If you suffer from Hypertension, this is for you.
High blood pressure has doubled in the last 40 years, a grave concern for us. The risk of high blood pressure can cause a lot of damage to your heart and kidneys and cause a stroke. High blood pressure is very close to my heart, as my mother suffered it for years — due to her undetected pancreatic cancer. Diet does play a significant role in high blood pressure. Therefore, scientists have developed a diet strategy to help reduce your blood pressure levels. The diet we’re going to discuss here is called DASH — Dietary Approach to Stop Hypertension. DASH isn’t too complex and focuses on fruits, vegetables, wholegrain and lean meats. Researchers noticed that high blood pressure was far less common in people who followed a plant-based diet, such as vegans and vegetarians. Therefore, it makes perfect sense why researchers would recommend consuming more vegetables and fruits whilst eating leaner protein sources like fish and chicken. DASH is very low in red meats, salt, refined sugars and fats. Sodium levels reduced significantly, although adequate to ensure good health. When you reduce your blood pressure, the follow on effects of this diet will be weight loss and reduction of cancer. However, it’s not a weight loss plan in itself. Decreasing blood pressure was the intention of creating this diet. The type of foods you will be eating daily lead to weight loss anyway.
It may be in your best interest to begin an exercise plan, running it in conjunction with this nutrition as a starting point. This will also help accelerate your results. If weight loss is one of your primary goals, exercising 3–4 times a week is good. Start small, perhaps walking every day. Then, when your strength and health develop towards higher levels, try cycling, running, or why not weight train? Weight training provides many benefits, from strengthening your bones, building muscle, helping reduce your blood pressure and inflammation and boosting your metabolism. If you are pretty new to weight training, I suggest seeking the help of a personal trainer at your local gym to start you off and help with exercise form. Even if you may not have blood pressure, the DASH diet has been shown to lower blood pressure in healthy people too. A more significant reduction in Blood pressure resulted in those who reduced their sodium intake. That’s something to keep in mind if it’s a problem for you, as it can push you towards achieving results early on. One thing to keep in mind is that a reduction in blood pressure won’t necessarily decrease your risk of heart disease.
Here are some other significant benefits you will experience through the DASH diet plan
- Decreased risk of heart disease: Women experienced a 20% lower risk of heart disease
- Decrease risk of diabetes: Some studies show it improves insulin resistance
- Decrease cancer risk: Specifically colorectal and breast cancer
- Decreases metabolic syndrome: A reduction of up to 81% is fantastic!
Key take away
The DASH diet is another way to name simple, essential nutritional habits. Increasing your plant-based food consumption will lead to better health, eliminate disease and provide you with a lifestyle lacking endless visits to doctors and popping unnecessary medication. Better health is in your own hands, resulting from the quality of foods you choose to eat daily. That’s not to say you need to be a vegetarian or vegan — but adopting some of these habits will pay dividends in the future.
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