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The DASH Diet Protocol for Lowering High Blood Pressure

The DASH Diet Protocol for Lowering High Blood Pressure

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What exactly is high blood pressure, and how do the foods you eat affect it?

High blood pressure happens when your heart pumps more blood through your arteries than it should. This extra blood pushes against the walls of your arteries, which can lead to many problems over time.

Your heart pumps blood out every time it beats. Your blood pressure is based on how fast your heart beats. It’s normal to have higher blood pressure sometimes, like when you’re worried or working out, but having high blood pressure all the time can damage your arteries and make you more likely to get heart disease, diabetes, kidney damage, or stroke.

High blood pressure is anything above the normal level of 120/80 mmHg. It can be caused by a lack of nutrients, a bad diet high in sodium, being overweight or obese, smoking, not being active or living a sedentary lifestyle, high levels of chronic stress, other health problems that make high blood pressure worse, and a family history of high blood pressure.

You can’t always tell if you have high blood pressure, so getting regular checkups is the best way to make sure you’re in a healthy range.

Keeping your blood pressure in check can help you stay young and healthy in many ways. For example, it lowers your chance of peripheral artery diseases, shields your heart from stopping beating, keeps your eyes safe, and keeps your kidneys from getting hurt.

Eating a diet that is high in nutrients and low in processed foods can help bring your blood pressure closer to normal or even within a healthy range.

You’ll probably notice a change in just a few months, but you need to keep at it and keep working hard.
Some healthy fats, lean proteins, and fresh fruits and veggies can help lower inflammation and keep you from not getting enough nutrients, which are two of the main reasons why people get high blood pressure.

And a healthy high blood pressure diet works even better if you also make other changes to your life, like learning how to deal with stress better, working out daily, giving up smoking, and getting enough sleep.

About half of people with high blood pressure don’t control it, either because they don’t know they have it or because they haven’t made changes to their lifestyle that are good for their heart health generally.

Changing everything about your life to help control your high blood pressure might seem like a lot of work. For example, you might have to take medicines, eat differently, reduce your stress, and work out. You’ll be glad to know that many people can help lower their blood pressure by making a few simple changes.

People who have been on a high blood pressure diet like the DASH diet have been able to lower their systolic blood pressure by seven to twelve points over time. This is a big drop that can make a big difference.This can be done in steps that are easy to follow, like cooking more often and eating more fresh fruits and vegetables.

Here are some of the best naturally lowering blood pressure foods:



1. Vegetables
Almost all diets recommend eating a wide range of vegetables because they are high in antioxidants and full of healthy nutrients like fiber, vitamin C, vitamin K, and different fluids, while also being very low in calories. A study in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that people whose main diet was plants had lower blood pressure than meat eaters who probably didn’t eat as much fresh produce.

Try to eat four to five different kinds of vegetables every day. “Eat the rainbow” comes from the idea that you should eat a variety of foods to get a wide range of minerals. Leafy greens, like spinach, kale, mustard greens, and turnip greens, are very low in calories and high in potassium. They are also some of the best foods you can eat.

2. Fresh Fruit

If you want to get more fiber, electrolytes like magnesium and potassium, and antioxidants like flavonoids and resveratrol, eat fresh fruit instead of drinks or canned fruits that have been sweetened. (3) A serving of two to four fruits, such as berries, oranges, kiwi, apples, and melons, is a good amount for most people.



3. Lean Proteins

This can include foods like salmon, sardines, halibut, and other omega-3-rich fish that was caught in the wild, as well as eggs that were not kept in cages and meats that were raised on grass or pasture. You should try to get twenty to thirty percent of your calories from “lean and clean” foods. Getting this kind of protein is important for keeping your energy up. These foods also help keep your muscles strong, make you feel full, and keep your blood sugar level.

4. Beans and Legumes

You can get a lot of fiber, protein, B vitamins, and some antioxidants from legumes and beans, like chickpeas, black beans, adzuki beans, and lentils. People who don’t eat meat or animal products can eat them. They’re low in calories and almost entirely sodium-free if you make them from scratch or rinse the canned ones well.

To make beans even healthier and easier to digest, soak them overnight before cooking. This helps get rid of antinutrients that stop minerals from being absorbed and mess up digestion. Instead of meat, try eating beans and other vegetables a few times a week.


5. Healthy Fats

Foods like nuts and seeds are great for getting healthy fats. They also give you protein and fiber. Along with nuts and seeds, bananas, coconut oil, and extra virgin olive oil are all good anti-inflammatory foods that are full of healthy fats.

These fats help keep your blood sugar levels steady, which makes you feel full and less likely to eat too much.

Most people should get between 25% and 35% of their daily calories from healthy fats. If you have high cholesterol or high blood pressure, you might want to cut back on heavy fats from foods like butter, animal fats, and oils like palm oil. However, most people can still be healthy with these fats in small amounts. (4) 6. 100 percent whole grains (sprouts are best)

This is because whole grains are higher in fiber and minerals that are known to lower blood pressure compared to refined carbs. This is why the DASH diet and other high blood pressure diet plans stress them so much.

