Controlling high blood pressure (hypertension) is generally accomplished through prescriptive medications (such as Micardis) and eating a healthy diet. Foods for high blood pressure are important to maintain a low blood pressure and minimize the affects of the annoying side effects caused by these medications. Usually, a healthy eating plan is recommended by healthcare professionals upon diagnosis.
According to the American Heart Association, foods for high blood pressure primarily consist of low-sodium, low-fat, and low-cholesterol. Hypertensive patients must adhere to the recommended healthy eating plan in order to avoid the risks of further complications. When implementing a special diet plan to reduce blood pressure, there are several facts to be considered:
Reading food labels
Before purchasing food, be sure to read the nutritional facts on the labels. Because sodium is a basic, yet prominent ingredient in many foods, check for the volume of sodium content. Any substance with the word sodium in it, such as disodium phosphate, monosodium glutamate (MSG), sodium benzoate, sodium hydroxide, and/or sodium nitrate, means that the food is likely to have extremely high sodium content.
Limit consumption of processed foods
Processed foods are generally high in sodium also. Foods such as cured and smoked meats, and some pre- packaged frozen and canned foods, most soups, and condiments are not to be eaten by hypertensive patients.
Use herbs and spices to season foods
Instead of seasoning foods with sodium while cooking, experiment with fresh and dried herbs, such as onions, garlic, basil, oregano, parsley, thyme, rosemary, black and red pepper, and onion and garlic powders.
Limit alcohol consumption
Drinking alcohol excessively raises blood pressure in most people. It is recommended that hypertensive patients limit alcohol consumption to no more than one ounce per day.
Foods for high blood pressure include potassium-rich nutrients
Potassium is a mineral that is essential to overall good health. It actually works in unison with sodium to regulate blood pressure. Sources of nutrients that are potassium-rich include fruits, such as cantaloupe, bananas, watermelon, oranges, and orange juice. Other potassium-rich foods include potatoes, spinach, and zucchini.
Read labels on salt substitutes
Be fully aware that not all salt substitutes are sodium- free. These substitutes may still contain sodium, but in lesser amounts than regular table salt. It is recommended that you consult your primary physician if you are currently prescribed hypertensive medications prior to using a salt substitute.