DIET FOR HYPERTENSION
Hypertension is a condition where the blood pressure is constantly higher than normal. This poses a serious health risk because it forces the heart to work extra hard. The effects of hypertension include strokes and heart attacks.
THE DIETARY GUIDELINES INCLUDES
- Be on normal weight.
- Drink 10 - 15 glasses of water.
- Exercise regularly or follow brisk walking for 45 min/ day.
- Sound sleep and proper rest is essential.
- Avoid anger, stress, and anxiety.
- Avoid smoking.
- Avoid Maida, Corn Flour, Bread, Instant Mixes and ready to eat foods.
- All pulses especially whole pulses.
- Fresh vegetables like Lemon, Parsley, Bitter Gourd, Drumstick, Red Cabbage.
- Blanch the green leafy vegetable, drain water and then cook.
- Fresh fruits like grapes, Indian Gooseberry, Lemon, Lime, Banana, Guava and Watermelon.
- Use low fat and oils (3-4 tsp/day). Consume Unsalted Butter, Olive Oil and Mustard Oil.
- Use homemade soups.
- Drink Skim milk and milk products.
- Vinegar, Fenugreek Seeds, Fennel Seeds, Guar Gum, Psyllium Seeds, Black pepper, Basil is good.
- Lessen your salt intake. Don't sprinkle salt on food.
- Avoid packed and canned foods.
- Avoid soya sauce, baking powder, baking soda, seasoned salt.
- Avoid fried foods and fatty foods.
- Avoid buttermilk, cheese, coffee, red meats, eggs.
BENEFICIAL VEGETABLES AND SPICES FOR HYPERTENSION
A number of common vegetables and spices have beneficial effects in controlling hypertension. Incorporate these into your cooking. Alternately, you can make a tea or a vegetable soup.
Celery : Eating as few as four celery stalks was found to be beneficial in lowering blood pressure in human beings.
Garlic (Allium Sativum) : Garlic is a wonder drug for heart. It has beneficial effects in all cardiovascular system including blood pressure. Use garlic in your cooking, salad, soup, pickles, etc. It is very versatile.
Onion (Allium Cepa) : Onions are useful in hypertension. What is best is the onion essential oil. Two to three tablespoons of onion essential oil a day was found to lower the systolic levels by an average of 25 points and the diastolic levels by 15 points in hypertension subjects. This should not be surprising because onion is a cousin of garlic.
Tomato (Lycopersicon Lycopersicum) : Tomatoes are high in gamma-amino butyric acid (GABA), a compound that can help bring down blood pressure.
Broccoli (Brassica Oleracea) : This vegetable contains several active ingredients that reduce blood pressure.
Carrot (Daucus Carota) : Carrots also contain several compounds that lower blood pressure.
Saffron (Crocus Sativus) : Saffron contains a chemical called crocetin that lowers the blood pressure. You can use saffron in your cooking. (It is a very popular spice in Arabic cooking.) You can also make a tea with it. Many Indians add a pinch of saffron in the brewed tea to give a heavenly flavor. Unfortunately, it is very expensive.
Assorted Spices : Spices such as fennel, oregano, black pepper, basil and tarragon have active ingredients that is beneficial in hypertension. Use them in your cooking.
Untreated hypertension causes damage to blood vessels over time. This can lead to other health complications such as stroke, kidney failure, impaired vision, heart attack, or heart failure. Blood pressure levels should be closely monitored and checked regularly.The counselors keep a check on all these factors and recommend accordingly.