More than a billion people worldwide suffer from high blood pressure. We look at how the DASH diet eating plan helps lower blood pressure.
The number of people suffering from high blood pressure has doubled in the last 40 years. This has doctors concerned, as high blood pressure can lead to a higher risk of heart disease, kidney failure, and stroke.
The DASH diet came as a response to high blood pressure trends after researchers noticed that high blood pressure was less common in people who followed a plant-based diet.
What is the DASH Diet?
The DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet centers around eating fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy, and lean meats.
It is recommended for people who have high blood pressure, also known as hypertension, and want to reduce their risk of heart disease.
In fact, scientists believe that people with high blood pressure benefit from the DASH diet because it reduces salt intake.
- Vegetables and Fruits: The diet recommends people consume four to five servings of fruits and vegetables. Eating vegetables and fruits high in fiber is beneficial, as fiber keeps hunger and blood sugar in check. High fiber vegetables and fruits include beets, broccoli, apples, and oranges.
- Whole Grains: You’ll want to consume six to eight servings per day for whole grains. Examples include whole-grain bread, brown rice, and whole-wheat pasta.
- Dairy: Try eating two to three servings of low-fat dairy per day. You’ll want to avoid trans fat, which is usually found in processed food, such as baked goods and fried foods.
- Lean Meats: Many red meats are high in saturated fat, which raises cholesterol levels. Choose lean meats, such as chicken, turkey, and fish. Consume a maximum of six-ounces a day. Healthy fish options like salmon and tuna are beneficial for improved heart health due to their omega-3 levels.
- Sweets: You can still have some sweets while following the DASH diet. Try limiting sweets to five servings per week. Opting for fat-free or low-fat sweets, such as sorbets and graham crackers, will reduce sugar intake without removing sweets from your diet.
- Alcohol: Many behaviors and lifestyle choices can lead to high blood pressure. Alcohol on occasion will not contribute to health problems, but drinking too much can lead to high blood pressure. The American Heart Association recommends limiting alcohol intake to one drink per day for women, and two drinks per day for men.
Benefits of Eating Healthier
The DASH diet is meant to lower blood pressure but comes with many other benefits as well. Some benefits include:
- Lowering blood pressure
- Maintaining a healthy weight
- Reducing cancer risk, such as colorectal and breast cancer
- Lowering metabolic syndrome risk
- Improving insulin sensitivity
- Decreasing heart disease risk
The DASH diet eating plan is one of the best diets for improving high blood pressure. Keeping an eye on your blood pressure is important to prevent heart disease.
Something else that can help with blood pressure is adding supplements to your diet. L-arginine Plus increases nitric oxide production, which is a key molecule in opening blood vessels.
This results in better circulation and lower blood pressure for a healthy heart. Add L-arginine Plus to your routine along with the DASH diet for optimal results.