The DASH diet was designed to prevent and control high blood pressure, which currently affects over 1 billion people worldwide. We look at what foods are on the DASH diet and how it could help you to lower your blood pressure.
What do you eat on the DASH diet?
The DASH diet was originally created as a way to help people lower their blood pressure without medication, through healthy eating alone. It is backed by the US National Institutes of Health and is now promoted as a good diet to follow for anyone looking to live a healthy lifestyle.
The DASH diet consists primarily of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, meats, fish, and poultry. The diet does not exclude any main food groups and is thought to be fairly easy to follow.
This diet also encourages followers to increase their intake of vital minerals such as potassium, calcium, and magnesium, which are often found to be low in the average diet. Foods rich in these minerals include fruits like bananas, vegetables like spinach, and pulses like chickpeas.
What foods can lower blood pressure immediately?
If you want (or need) to lower your blood pressure, the best thing to do is to reduce your sodium intake. You can also help to prevent hypertension by eating foods rich in potassium, calcium, and magnesium. The following foods can lower blood pressure:
Research has proven that flaxseed lowers blood pressure in hypertensive individuals.This means that if you currently suffer from high blood pressure, adding flaxseed to your diet should help. Flaxseed is somewhat of a superfood because it has also been proven to reduce the negative effects of radiation therapy and could even reduce your risk of developing cancer. You can incorporate flax into your diet by adding it to salads, smoothies, or even into baked goods.
We all know that the Mediterranean diet is rich in olive oil and that this diet seems to make people live longer, healthier lives. But did you know that olive oil can also lower your blood pressure? A study has found that participants who consumed olive oil regularly in their diet were able to discontinue their hypertension medication. Olive oil is also rich in antioxidants and has anti-inflammatory properties, so it is a great food to add to your diet.
Beetroot tends to divide opinion with its strong flavour and even stronger colour, but there is no doubt that it is good for you. Beetroot contains high levels of nitric oxide which is proven to make your blood vessels to relax which improves blood flow and in turn lowers blood pressure. Beetroot could even improve your sport performance as it boosts oxygen delivery and enhances your general heart health.
Scientific evidence suggests that eating pistachios can prevent hypertension. Nuts like pistachios are low in saturated fat and cholesterol and high in protein so are a good part of any healthy diet.