Sprint to Health

How does the DASH diet lower blood pres­sure?

Eating Naturally - - Contents -

Don’t let high blood pres­sure wor­ries hin­der your life. Learn about the DASH diet, and how it can im­prove your blood pres­sure, and your nu­tri­tional in­take!

For peo­ple who suf­fer from high blood pres­sure, or hy­per­ten­sion, life can be­come clut­tered with med­i­cal appointments, pre­scrip­tion med­i­ca­tions, and other ther­a­pies. Even with all of this, their blood pres­sure may still be too high.

Rather than adding an­other med­i­ca­tion to your reper­toire or re­sign­ing your­self to a life of under-ef­fec­tive treat­ment, con­sider a sim­ple long-term op­tion that will lower your blood pres­sure by as much as 12 points in two weeks and keep it within the healthy range. What is this seem­ingly mag­i­cal ther­apy? The DASH diet.

Baked Sword­fish with Trop­i­cal Fruit Salsa

SERVES 6 | SERV­ING SIZE: 1 FIL­LET WITH ¼ CUP SALSA 6 bone­less sword­fish steaks, 6 ounces

each Olive oil, as needed Salt and pep­per 1 cup fresh pineap­ple, diced 1 cup mango, chopped 1 small ripe tomato, cored and diced ¼ cup English cu­cum­ber, diced 2 ta­ble­spoons red onion, minced 2 ta­ble­spoons red bell pep­per, minced 2 ta­ble­spoons cilantro, chopped 1 ta­ble­spoon lime juice Lemon wedges, for serv­ing

Pre­heat the oven to 400 de­grees. Brush the sword­fish steaks with olive oil and sea­son with a pinch each of salt and pep­per. Com­bine the pineap­ple, mango, tomato, cu­cum­ber, onion, red pep­per, cilantro, and lime juice in a medium mix­ing bowl. Toss the salsa in­gre­di­ents to com­bine, and chill un­til ready to use. Place the steaks on a rimmed bak­ing sheet and bake for 9 to 11 min­utes, un­til just cooked through. Serve the sword­fish hot, topped with the salsa and a lemon wedge.

The DASH Diet is an acro­nym for “Di­etary Ap­proaches to Stop Hy­per­ten­sion,” and it is more than just a fad diet de­signed to help you lose weight or detox­ify your body— it is a long-term life­style change de­signed to boost your health, lower your blood pres­sure, and im­prove your qual­ity of life. Cre­ated by the Na­tional Heart, Lung, and Blood In­sti­tute (NHLBI), the DASH diet has been proven to lower blood pres­sure, re­duce low-den­sity lipopro­tein (“bad” choles­terol) lev­els, and re­duce the risk for chronic disease com­pletely in­de­pen­dent of any pre­scrip­tion med­i­ca­tion. Sim­ply put, the DASH diet is the per­fect so­lu­tion for in­di­vid­u­als who want to get their blood pres­sure under con­trol with­out us­ing drugs.

By fol­low­ing the DASH diet for as lit­tle as two weeks, you can sig­nif­i­cantly lower your blood pres­sure— many peo­ple who have switched to the diet ex­pe­ri­enced a re­duc­tion in blood pres­sure by as much as 7 to 12 points in just two weeks. The DASH diet is not com­pli­cated or re­stric­tive, and doesn’t re­quire you to count calo­ries or be­come ob­ses­sive about ex­er­cis­ing. The driv­ing prin­ci­ple be­hind the suc­cess of the DASH diet is in­cred­i­bly sim­ple—qual­ity nutri­tion. By re­mov­ing pro­cessed carbs and re­fined sug­ars from your diet, you can boost your daily nutri­tion. Choos­ing whole grains, fresh pro­duce, lean pro­teins, and low-fat dairy as well as nuts, seeds, and healthy oils can im­prove your health and over­all bod­ily func­tion to the point where high blood pres­sure is no longer a prob­lem.

There are cer­tain serv­ing rec­om­men­da­tions you should fol­low when on the DASH diet. In ad­di­tion to avoid­ing pro­cessed and re­fined in­gre­di­ents, you should also keep an eye on your sodium in­take. The NHLBI rec­om­mends a daily sodium in­take of around 2,300 mg, or about 1 tea­spoon of ta­ble salt. For in­di­vid­u­als with hy­per­ten­sion and those at risk for hy­per­ten­sion, the daily in­take should be lower, around 1,500 mg. Cut­ting pro­cessed foods from your diet alone will help re­duce your sodium in­take, but you should still be care­ful when sea­son­ing your food. One of the top sources of sodium in the mod­ern diet is com­mer­cially pro­duced bread. One slice may have 100 to 200 mg. Ar­ti­san breads with­out nutri­tion la­bels can be some of the worst of­fend­ers. Con­trol­ling your sodium in­take will help lower blood pres­sure and im­prove heart health, low­er­ing your risk for heart disease and other chronic con­di­tions.

Whether you are look­ing for a nat­u­ral way to lower your blood pres­sure or you sim­ply want to im­prove your eat­ing habits and daily nutri­tion, the DASH diet is a great tool to use. While you may be able to lower your blood pres­sure in just two weeks by fol­low­ing the diet, the DASH Diet is in­tended to be a long-term so­lu­tion for im­proved nutri­tion and blood pres­sure con­trol. If you want to get started on the right foot with this diet, con­sider en­gag­ing in a 14-day DASH diet detox to rid your body of ex­cess tox­ins and to jump-start your dash to good health.

Kate Bar­ring­ton is the author of DASH Diet Detox: 14-Day Quick­S­tart Plan to Lower Blood Pres­sure and Lose Weight the Healthy Way. She grad­u­ated from Ma­ri­etta Col­lege in 2009 with a bach­e­lor’s de­gree in English and a fo­cus on cre­ative writ­ing.

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