Healing Diet for Hypertension

Healing Diet for Hypertension

Written by Hello_docja for

Hypertension is the medical term for high blood pressure. High blood pressure occurs when the blood pressure within the arteries is constantly elevated. This condition is a health risk as it results in the heart being strained working harder to pump blood around the body. Over time the heart is damaged and there is an increased risk of heart disease and stroke. High blood pressure also can result in other conditions, such as congestive heart failure, kidney disease, and blindness. Behaviors that increase your chances of developing these diseases can be controlled. Some of these risk factors are:

  • Poor diet
  • High cholesterol
  • Overweight
  • Physical inactivity

Unfortunately, there are some risk factors which cannot be controlled or altered. They are ageing, genetic and hereditary traits within families.

Healing diet to lower elevated blood pressure

A healing diet not only corrects poor eating habits but also addresses other habits or behaviors which directly or indirectly contribute to elevated blood pressure. These are:

  1. Poor diets
    1. Nutrient poor diets
    2. Deleterious eating habits
      1. Frequent snacking
      2. Junk food diet
    3. Psycho-social conditions
      1. Stress
      2. Anxiety
      3. Depression
    4. Inactivity
    5. Medications which interfere with normal metabolic rate e.g. some psychotropic drugs
    6. Endocrine functions

A healthy eating plan can both reduce the risk of developing high blood pressure and lower a blood pressure that is already too high.

The  DASH diet is still highly regarded as a useful guide to prevent and control hypertension. DASH is the acronym for “Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension.” The rationale behind this diet is foods that are low in saturated fat, total fat, and cholesterol contribute to the lowering of blood pressure. This diet, and high in fruits, vegetables, and low fat dairy foods.

The DASH eating plan includes:

  • whole grains, nuts & seeds
  • low amounts of sodium (including salt)
  • low amounts of sugary food & drinks
  • high in potassium, calcium, and magnesium
  • high animal protein with low fat e.g. fish and poultry with the fat trimmed off
  • high fiber (fruits and vegetables)

Tips for a wholistic healing plan to maintain a normal blood pressure

  • Start off with a food diary to note daily (for 1 week) what you eat, how much, when, and why. If you frequently snack note this as well as well the types of snacks. Do this for several days. You’ll be able to see where you can start making changes.
  • Maintain a healthy weight
    • Check with your health care provider for a weight loss plan
    • Lose weight slowly using a healthy eating plan (see plan below). Healthy eating and physical activity will help you to achieve your goal
  • Start a physically active routine
    • Engage in physical activity for a total of 30 minutes daily or at least 3 times weekly. Some suggestions are walking, cycling, swimming and aerobics. More active and flexible persons may wish to play tennis or other ball games.
    • Note that in addition to sporting activity, everyday activity such as walking, using the staircase gardening and household chores will help you to reach your physical activity goals.
  • Follow a healthy eating plan
    • Set up a healthy eating plan with foods low in saturated fat, total fat, and cholesterol, and high in fruits, vegetables, and low fat dairy foods such as the DASH eating plan.
    • Remember to lose weight the total calories for the day must be decreased by at least 500 calories
  • Reduce sodium in your diet
    • Choose foods that are low in salt and other forms of sodium.
    • Dietitians suggest the use of herbs to make meals more flavorful without adding more sodium.
  • If you drink alcohol it is recommended one drink a day for women and two drinks a day for men.
  • Adhere to the prescription drugs to control your blood pressure. The lifestyle changes will lower your blood pressure and your healthcare provider will adjust the medications

the prescription drugs to control your blood pressure. The lifestyle changes will lower your blood pressure and your h

Consider engaging a wholistic therapist or health coach to help you with emotional challenges and stressful lifestyles which could be contributing to poor eating habits and by extension hypertension.