DASH diet (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) is an enduring approach to promote healthy eating that’s formulated to help treat or prevent high blood pressure. The DASH diet promotes you to reduce the sodium in your diet and eat foods that are rich in nutrients such as potassium, calcium and magnesium that helps to lower blood pressure.
Following the DASH diet for just two weeks will help you lower your blood pressure by a few points, which can make a remarkable difference in your health risks. DASH diet is a healthy way of eating, besides lowering blood pressure it is also in line with dietary recommendations to prevent osteoporosis, cancer, heart disease, stroke and diabetes.
The key components of the DASH diet are vegetables, fruits and low-fat dairy foods and moderate amounts of whole grains, fish, poultry and nuts. That include:
Grains: Mainly whole grains about 6-8 servings per day
Vegetables: 4 to 5 servings per day
Fruits: 4 to 5 servings per day
Low fat or non-fat dairy foods: 2-3 servings
Lean meats, poultry, and fish: 2 servings or less
Nuts, seeds, dry beans:4-5 servings per week
Fats and oils: 2-3 servings
Standard DASH diet: 2,300 milligrams (mg) of sodium a day.
Low Sodium DASH diet: 1500mg of sodium per day.
You can reduce your salt intake by following these simple tips
- Reducing the use of salt in cooking and at the table
- Avoiding extra salty foods-papads, pickles and fried foodstuff.
- Limiting canned or preserved foods that are high in salt.
- Reading the Nutrition Facts Label on food packages for sodium content
- Using other seasonings such as herbs, spices, lemon juice and garlic to enhance the taste during cooking.
Other tips to control hypertension
- Be Active: get engaged in exercise for about 30 minutes most of the days
- Limit Alcohol intake: not more than 2 drinks per day.
- Smoke-Free: quit smoking it very vital as smoking can increase your risk of developing heart diseases and other problems.
- Monitor your blood pressure at home using a blood pressure machine regularly and take your medication as prescribed.