in-the-wall spots I never would have found otherwise. You could drive past the same place every day and never appreciate the beauty, nor even notice it’s there.

2. Distract yourself.

No matter what exercise routine you choose, use the time to meditate. You may wonder how marathon runners are able to put so many miles on their bodies. It’s because the pain from running that you avoid is something they’ve learned to harness to enter a transcendental state. If you’re aware of the benefits of meditation and exercise but don’t have time to do both, you can combine them, killing two birds with one healthy stone.

3. Listen to music or podcasts.

There are few experiences in life more pleasurable than turning up the music and drowning out the world around you. With so many podcasts and music apps available on your smartphone, you can easily find entertainment options perfectly suited to your personal tastes. Never worry what people may think of you when working out;instead, crank up the volume and get lost in your own world. You’ll be in shape before you know it.

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4. Bring a friend.

Some people can’t go anywhere alone. While I highly recommend dining out and seeing a movie in a theater alone, having company while exercising is very helpful. It allows you to pace yourself with someone else, and gives you a coach to motivate and push harder than you may have on your own.

Many exercises are safer when done with a friend, and some sports can only be played with another person. Involving others in your goals can mean the difference between success and failure. Just remember to continue exercising if the other person flakes, or they’ll be in control of your health.

5. Accessorize.

There are accessories that can make exercise easier, and sometimes buying a new toy can add some much-needed fun to your routine. With apps like RunKeeper and Nike+, your smartphone is capable of tracking your vitals and progress. Wrist weights can add a new dimension to your workout, and, if you exercise at night, a headlamp can help you see what’s in front of you so you don’t trip.

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For urban runners and power-walkers, one of the biggest obstacles is other people. It’s difficult to get in your meditative zone and enjoy your music when you constantly have to dodge people. To resolve this vexing issue, Runbell, a startup in Tokyo, has developed the runner’s version of the bicycle bell. With this lightweight brass bell warning people you’re approaching from behind, you’re free to maintain your transcendental state while continuing your workout. Head to their Kickstarter campaign to pledge your support.

6. Compete.

A little healthy competition can motivate you to push yourself further in your workout regimen. There are apps like Zombies, Run! which turns your run into a video game, and MyFitnessPal which allows you to connect with others in the exercise community. Whether you’re directly competing with a friend, an online community, or against your previous self, setting goals is the key to reaching them. Running with no destination can feel like an impossible task, and it’s easy to get distracted.

7. Relax.

The best part about exercising is how much you enjoy the downtime. If you think laying on your couch all day is enjoyable, it has nothing on that hour you spend as a couch potato after a rigorous workout. Jay-Z said it best, “in order to experience joy, you need pain.” The harder you push yourself while exercising, the better you’ll feel when you’re relaxing.

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With that said, don’t relax too much, or it loses the effect. It’s okay to indulge every so often. Treat yourself to some junk food you’re craving, imbibe a drink here and there, and spend a day vegging out on your couch. Staying healthy doesn’t have to be torture. Just turn down when you can and dedicate some time to better the health of your body. You only get one.

Featured photo credit: tpsdave via pixabay.com

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