If you are suffering from high blood pressure, famously known as a “silent killer”, then you might also be familiar with the common advice of “why and how you must restrict your salt intake” to see effective changes in your blood pressure levels. However, it is important to understand that high blood pressure occurs as a result of various causative factors, therefore, the dietary changes that need to be made are just as many.
If you want to have normal blood pressure levels, you must be willing to adopt a combinative approach that would deal with the condition from the grassroots level to bring about long-term changes in an effective manner. Leading a healthy lifestyle with proper dietary practices is a well-known secret to avoid many health disorders including high blood pressure. If you have been diagnosed with increased blood pressure that is becoming difficult to manage, this article is for you.
Powerful Diet For High Blood Pressure
Watch The Salt
It is no secret that increased salt levels have a direct effect on your blood pressure levels, forcing your arteries to experience high amounts of pressure, more than what’s necessary. Sodium acts by shifting the electrolytic balance in the body, bringing about swift changes in the systolic and diastolic blood pressure. According to Mayo Clinic, a decrease of 2 to 8 mm per Hg in blood pressure rates was observed in patients who brought about a decrease in their salt intake by very little amounts. Given the drastic effect sodium has on your body, it is highly advisable to go easy on your eating habits. Do not sprinkle salt on just about any type of foods you consume.
Maintain A Diary
Jot down the type of foods you consume for a week. Later, make a list of foods that were salty in nature or contributed to unwanted sodium intake in your diet and remember to cut them out next time you have a meal. Bringing about conscious efforts to decrease the intake of unhealthy foods is extremely effective and highly beneficial in reducing blood pressure levels.
Keep An Eye On Refined/Processed Foods
It is always advisable to eat fruits and vegetables when they are fresh rather than opting for canned products that make use of high amounts of salt for preservation purposes. Therefore, remember to load your basket with a fresh dose of fruits and vegetables when you go to the market rather than buying processed foods in cans. Additionally, remember to cut back on processed ready-to-eat foods or refined food products found in supermarkets. Apart from undergoing heavy processing techniques, the high amount of salt used in these products has a direct effect on your overall well-being when consumed for prolonged periods of time on a consistent basis.
Most people have a common misconception that high blood pressure diets have to be bland and tasteless. Although limiting the usage of salt might make the foods seem tasteless, you can always use healthier alternatives that would give a tangy/spicy flavor to foods without increasing your pressure levels. Adding a dash of different types of herbs that produce a “salty” flavor is one of the most effective ways to make your foods delicious, helping you savor the meal without worrying about rising pressure levels. You can also experiment with different types of spices that provide a fresh and delicious taste to foods, helping you achieve the much-needed satiety your taste buds yean for.
A large number of patients suffering from obesity are prone to develop high blood pressure along with a host of other diseases. Since obesity has a direct effect on your arteries, forcing them to work overtime resulting in increased pressure levels, a smart and long-term approach to reduce high blood pressure is to reduce the overall calorie intake until you achieve your normal weight level. Cutting back on fatty foods, fried and junk foods is extremely beneficial. Apart from pumping your body with excess calories, these unhealthy foods are mostly devoid of essential vitamins, minerals and nutrients required for normal body functioning. Obesity, hypertension, cardiac problems and organ malfunctioning are inevitable by-products observed in patients who consume unhealthy foods. Therefore, bring about slow and effective changes in your eating habits.
Include a fresh dose of fruits and vegetables in your diet instead of binging on a burger or a cheese sandwich. A bowl of sprouts is an extremely healthy snacking option to consider. Brown bread, whole wheat flour and oats are extremely healthy breakfast alternatives. Eating four to six small meals at regular intervals instead of eating three large meals is extremely beneficial in forcing your body to increase its metabolic rate for food digestion. This increased metabolism will force your body to utilize excess calories that have been stocked up due to unhealthy eating practices. By doing so, your body will automatically and naturally try to eliminate excess fat that has been deposited all over your body, helping you lose weight in an effective manner. Combining these changes with physical exercise does wonders to your blood pressure levels, helping your body regulate the functioning of various organs in the most effective manner possible.
Increase Potassium Intake
Potassium is known to have an antagonistic effect on sodium. Therefore, in order to curb the dangerous effects of sodium in your body, it is recommended to increase the intake of potassium rich foods in your diet. Bananas, peas, prunes, tomatoes, oranges and raisins are some foods that provide ample amounts of potassium. To bring about effective variation in your diet, ask your physician or nutritionist to give you a complete list of foods that are rich in potassium and include the same.
Cut Back On Caffeine
Caffeinated products are popular for increasing the blood pressure levels in the body for a short period of time. If you are looking to monitor your pressure levels in the most effective manner possible, it is highly advisable to limit your coffee/tea intake to 2 times a day. Drinking unusually large amounts of caffeinated products has adverse effects on your blood pressure levels, triggering a series of unwanted health complications.
An Important Advice
Always remember to consult your doctor before bringing about the aforementioned changes in your diet to avoid any type of health complication or possible drug interactions.