May is National High Blood Pressure Month
The nutrition recommended for blood pressure is to follow the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) Diet.
It is high in fruits and vegetables and low in sodium. By combining DASH with exercise, individuals may be able to reduce blood pressure and cardiovascular risk factors. If you are at risk of hypertension, following this plan can help decrease your risks or prolong the onset. DASH has many advantages for your health, including weight loss. Focusing on whole foods, this heart-healthy plan is high in fiber and low in saturated fats and sugars. It can be a way of eating for the whole family, and may also reduce risk of stroke, heart disease and kidney stones.
Get Your Fruits and Veggies – Fruits and vegetables are natural sources of potassium which has shown to be effective in lowering blood pressure. Since some studies show that low levels of potassium may be related to hypertension, keeping a diet rich in natural plant foods can provide enough potassium to maintain adequate levels.
Choose Low-Fat Dairy – Because weight is a factor in developing hypertension, choosing low-fat or fat-free dairy is important as well. Calcium is not only important for bones, but also for blood pressure regulation.
Go Nuts – Unsalted nuts are an excellent source of monounsaturated fats, the type which help lower your bad cholesterol (LDL) and increase your good cholesterol (HDL). Rich in antioxidants, nuts contain compounds which may reduce damage to blood vessels.
Limit Saturated Fat – A DASH diet is low in saturated fats, sodium and total fat. Studies Maintaining a low-fat diet and a healthy weight not only decreases the risk for high blood pressure, but also diabetes and heart complications.
Be Active and Limit Alcohol – Weight management, physical activity and limiting alcohol consumption should be included as part of the DASH diet. An optimal body weight is important for good health. A registered dietitian nutritionist can help you determine your BMI and help you with a weight management plan.