Patients suffering from high blood pressure are recommended to follow a healthy lifestyle along with a healthy diet plan. This is in addition to the medication that they have to take as per the doctor’s advice anyway.
High blood pressure leads to an increased risk of heart attack and stroke. Therefore, any one suffering from high blood pressure needs to observe a balanced diet plan, in order to lower the chances of suffering serious damage to his health in the future.
There are many foods that are high in cholestrol and fats, or high in salt content as well. When consumed over a prolonged period of time, the fatty foods tend to clog the arteries, making the flow of blood difficult. This is because fats are not easily soluble in the blood. It leads to a condition of high blood pressure when these fats harden the arteries, and obstructing the passage of blood.
A healthy diet plan for a high blood pressure patient must include plenty of natural vegetables and fruit. This will provide the diet with important nutrients such as Vitamins C and E, and folic acid. Secondly, it will provide the necessary intake of minerals in the diet.
The ideal diet will be high in fiber content, because fibrous foods are easily soluble in the body’s bloodstream. High fiber foods seem to play an important role in lowering blood pressure. Furthermore, the salt content in the diet must be as low as possible. It has been observed that higher salt content tends to increase the blood pressure, therefore, confirmed patients of high blood pressure should avoid excessive consumption of salt in their foods.
In the diet plan it is also recommended to avoid excessive intake of red meats and eggs. Red meats and eggs, though rich in proteins, are also very high in cholestrol, which is unhealthy for the heart. Therefore, it is advisable to restrict these foods in the diet plan.
Even among dairy products, the person suffering from high blood pressure should avoid fat-rich items such as cheese and butter. The milk should be consumed preferably skimmed or fat-free.
Canned and processed foods must be avoided as far as possible. Most of the canned items are high in salt content due to the preservative properties of salt. Therefore, for a high blood pressure patient, such items should be avoided.
Important dietary minerals for regulating blood pressure
Potassium: It is a recognized source that helps to control or reduce blood pressure. Potassium is found in various fruit, vegetables, fish and dairy products. Particularly, banana is known to be very rich in potassium, so it is a recommended fruit for high blood pressure patients.
Calcium: Dairy products such as milk, yogurt and cheese are good sources for calcium. Skimmed or low-fat milk has even more calcium than full-fat milk.
Magnesium: This mineral is found in whole grains, leafy vegetables such as cabbage and spinach, and nuts, peas and beans.