The World Hypertension Day is observed on the 17th of May each year. Its theme this year is accurate blood pressure (BP) measurement and BP control and maintenance within the physiological range. The primary focus is to counter low awareness regarding the impact of abnormally high or low BP.
Unhealthy lifestyle choices combined with stress can lead to high BP and other metabolic diseases. Making dietary modifications is the initial step towards managing BP. Maintaining healthy BP entails incorporating regular exercise and nutritious foods and beverages into daily routine.
A BP-friendly diet should be nutrient, balanced, and low in sodium––that promotes heart health. Evidence suggests that Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet is effective in reducing BP. It involves consuming whole foods, lean proteins, fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy products.
This diet emphasizes consuming fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy products while curbing saturated fat, sodium, and alcohol. Magnesium, calcium, and potassium are three essential nutrients that aid in lowering BP. Magnesium helps relax blood vessels, reduces BP, and assists in the transport of calcium and potassium. Calcium facilitates blood vessels contraction and relaxation, while potassium helps lower BP by eliminating excessive sodium.
Jagriti Barar, a Nutritionist at Cloudnine Group of Hospitals, Mumbai, explained that excessive sodium can lead to fluid retention and increased BP. She also enlisted a few beverages that can be beneficial for lowering blood pressure:
• Coconut water
• Banana milkshake (using skimmed milk)
• Tomato soup or tomato juice (unsalted)
• Buttermilk (skimmed milk curd)
• Pomegranate and beetroot juice
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