Food and Nutrition
Foods to be taken
The key to dealing with hypertension is to focus on eating foods that are rich in fibre and potassium, and low in saturated fats. A healthy serving of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low fat dairy products is essential
Meals should include at least two to three servings of whole grains and grain products per day like brown rice, multi grain bread, and wheat pasta and should also include plenty of fresh vegetables and three to four servings of fruit daily.
While dairy products such as milk, cheese, and yogurt can be taken, but they should be of low fat. Poultry (egg whites and white meat from chicken), and seafood may also be included. Also, include various nuts, seeds, lentils, and legumes for hypertension patients.
- Whole grain foods (like oatmeal)
- Ground flaxseeds
- Pumpkin Seeds
- Cashew nuts
- Oily fish (such as salmon and sardines)
Foods to be avoided
- Consumption of alcohol and caffeinated beverages should be limited.
- Avoid the use of tobacco products
- Restrict the intake of Salt- it should not be taken more than four grams or half a teaspoon per day.
- Pickles and papad
- Canned fruits and vegetables
- Processed foods or Packed foods like chips, sauces, frozen entrees, canned soups, and even cooking broths that contain high amounts of sodium.
- Bakery products- Packed with salted saturated fats, sodium rich leavening agents (baking powder, soda). This can lead to increase in blood pressure
- Sugar- Sugar and other sweets from sugar like mithais, candies, pastries, cakes, etc. should be avoided as they all in excess lead to obesity
- Fats – The consumption of saturated and trans fats in the diet should be avoided. All fried food stuffs, butter, margarine, coconut oil, etc. should be consumed in minimal amounts.
- Caffeine- Limit the intake of coffee to 2 cups a day only.
Yoga and ExerciseModerate exercise 30 minutes per day, on most days of the week, is recommended.
Any physical activity that increases your heart and breathing rates is considered aerobic exercise, including:
- Household chores, such as mowing the lawn, raking leaves or scrubbing the floor
- Active sports, such as basketball or tennis
- Climbing stairs
Hypertension occurs when there is an increased amount of pressure in the arteries. Yoga poses for high blood pressure are beneficial as yoga can help to alleviate stress in the individual
Some recommended yoga poses for high blood pressure are:-
- Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation) watch video
- Bidalasana (Cat Pose) watch video
- Sukhasana (Easy Pose) watch video
- Baddhakonasana (Reclining Bound Angle Pose) watch video
Music and MeditationRegular practice of the Transcendental Meditation technique supports reduction in blood pressure. Simple pleasures like listening to music or relaxing in a hot tub are equally beneficial and increase both your mental and physical well-being.
- Quit smoking
- Achieve and maintain your ideal body weight
- Limit alcohol intake
- Exercise regularly
- Limit intake of sodium (salt)
- Include foods rich in potassium in your diet
- Control stress and anger.
- Follow-up with your health care team
- By making lifestyle changes, taking medications and working with your health care team, you can control your high blood pressure to help prevent future problems.