- Eating more potassium can negative effects of sodium on blood pressure
- Fibre-rich foods like whole grains can also be beneficial
- Magnesium is an important micronutrient for hypertensive patients
Hypertension (High blood pressure) can be controlled by a few lifestyle modifications like counting calories, keeping a check on your portion sizes, regulating sleepy cycle, regular exercise and a good and healthy diet. In this article, we are going to talk about high blood pressure diet and the nutrients they require to control blood pressure levels. Keeping a note of these nutrients can aid weight loss, which is also an essential requirement for high blood pressure patients. Also, intake of alcohol should be controlled in people with hypertension. Smoking and other sedentary lifestyle habits can worsen blood pressure levels.
Hypertension nutrition: Nutrients you need to eat and avoid to control high blood pressure
1. Avoid salt (sodium)
Sodium, which is high in salt, is one of the worst minerals for high blood pressure patients. This is because salt makes your body hold on to water. The extra stored water in the body can increase your blood pressure. Apart from adding less salt to your food, you can reduce sodium intake by avoiding processed, packaged, canned and junk food. Use salt-free seasonings to add more flavour to your food.
2. Eat more potassium
Potassium is known to negate the effects of sodium on high blood pressure. Potassium helps in easing tension in blood vessel walls, which in turn helps in lowering high blood pressure. Foods that are a rich source of potassium include bananas, avocados, dried fruits, prunes, raisins, spinach, lentils, soyabeans and kidney beans to name a few.
3. Eat more magnesium
Magnesium is another micronutrient that has found to be beneficial for reducing both systolic and diastolic blood pressure. Leafy green vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds, legumes, broccoli, artichokes, asparagaus and seafood are examples of foods rich in magnesium. You can also increase magnesium absorption in the body by adding Epsom salt to your bath.
4. Eat more fibre
Studies have found that eating more fibre can help in reducing blood pressure and inflammation in the body. What's more is that fibre-rich foods can aid weight loss as well. They help in keeping you full for longer and reduce appetite. Fibre-rich foods are excellent for keeping constipation at bay. They help in forming bulk of stools and ease bowel movement.
5. DASH diet for high blood pressure
A popular eating plan for controlling high blood pressure is DASH diet. DASH is short form of Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension. It is an eating pattern which includes eating fruits, vegetables, fish, whole grains, nuts, legumes and low-fat dairy products. All of these foods are high in key nutrients that are required for keeping blood pressure under control. They are less in salt, which is key to controlling blood pressure. DASH diet for high blood pressure excludes consumption of red meat, desserts, sugar-sweetened and caffeinated beverages. Studies have found beneficial effects of DASH diet on high blood pressure.
The bottom line is that high blood pressure needs to be controlled with the right kind of nutrients (as mentioned above). Also, good quality sleep, less stress and regular exercise are equally important for controlling hypertension.
Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.