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Celeb Nutritionist Nmami Agarwal Suggests The Easiest Diet Plan To Manage Hypertension

Hypertension is a state of abnormally high blood pressure caused mainly due to environmental factors like sedentary lifestyle, excessive salt consumption, high blood cholesterol, and poor dietary habits. It does not lead to any noticeable symptoms, so you need to constantly monitor your systolic and diastolic levels especially if you are above thirty five. Unmanaged hypertension can lead to heart diseases or stroke. The World Health Organization has implicated that the surge in processed food industry has impacted the amount of salt consumption in diets worldwide, playing a crucial role in causing hypertension.

We bring you the right guide to maintain hypertension through right dietary intervention in the form of DASH which stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension.


DASH diet is an eating plan that is based on research studies by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI). Many studies have found out that DASH effectively lowers blood pressure and reduces blood cholesterol levels.

Daily guidelines to follow with DASH diet

1. Limit sodium intake to 1500mg per day

Sodium is not all bad. It is an important electrolyte that is involved in many vital body functions. Although, it is present in many food sources but the majority of dietary sodium comes from the cooking salt. Your daily consumption of salt should be around half teaspoon per day if you already suffer from hypertension. The best way to avoid excessive salt consumption is by preparing food at your home and avoiding processed or junk foods. If you buy grocery items like snacks or ready-to-eat meals then always check for the food label listed for sodium. If the label says 20% or more DV of sodium, keep it back at the grocery shelf. Also, try to flavour your food with various herbs and spices, not just salt. Avoid adding table salt to your meal preparations. Occasionally, consume one meal that is salt free or has negligible salt amounts.

2. Eat foods rich in potassium

Potassium is also an important electrolyte within the body, and it can effectively counter high sodium levels, thereby managing high blood pressure effectively. The recommended daily intake of potassium is around 1600 mg per day. To reap maximum benefits of potassium in your diet, you eat include at least five servings of fruits and vegetables on a daily basis. Bananas are an excellent source of dietary potassium, and are easily available all year round. You can add bananas to your smoothies, or add them to your breakfast cereals or have them as a whole. Other foods which are rich in Potassium include- broccoli, oranges, celery, avocados, mushrooms, and sweet potato.

3. Eat foods rich in magnesium

Magnesium is an important mineral and it can effectively lower down the levels of systolic blood pressure if consumed through various food sources on a regular basis. The recommended daily allowance of magnesium is 350-400 mg per day. The foods that boasts high levels of magnesium are- wheat germ, buckwheat, garbanzo beans, spinach, almonds, black beans, and broccoli.

4. Limit caffeine intake

Caffeine can lead to a short but sudden spike in your blood pressure levels. This is mainly because caffeine blocks a hormone that is required to keep the arteries in a dilated condition. You should limit your caffeine intake to less than 200 mg per day and completely avoid caffeine consumption right before physical activities such as walking or performing any other exercises.

Hypertension is also known as the silent killer because it doesn’t not present with any apparent symptoms. However, it is totally preventable and cent percent reversible if you follow these health tips with a little DASH.

(Nmami Agarwal is a celebrity nutritionist)

Courtesy NDTV