High blood pressure is a dangerous condition which many are oblivious to as signs and symptoms are not always obvious. A person can lower their chances of developing deadly hypertension symptoms by following the DASH diet approach.
Many health experts agree that food is just as powerful as medicine.
Whether it be trying to lose excess weight, reducing added risk of diseases and lowering one’s reading, food is integral.
When it comes to foods, much emphasis is placed on foods to avoid but what is one of the best diets to follow to help you lower your reading and reduce your risk of hypertension?
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Researchers studying the effects of diet on high blood pressure created the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, commonly known as the DASH diet.
The DASH diet is a lifelong approach to healthy eating that’s designed to help treat or prevent hypertension.
The DASH diet plan was developed to lower blood pressure without medication in research sponsored by the National Institutes of Health.
The DASH diet encourages you to reduce the sodium in your diet and eat a variety of foods rich in nutrients that help lower blood pressure, such as potassium, calcium and magnesium.
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By following the DASH diet, you may be able to reduce your blood pressure by a few points in just two weeks, said the Mayo Clinic.
The health site continued: “Over time, the top number of your blood pressure (systolic blood pressure) could drop by eight to 14 points, which can make a significant difference in your health risks.
“Because the DASH diet is a healthy way of eating, it offers health benefits besides just lowering blood pressure.
“The DASH diet is also in line with dietary recommendations to prevent osteoporosis, cancer, heart disease, stroke and diabetes.”
In a study published in the National Library of Medicine, a clinical trial of the effects of the DASH diet on blood pressure was investigated.
The study noted: “It is known that obesity, sodium intake, and alcohol consumption factors influence blood pressure.
“In this clinical trial, Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, we assessed the effects of dietary patterns on blood pressure.
“We enrolled 459 adults with systolic blood pressures of less than 160 mm Hg and diastolic blood pressures of 80 to 95 mm Hg.
“For three weeks, the subjects were fed a control diet that was low in fruits, vegetables, and dairy products, with a fat content typical of an average diet.”
The results showed that a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy foods and with reduced saturated and total fat can substantially lower blood pressure.
The DASH diet offers an additional nutritional approach to preventing and treating hypertension.
Making healthy changes in your eating and exercise habits is an excellent first step to dealing with your high blood pressure, said cardiologist Dr Craig Walsh.
He added: “Your efforts will show results in just a few weeks.
“Even if your levels don’t go down as far as needed, your drug therapy may involve fewer drugs and at lower doses.
“If you haven’t already done this, it’s also a good idea to talk with your doctor about all of the prescription and over-the-counter medicines you take.
“Some, including common pain relievers and decongestants, can elevate blood pressure.”