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Homemade food- “The best answer to lower the high blood pressure”
Causes of Hypertension (High BP) –
There are many reasons for hypertension (High BP) but some of the common reasons are high sodium level in blood, unhealthy eating habits , obesity, physical and mental stress, lack of sleep, smoking, alcohol intake, lack of exercise etc.
“Homemade Food” is the best option to lower the high blood pressure.
Dietary changes to lower the high Blood Pressure –
First and most important modification is taking low salt (sodium) intake in daily diet and including high potassium and diuretics rich foods which help to reduce high blood pressure.
It’s been observed that many hypertensive patients practices minimal use of salt while cooking food but the hidden sources of salt in the form of sodium they eat unknowingly through processed food, packaged food, bakery products, chips, cheese or any other food which is not cooked in our kitchen, So strictly avoid all these foods.
What to eat –
Include high potassium foods such as banana, roots and tubers like sweet potatoes, potatoes, water chest nuts, yam, colocasia leaves, Beans specifically field beans, broad beans and cow pea, Pulses like green gram (Moong dal), Black gram (udad dal), Fresh coconut, Green leafy vegetables specially spinach, Ash gourd, all fresh legumes, dry dates, Raisins, Fruits like wood apple, Figs,
There is proven research on Garlic, Onion lowers the high blood pressure.
Also instead of drinking any bottle drinks which is made by artificial sweeteners or sodas, drink coconut water, sugarcane juice, pineapple juice, beetroot juice which helps to lower high bp.
Other important point is when there is high sodium level then body holds more water so foods which act as diuretics should be included like water melon, musk melon, pineapple, lemon water, Cucumber, tomatoes, sugarcane juice, beans etc.
Foods like beetroot, watermelon helps to dilate peripheral blood vessels.
Include raw vegetables as a salad.
What to Avoid –
- Extra salt, Salty nuts, canned and tinned foods,
Ready to use food like noodles, pasta etc,
- Packaged foods, Foods that preserved by adding preservatives like jam, jelly, sauce, maggie,etc, chips, popcorn, butter,
- Bakery products like bread, toast, biscuits etc,
- Foods made by using baking soda. Fast Foods, outsides fried foods like vada pav, samosa etc.
- Processed meat, If possible avoid completely non veg foods or eat in limited quantity, i.e. once or twice a month only.
- Also do not add salt while cooking green leafy vegetables, cauliflower, sweet potato, spring onion, raddish, drumsticks as these vegetables are high in sodium.
- Occasionally can eat kuradai, papad, pickle which is made by using saindhav namak /rock salt,
- Strictly avoid alcohol, Soft drinks, bournvita, complan, horlicks like powders.
- Avoid coffee also as it increases bp.
- Best option is to eat only homemade meals and snacks instead of packaged & processed food.
- Use rock salt/ himalayan salt/ saindhav namak instead of white salt.
Exercise and physical activity –
- Exercise in the form of running, brisk walking, jogging, cycling and swimming 5-6 days a week with weight training.
- Regular 7-8 hours sleep and Meditation will surely help to reduce high bp.
Dr. Swati Khartode
Consultant Dietitian and Clinical Researcher