- High blood pressure is the number one risk factor for heart stroke
- The wonder nutrient proteins are the building block of the body
- Some heart healthy proteins are fish, almonds and soya products
High blood pressure or also known as hypertension, affects millions of people all across the globe. High blood pressure is the number one risk factor for heart stroke. Fortunately, once diagnosed, hypertension can be easily treatable. Simple lifestyle changes such as a healthy diet, limiting the intake of alcohol and cigarette smoking and regular physical exercise can help manage high blood pressure. A healthy diet to lower high blood pressure should include foods rich in potassium, calcium, magnesium and fiber. Also, foods high in sodium should be avoided as they can negatively impact your health. Apart from these nutrients increasing protein intake can also help patients to lower their blood pressure.
Delhi based nutritionist Monisha Ashokan says, "High blood pressure is the high amount of pressure with which the blood is pumped by the heart. This is a result of age or lifestyle. A higher amount of sugar level in the blood due to high amount of carbohydrates can cause rise in insulin. This can raise the blood pressure. Also a high level of cholesterol is associated with high blood pressure."
The wonder nutrient proteins are the building block of the body. Proteins play an important role in the cells and fluids in our bodies. Foods rich in proteins are used by every part of the body for growth and development. Protein-rich diet helps in quick weight loss, better metabolism, bone health, strong immune system, muscle mass, tissue repair, hair and skin, better sleep and overall health. Therefore, it is important that you get adequate proteins through your diet.
Some heart-healthy proteins which should be included in your diet are fish, chicken, beans, poultry, nuts, and low-fat dairy as these may help prevent heart disease. The nutrients in these forms of protein can help lower cholesterol and blood pressure which is beneficial for the overall health of the body. By choosing these heart-healthy proteins over high-fat and processed meat options, you can reduce your risk of heart attack and stroke.
"A high protein diet helps to check the blood pressure as it gets digested slowly compared to carbohydrates causing less insulin and leptin production in the body. Hence, the heart undergoes less pressure to pump blood resulting in lower blood pressure. Unlike the common belief, the bigger reason for blood pressure is intake of high sugar which is a bigger white monster than salt. So a high protein and moderate carbohydrate diet with sufficient amount of water intake keeps the sodium levels under control leading to stabilized blood pressure," adds nutritionist Monisha Ashokan.
Delhi-based nutritionist Nmami Agarwal says, "The latest addition to high blood pressure diets is "High Protein Diet" as it helps in keeping insulin levels low by preventing sodium retention and angiotensin activation which may also condense the risk of cardiovascular diseases. High blood pressure is a condition majorly linked to cardiovascular disease and renal failure. Number of researches and studies reviews that dietary consumption of protein may benefit lowering the condition of high blood pressure concluding the comparison of carbohydrates with higher dietary protein."
Have a look at some proteins which can help lower high blood pressure:
1. Dairy products
Dairy products like milk, yogurt, cheese and other products are major sources of calcium, vitamin D and protein. You must include them in your diet. But make sure that you choose dairy products that are low in fat or fat-free.
Meat is again a a rich source of protein and other vitamins and minerals like B vitamins, iron and zinc. You must opt for lean varieties of meat. Eat heart-healthy fish, such as salmon, cod, herring and tuna. These types of fish are high in omega-3 fatty acids, which can help lower your cholesterol levels as well.
3. Healthy nuts and seeds
Some nuts and seeds which should be a part of your hypertension diet are almonds, sunflower seeds, and peanuts.
Lentils and other foods in this family like kidney beans, chickpeas, pulses are good sources of magnesium, potassium and protein.
5. Soya products
Soybean-based products, such as tofu and tempeh, can be a good alternative to meat and can be consumed by vegans or vegetarians because they contain all the amino acids your body needs to make a complete protein, just like meat.
Nutritionist Nmami Agarwal further adds, "Nonetheless, high protein diet is also low in calories (sugar) which aids in losing weight- directly associated to help control blood pressure. Last but not the least, one must know that a diet with significant levels of protein must comprise of 20-25% calories derived from it."
(Nmami Agarwal is nutritionist at Nmami Life)
(Monisha Ashokan is a nutritionist at Nourish Me)
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