Some “ancient grains” are more like seeds than grains, but you can eat them in moderation. Some examples are brown rice, amaranth, buckwheat, quinoa, barley, farro, wheat berries, teff, and millet.

The DASH plan says to eat up to six to eight servings of whole grains every day. However, I think you should focus on foods like fresh fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, and healthy fats even more because they are so full of nutrients. When you do eat grains, try to stick to sprouting whole grains that are gluten-free.

7. Organic, Unsweetened Dairy Products

It’s important to pay attention to the quality of the dairy you eat, even though the DASH diet includes low-fat or fat-free dairy products like milk and yogurt. For most people, the best dairy is organic, not sweetened, and ideally raw dairy, especially dairy from goats or A2 cows.

Many experts recommend unsweetened, organic yogurt and kefir as a great way to get calcium, protein, and probiotics. If you can get it, I suggest drinking some raw milk every once in a while because it’s full of nutrients and enzymes that help your body handle dairy better.



High Blood Pressure Diet: The DASH Diet Protocol for Lowering Blood Pressure

Most doctors recommend the DASH diet as a natural way to lower high blood pressure. DASH stands for “Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension.”

The DASH diet was first made by experts in the United States who were paid by the National Institutes of Health. The group hoped to help people use diet to control their blood pressure and weight. This means cutting back on empty calories, high-sodium foods, added sugar, refined grains, and unhealthy fats while eating a range of easy-to-find healthy foods.

For the sixth year in a row, U.S. News & World Report called the DASH plan “the best diet” in January 2016.

The DASH diet not only lowers high blood pressure, but it also helps people lose weight, lower their cholesterol, and avoid or control diabetes.

Getting more potassium, calcium, magnesium, fiber, and protein into people’s diets is what the DASH eating plan is all about. To keep your heart healthy and fight different signs of age, all of these are important.

These foods can help drop blood pressure and are emphasized on the DASH diet, but they should also be part of a high blood pressure diet:
Food for lowering blood pressure most emphasized on the DASH diet but that should also be implemented in a high blood pressure diet include:

fresh vegetables and fruits (especially those high in potassium, which lessens the effects of sodium)
low-fat dairy products (ideally organic and always unsweetened)
lean protein foods
100 percent whole grains
healthy fats like olive oil, nuts, avocado and seeds


Tips for Lowering Blood Pressure

Over the years, study has shown that a number of habits and changes to your way of life can greatly improve your chances of keeping your blood pressure in a healthy range and avoiding high blood pressure. Some of these are:

1. Cook More at Home

The people who came up with the DASH plan say that cooking at home is a good way to lower your blood pressure. This means eating as little processed food as possible, like eating fewer packaged foods, skipping takeaway and restaurant food, and eating very little fast food. By making your own meals from fresh, nutrient-dense food, you can cut down on sodium and sugar while increasing your diet of potassium, antioxidants, and fiber, which all help lower blood pressure.

2. Increase Fiber Consumption

It has been shown that eating a lot of fiber can help lower blood pressure and keep your blood sugar from going up and down, which can cause cravings, tiredness, bad digestion, and other health problems.

Fiber can be found in almost all unprocessed plant foods. Eating fresh veggies is a great way to get more fiber in your diet, and it can also help lower your blood pressure. Foods that are high in fiber can also help lower your chance of diabetes, high cholesterol, digestive problems, and gaining weight.

3. Lower Your Sodium Intake

A low-sodium diet is suggested as a way to manage high blood pressure because processed and packed foods contain a lot of sodium, which makes high blood pressure worse by changing how the body retains water and how arteries widen.

Electrolytes like potassium and magnesium help keep blood pressure in a safe range by balancing out sodium. Electrolyte imbalances happen because most people who eat a “Standard American Diet” get way too much salt and not enough potassium and magnesium.

4. Get More Potassium

A meal low in potassium and high in sodium can lead to high blood pressure, hypertension, and heart disease.

The third most common mineral in the body is potassium, which can be found in foods like bananas, sweet potatoes, organic dairy products, beans, and avocados. Potassium works with salt to do many important things.

Potassium naturally helps the body get rid of salt. It is found in all cells and helps control heartbeats, nerve impulses, muscle contractions, and digestive health. Low potassium can make you retain water and raise your blood pressure by making your heart beats worse and preventing blood flow through your arteries.

5. Stay Hydrated

It’s important to drink enough water every day to keep your fluids balanced, fight urges, stay awake, and avoid getting tired. Instead of juice, soda, coffee, and tea with added sugar, drink more fresh water. Aim to drink at least eight eight-ounce glasses of water every day.

6. Practice Portion Control

Do not feel stressed out and afraid that you will never be able to eat your favorite foods again. Eat healthy foods first to feel full, which will make you less likely to want bad foods.

Be aware of how much you eat and watch your portions to make sure you give your body what it needs to feel good without too much that makes you feel bad.





Reviewed by Dr. kotb and his team

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