Many people work to overcome high blood pressure with food via the DASH (dietary approach to stop hypertension) Diet. The DASH Diet is a highly recognized lifestyle change for those who wish to overcome high blood pressure naturally. The DASH diet is often recommended with regular exercise and anti-hypertensive medications depending on the severity of high blood pressure.
- Reduce your sodium intake. Sodium is often found in high amounts in processed and packaged foods. The American Heart Association recommends consuming less than 1,500 mg of sodium per day. Eat a diet full of natural foods.
- Avoid caffeine. Caffeine can temporarily increase blood pressure levels. Switch to decaf coffee and soda. You can even replace soda or coffee with flavored water and decaffeinated teas.
- Aim for 4,700 mg of potassium per day. Potassium helps the body decrease the effects of sodium. Potassium sources include bananas, tomatoes, potatoes, and orange juice.
- Incorporate a wide variety of fresh fruits and vegetables into your diet. An example of incorporating fruit into your diet to treat your high blood pressure would be to replace an apple or orange for your afternoon snack of sweets. Eat a rainbow of fruits and vegetables for maximum health benefit.
- Eat lean meats to reduce your fat intake. Healthy meat choices include boneless and skinless poultry, extra lean ground beef and pork tenderloin. Bake, boil and poach meats in place of frying.
- Consume fat free or low fat dairy products. Dairy can be a high source of fat in your diet. Skim milk and other low fat sources of dairy can eliminate a good portion of excess fat from your diet.
- Substitute low fat margarine for butter in cooking. This will cut down on your calorie intake. You could also opt for healthy oils, such as olive oil, to replace the butter.
- Give flavor to your meals by using herbs and olive oils. A diet to treat high blood pressure does not have to be bland. You can grill, poach and bake your meats and vegetables as a healthy cooking option.
- Eat junk food and sweets in moderation. The DASH Diet does not expect you to give up these foods for good. The diet heavily pushes moderation to help treat high blood pressure.
Tips & Warnings:
- Always seek a doctor's approval before making changes to your diet.
- Make the changes slowly. No one can reasonably expect to completely change our diet and lifestyle overnight, not if they want the changes to stick.