The DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) nutritional plan is recommended by the National Heart, Blood and Lung Institute (NHBL). Scientists were sponsored by the NHBL to test out the DASH protocol on subjects with HBP, and the results were remarkable.
I am a certified personal trainer, and from that perspective, I can tell you that diet is just as important in lowering high blood pressure as is regular exercise.
The DASH plan is low in saturated fats, total fat, and cholesterol; emphasizes fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy, whole grains, fish, poultry and nuts; de-emphasizes red meat, sweets and sugary beverages. The DASH plan is basic, kind of like a template, and additional modifications can be made within it, such as eating organic, whole or minimally processed foods as much as possible.
1. Grains and grain products for fiber and energy. Modification: whole-grain, low-sodium cereal mixes from the health food store rather than name-brand conventional cereals with added sugar.
2. Fruits and vegetables for potassium, magnesium and fiber.
3. Low-fat or no-fat dairy for calcium and protein. Modification: all-natural yogurt with live-culture bacteria (“healthy” bacteria!) and no artificial sweeteners
4. Lean meats, poultry and fish for protein and magnesium. Modification: meats from grass-fed, rather than grain-fed, animals; wild salmon, not farm-raised.
5. Legumes, nuts and seeds for energy, magnesium, potassium, protein and fiber. Modification: minimally-processed nuts, preferably raw.
6. Fats and oils-unsaturated only, such as olive, canola and safflower: always great for cardiovascular health.
Another modification that can be made, depending on the patient’s school of thought, would be to place fruits and vegetables at the top of this hierarchy of food groups, with whole grains in second place, followed by legumes/nuts/seeds (or sometimes vice versa), and at the bottom of the totem pole would be animal products. This would be a plant-based diet which has been catching a lot of attention lately as a preventive for many catastrophic illnesses and dangerous medical conditions.
Foods particularly good for blood pressure are bananas, potatoes, prunes, winter squash, broccoli, orange juice and skim milk. People with HBP should consume over 3,500 mg/day of potassium from whole foods, namely produce.
The following measures also lower blood pressure:
§ Take vitamin C and support it with vitamin E.
§ Drink water (encourages the body to release water).
§ Avoid or reduce caffeine.
§ Take garlic clove extract (which lowers hypertension), parsley (a natural diuretic), omega-3 essential fatty acids like fish oil, flaxseed oil and primrose oil, and carrot juice (which cleans arteries).
§ Take potassium, magnesium, zinc.
§ Use natural approaches like a combination of niacin, vitamin B-6, selenium, malic acid, EDTA, guggulipid resin extract, bromelain, lipase, coenzyme Q10, potassium aspartate, potassium orotats.
High blood pressure is a major risk factor for stroke and heart attack. High blood pressure does not cause symptoms. This is why high blood pressure is often called the “silent killer.” You can check your blood pressure at home with a blood pressure gadget; these are sold at drug stores and online. High blood pressure can indeed be lowered – naturally.