The DASH Diet:
A Natural Approach
Today’s fast-paced world is filled with “convenient foods” packed with fat, sugar, and salt. These foods can easily wreak havoc on your blood pressure and weight.
High blood pressure, or hypertension, has become a common health concern affecting millions of people worldwide. While medications and conventional treatments are commonly prescribed, more people are seeking natural ways to lower their blood pressure.
Did you know that losing even a small amount of weight can have a significant impact on reducing your blood pressure?
The American Heart Association reports that losing as little as 5-10 pounds can help lower your blood pressure levels if you are overweight or obese.
Enter The DASH diet (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension).
The DASH diet is promoted by the American Heart Association as a natural way to lower blood pressure. Read on to discover how the DASH diet can improve your cardiovascular health and overall well-being.
Embrace The ‘DASH’ Diet For Lower Blood Pressure and Better Health
The Dash Diet is more than just a catchy acronym; it’s a lifestyle guide to improved health.
For starters, it encourages limiting your intake of foods high in fats and cholesterol, and encourages a hearty intake of:
- whole grains
- lean proteins
- low-fat dairy products
More specifically, here are some key nutrition recommendations from The DASH diet that can help lower your blood pressure naturally.
Potassium-rich Foods: Potassium helps to balance sodium levels in our bodies. Bananas are a great source of potassium for a quick snack. You can also toss spinach and avocado into your salads for an easy potassium boost.
Magnesium-rich Foods: Magnesium aids in the relaxation and dilation of blood vessels. Foods rich in magnesium include nuts like almonds and cashews, seeds such as pumpkin and sunflower seeds, and, for those with a sweet tooth, dark chocolate!
Fiber-packed Foods: Dietary fiber can also reduce your blood pressure levels. Whole grains like quinoa and barley, legumes including lentils and black beans, and a myriad of fruits like apples and pears are all great examples.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Renowned for their profound benefits for cardiovascular health, omega-3 fatty acids help in reducing inflammation and maintaining healthy blood vessels. If you like seafood, fatty fish like salmon and mackerel are great choices. You can also sprinkle flax seeds on your cereals or have a handful of walnuts as a nutritious snack.
Antioxidant-rich Foods: Antioxidants fight oxidative stress, which can damage your blood vessels. Berries like blueberries and strawberries, dark leafy greens like kale and Swiss chard, and beverages like green tea are all wise options.
And here’s a couple more important recommendations from the DASH plan …
Sodium and Stress Can Wreck Your Weight and Blood Pressure
Reducing sodium is another natural way to lower your blood pressure, and it can also help you shed pounds. Excessive sodium can lead to water retention, making you feel bloated and potentially adding extra weight on the scale.
To counter this, read food labels diligently, and opt for fresh over processed foods. Cooking at home to control your salt use is another good idea. Try adding herbs, spices, and natural flavorings, such as lemon or vinegar, as tasty, sodium-free alternatives to season your dishes.
Chronic stress can lead to increased blood pressure levels. Adopting stress-management techniques such as deep breathing exercises, meditation, and regular exercise can help as well.
Get Help For Your Hypertension at Hoag
A healthy lifestyle can effectively support blood pressure management and contribute to your overall wellness.
You and your doctor can discuss all the natural ways to lower your blood pressure, plus what medications, if any, make most sense for you. Check with your insurance provider for more information.
If you’re looking for a weight loss plan and simple ways to naturally lower your blood pressure, Hoag Medical Network is here to help. Schedule an appointment today with a Hoag doctor at any of our convenient locations throughout Orange County.
With Hoag, exceptional healthcare and trusted medical expertise are never far away.