High blood pressure is a common condition that affects more than a quarter of all adults in the UK. But, you could lower your risk of developing hypertension by following the DASH diet, it’s been claimed.
High blood pressure – which is also known as hypertension – puts extra stress on blood vessels and vital organs.
The condition could lead to some deadly complications, including strokes and heart attacks.
It could be caused by eating an unhealthy diet, or by not doing enough exercise.
But, following the DASH diet could help to protect against deadly hypertension.
DASH stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension.
It’s a lifestyle plan that simply includes eating healthily for the rest of your life, with a focus on foods that have been claimed to lower your blood pressure.
It also includes cutting back on the amount of sodium in your diet, while eating foods rich in magnesium, potassium, and calcium.
Following the DASH diet long-term could lower your systolic blood pressure by as much as 14 mmHg, scientists have claimed.
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“Eat the DASH way – research has demonstrated that the DASH diet is effective for high blood pressure,” said registered nutritionist Harriet Smith.
She told Express Health: “This way of eating includes foods rich in potassium, calcium and magnesium; which can help to lower blood pressure.
“Try to include fruits and vegetables, wholegrains, dairy, nuts, seeds, pulses, lean meat and fish and healthy fats such as olive or rapeseed oil in your diet.”
The DASH diet has also been claimed to protect against osteoporosis, diabetes, and even some cancers.
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The diet plan includes eating between six and eight portions of grains every day, four to five servings of vegetables, and four to five servings of fruit.
Patients should eat five portions of nuts, as well as fewer than five servings of sweets.
You can cut back on the sodium in your diet by looking out for ‘low-salt’ foods.
Everyone should aim to eat no more than six teaspoonfuls of salt in a single day.
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High blood pressure is often known as ‘the silent killer’, because symptoms only tend to reveal themselves if you have extremely high blood pressure.
The most common high blood pressure symptoms include a pounding in your chest, finding blood in your urine, and severe headaches.
It’s crucial that all adults over 40 years old check their blood pressure at least once every five years.
You can check your blood pressure by visiting your local doctors’ surgery or pharmacy.
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