Researchers at the National Institutes of Health conducted two key studies which resulted in the development of a specific eating plan for people with high blood pressure. The DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) emphasises eating whole grains, vegetables, fruit, and low-fat dairy products, while limiting salt, fat, and sugar overall.
•Just one serving of blueberries a week can help cut your risk of high blood pressure. Blueberries, as well as raspberries and strawberries, contain natural compounds called anthocyanins that protect against hypertension.
•Having a bowl of breakfast cereal, especially whole-grain, high-fibre cereals like oatmeal, oat squares, bran flakes or shredded wheat, can reduce your chance of developing high blood pressure.
•Did you know that a baked potato is high in potassium and magnesium, two important minerals that can help fight high blood pressure? In addition, eat halibut, spinach, bananas, soybeans, kidney beans and plain nonfat yogurt.
•Eating low-fat dairy products can reduce a woman’s risk of developing hypertension. That’s the conclusion of a 2008 study of nearly 30,000 women with an average age of 54. The women who ate the most low-fat dairy products — yogurt, low-fat cottage cheese, frozen yogurt, skim or low-fat milk — were 11 per cent less likely to develop high blood pressure.
•Eating a one-ounce square of dark chocolate daily can help lower blood pressure, especially in people who already have hypertension, according to Harvard researchers. Dark chocolate is high in flavonoids, natural compounds that cause dilation of the blood vessels.
•Drinking a glass of spinach, lettuce, cabbage, or carrot juice can lower blood pressure within just a few hours. The nitrate in the juice has the same effect as taking a nitrate tablet, researchers found.
Sources: webmd.com; aarp.org
Culled from Punch