lower blood pressure

Healthy blood pressure can be maintained and often restored with a few minor changes to your diet. In fact, you may be able to reduce or completely eliminate your high blood pressure medication by slightly changing what you eat.

If you have high blood pressure or hypertension, your heart has to work harder than it needs to leading to hypertension, atherosclerosis, strokes, kidney disease, heart failure, and blindness. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) estimated, in 2005, about 32% of adults over the age of 20 had hypertension. And home nursing patients have about a 53% of hypertension among their residents.

The changes to your diet are not a temporary “fad” designed to lose weight rapidly, but rather a guideline for lifelong health. The diet recommended by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is known as the DASH diet. DASH stands for “Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension”. The basic premise behind the diet is to use foods that are low in saturated fat, total fat, cholesterol and high in fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy options. There are many ways to get the foods you need to comply with the DASH diet.

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One part of this DASH diet is the fact that you must eat several smaller meals throughout the day, rather than 2 or 3 large meals that will make your completely full. This is the way humans ate throughtout history is more natural way than we accostumed to in modern times. It’s no secret that for thousands of years we ate natural foods with low amount of sodium in smaller portions and lead much healthier lives. After all, high blood pressure and hypertension became a real danger to our health only in recent times.

So what constitutes a DASH diet and what you should eat in order to lower your blood pressure. First of all, grains and grain containing foods are a good starting point in our path to a healthier lifestyle. An amount of 7-8 servings is usually recommended for daily consumption. Serving size is usually consist of 1 slice of bread, 1 cup of ready-to-eat cereal or 1/2 cup of cooked rice  or whole wheat pasta. Serving sizes may vary among different brands, so you should read nutritional labels very carefully to see what is the actual serving size when purchasing different products. Also pay attention to the serving size amount. Often nutritional labels are designed so to mislead you and make you think the product is healthier than it really is. And always try to go for wholewheat products if given a choice since it’s always a better option.

The amount of vegetables that should be consumed on a daily basis are about 4-5 servings. Examples of vegetable servings are 1 cup raw leafy vegetables or 1/2 cup cooked vegetables. Also it’s best to eat vegetables fresh, frozen or steamed since they retain most of the ingredients if prepared by these methods.

Furthermore, you should eat at least 4-5 servings of fruits as part DASH daily diet requirements. Examples of serving sizes are 1 medium size fruit, 1/4 cup dried fruit, 1/2 cup fresh or frozen fruit. It’s better to buy fruit that is fresh and in season, however if that’s not possible, it’s possible to substitute fresh fruit with frozen kind. It has been recently shown that frozen fruit retains majority of its original nutrients so off season it’s ok to alternate between frozen and fresh fruit in order to consume enough healthy nutrients to satisfy guidelines of DASH diet.

You should also aim to replace higher fat dairty itmes with Low-fat and fat free dairy foods. Try to consume about 2-3 servings a day 8 ounces of low fat milk, 1 cup yogurt, or 1 1/2 ounces cheese.

Lean meats can include poultry, fish and turkey and should be eaten daily but in moderate amounts. A serving size of lean meat is 3 ounces of cooked lean meat, skinless poultry or fish. When preparing meats, it is better to roast, poach, or grill it with a minimal amount of fat and salt if possible.

Fats and oils may be eaten using the DASH diet, but it’s a good idea to keep this to smallest amount possible. A serving of fat or oils include 1 teaspoon of soft margarine, 1 tablespoon of low-fat mayonnaise, 2 tablespoons of light salad dressing, or 1 teaspoon of vegetable oil.

And finally one of the most important rules is to minimize the amount of salt that you use, either while preparing your food or when it’s ready to eat. Sodium is one of the main cause of high blood pressure and the more you can reduce it the more likely it will lead to a lower blood pressure in a long run. So if you want to stay healthy and have a low blood pressure stick to DASH diet, eat healthy, natural ingredients and perform daily exercise and you should be able to lower blood pressure and live a healthier life.

 

 


About Author: Adoley Odunton, Healthier Living – http://www.wellnessrevolutionsummit.com | “And Remember, Expect a Miracle”

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