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Eating Healthy to Help Reduce High Blood Pressure

Eating Healthy to Help Reduce High Blood Pressure

What you eat effects how your body operates. Just how certain foods can do things like help prevent cancer, act as an aphrodisiac, diminish psoriasis, or give you energy, there are also a group of foods that can help lower, high blood pressure. The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute recommends a daily eating plan called DASH. DASH was developed by Dr. Dean Ornish and stands for "Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension."

This eating plan provides no more than 1,500 mg of sodium, is low in total fat, trans fat and cholesterol. DASH puts an emphasis on fruits, vegetables, and fat-free or low fat milk and dairy products, creating a diet rich in protein, fiber, potassium, magnesium, and calcium. It doesn't prohibit you from anything, but suggests putting limits on salt, added sugars and sweets. There are 3 important tips to remember: reduce sodium, cut back on saturated fat and cholesterol, and trim trans fat.

To help you get started here are some foods that might help lower, high blood pressure and / or offer other protective benefits:

Whole Grains: Whole wheat bread and pasta , and whole grain cereals, along with barley, brown rice and popcorn.

Potassium Rich Fruits and Vegetables: Bananas, strawberries, cantaloupe, peaches, sweet potatoes and lots of dark leafy greens.

Low Fat Dairy Products: Low fat or fat free milk, cheese and yogurt.

Foods with Healthy Oils: Foods high in omega-3 fatty acids and low in saturated fat like fish, flaxseed, nuts, avocadoes and canola oil.

Herbs, Spices and Salt Substitutes:Instead of relying on salt for flavor, season your food with a variety of spices and herbs. If you must have salt, try a salt substitute instead.

For more information and recipes for healthy eating visit the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute.

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