What is the DASH diet?

Fruits Vegetables That Lower Blood Pressure..

What is the DASH diet?

The Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension diet is an eating plan that can effectively lower blood pressure, according to research.In the original study, published in 1997 by the National Institutes of Health, scientists found that adults can reduce their blood pressure by eating a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol and rich in fruits, vegetables and low-fat dairy foods.
The researchers concluded that the DASH diet works as effectively as some blood pressure medications.
Today, the NIH recommends the DASH diet for adults of all ages who want to reduce blood pressure. It even lowers blood pressure a little in those with normal readings.

The benefits come because DASH is rich in minerals - calcium, potassium and magnesium - as well as fiber. For a person who eats 2,000 calories a day, the plan calls for:

* Grains, seven to eight servings each day
* Vegetables, four to five servings each day
* Fruits, four to five servings each day
* Low-fat or nonfat dairy products, two to three servings each day
* Meats, poultry and fish, no more than two servings each day
* Nuts, seeds and legumes, four to five servings each week
* Limited intake of fats and sweets

Important ingredients

The DASH diet emphasizes healthful foods that people don't eat often enough. This means adding a few more servings of fruits and vegetables to your meals.
A fruit serving equals 6 ounces of juice or one piece of fruit. A vegetable serving equals a half cup of raw or cooked chopped vegetables or one cup of raw leafy vegetables.
Eating a variety of colorful produce can provide pressure-lowering potassium for your meals.
Next, be sure to get a couple of servings of low-fat dairy foods. One 8-ounce glass of milk or 1.5 ounces of cheese counts as one dairy serving. The calcium contained in these foods helps to lower blood pressure.

Also substitute refined grains with whole grains as often as you can. One slice of bread or a half cup of cooked grains is one serving. Compared to refined products, whole grains contain more fiber and other nutrients that lower blood pressure.

Finally, some other foods are a good source of magnesium in the DASH diet. Nuts, seeds and legumes are top-notch sources that help to lower blood pressure. Eat one-third cup of nuts, a tablespoon of seeds, or a half cup of cooked beans to get a serving.

Easy does it on the salt.

Besides eating mineral-rich foods, cutting back on sodium can help blood pressure to drop even more. In the DASH-Sodium Study, completed in 2000, researchers followed 412 adults on six different diets for 14 weeks.

They found those who consumed a DASH diet with only 1,500 milligrams of sodium a day had the biggest improvements in blood pressure. The scientists concluded that eating less salt may help lower blood pressure risk.

Potassium and High Blood Pressure

Potassium and High Blood Pressure

The benefit of potassium on blood pressure was confirmed by the Third National Health and Nutritional Examination Survey (NHANES III). Published in the Archives of Internal Medicine in February 2001, data on more than 17,000 adults indicated that adequate potassium intake from fruits and vegetables can lower blood pressure. Results showed that a diet with 8.5 daily servings of fruits & vegetables (providing 4,100 mg of potassium) lowered blood pressure by 7.2/2.8 mmHg (systolic/diastolic) in people diagnosed with high blood pressured, compared to a diet providing only 3.5 servings of fruits & vegetables (providing 1,700 mg of potassium).

The recommended daily intake of potassium for all healthy adults is 4,700 mg.
- Bananas,
- Beans,
- Tofu and
- Potatoes are all rich sources of potassium.

Many fruits and vegetables are also good sources of potassium. Try baking, roasting or steaming when cooking vegetables. Avoid boiling as potassium leaches out into the water during cooking. Speak to your doctor before taking potassium supplements, especially if you have kidney related health problems.
In general, a diet that emphasizes fruits & vegetables, whole grains and low-fat dairy appears effective in shaving points off a blood pressure reading. In particular, shedding pounds, cutting down on sodium, boosting potassium intake and limiting alcohol are all proven ways to help control blood pressure.