The force exerted by blood on the walls of the arteries is known as blood pressure. When the heart beats and pumps blood into the arteries, the pressure is higher and is called systolic pressure, while when the heart is at rest the pressure decreases, which is known as diastolic pressure. Measurement of both blood pressures with results altered above normal indicates the presence of hypertension, a disease of the cardiovascular system that occurs when the blood circulates at a pressure much higher than normal.
Hypertension is a condition that must be carefully cared for, since it represents a high risk to health if it is not controlled, as it is considered one of the main risk factors for heart attacks and strokes . Diet plays an important role in the treatment of hypertension, and is that the consumption of some foods can increase blood pressure, while the intake of some foods can help control the pressure with which the blood hits the arteries. For this reason, at FastlyHealwe prepared this article where you will find what the diet for high blood pressure should be .
Sodium and hypertension
Salt, and all food that contains it, is transformed into sodium chloride, an electrolyte that has the ability to directly interfere with blood pressure, increasing it. Why? Well, when we consume a food rich in salt, it dissolves in the substances of the food and in the fluids of the stomach and the body will absorb all the nutrients and vitamins when they have reached the intestine.
This process will be faster or slower depending on the quality (healthy or unhealthy) of the food that we have digested and the time it takes the stomach to transport the food. And it is there, during digestion, when sodium is in charge of balancing fluids, which generates an increase in blood pressure as a natural consequence, but which, if you are hypertensive, is a very negative fact for your cardiovascular condition.
In addition, excessive consumption of salt interferes with the brain’s natural safety function that prevents blood pressure from rising, this occurs because salt has the ability to decontrol a circuit in the hypothalamus that causes excessive production of antidiuretic hormone (vasopressin ) which immediately increases tension. For these reasons, the diet for high blood pressure should be focused on minimizing excessive consumption of sodium and foods that contain it.
Importance of potassium in the diet for hypertension
When sodium enters the body and blood pressure rises, the cardiovascular system instructs the kidneys to purge this substance from the body through urine in order to stabilize blood pressure. However, due to an excess of antidiuretic hormone, when the person is hypertensive, they may find themselves with fluid retention, which will hinder the release of fluids and sodium from the body. And that is when potassium is very useful, since it is another electrolyte that helps the body eliminate excess sodium that may be accumulated in body fluids. Additionally, potassium also stimulates kidney function and clearance through urine excretion.
For this reason, the diet of a hypertensive person is also focused on increasing the consumption of foods rich in potassium to make it easier for the body to eliminate excess sodium that affects blood pressure so much. And is that if salt intake is not reduced, blood pressure can be constantly high due to the inability of the kidneys to eliminate excess sodium.
In this article you will find which are the foods rich in potassium .
High-sodium foods to avoid
- Salted fish such as cod, dogfish or ray.
- Very salty cheeses such as Manchego, blue cheese, hard cheese, Parmesan cheese.
- Any type of sausage: Iberian ham, salami, salami, mortadella, bologna.
- Smoked sausages and fish.
- Canned fish.
- Anchovies and salmon.
- It is important to check the labels of the processed products we buy, which must contain zero sodium. This value should be found in the nutritional tables of each food.
Foods rich in calcium and potassium
Foods rich in calcium:
- Skimmed dairy.
- Natural sardines.
- Vegetables or green leafy vegetables: lettuce, broccoli, thorns, chard, arugula, etc.
- Legumes such as lentils, chickpeas, peas, beans etc.
- In this article you will find a more in-depth analysis of foods rich in calcium .
Potassium rich foods:
- Banana and potatoes.
- Beets and cauliflower.
- White grain.
- Sunflower seeds, almonds and pistachios.
- Citrus fruits such as orange and lemon.
- Tomato and kiwi.
Diet for high blood pressure
- Coffee with skim milk or a cup of tea. Sandwich and a serving of fruit.
- Cereal with skim milk and a serving of fruit.
- Coffee with skim milk. Sandwich with jam and a portion of fruit.
- Skimmed yogurt with fruits. A package of whole grain cookies.
- Coffee with skim milk. Fruit salad. 1 whole wheat toast.
- Spinach, mushrooms and chard prepared steamed. A chicken breast and a serving of fruit.
- Pasta with shrimp or seafood in tomato sauce. A portion of fruit.
- A cup of lentils without chorizo. A filet of grouper with garlic, green salad and a portion of fruit.
- A cup of pasta with vegetables and a grilled turkey breast. A serving of fruit.
- A cup of rice with vegetables and a beef filet. A serving of fruit.
- Potatoes with steamed chard, roasted natural sardines and a portion of bread. Fruit to taste.
- A filet of grouper with a cup of rice with peas and carrots. A serving of fruit.
- Grilled chicken with roasted potatoes with spinach. An infusion.
- Egg scramble with vegetables and a portion of bread.
- Spanish omelette with asparagus, mushrooms and onion.
- Rice with vegetables and chicken or fish skewers.
- Baked turkey with potato omelette.
- Grilled aubergines with cottage cheese and grilled natural sardines.
- Tomato, onion, avocado, broccoli and mushroom salad with grouper filet.
- Nonfat yogurt.
- Coffee with skim milk.
- A toast with fresh cheese.
- Yogurt meringue with banana.
- One fruit juice and three whole grain cookies.
Diet tips for high blood pressure
The medications prescribed by your doctor and your diet are key to keeping hypertension under control and preventing any cardiovascular complications that may be unfortunate for your health. Take these tips into account and follow your doctor’s instructions to the letter:
- Improve your cardiovascular health by doing cardiovascular exercise (walking, jogging, running or swimming) for 45 minutes five times a week.
- Cook all your food on the grill, steamed and baked.
- Cut down on alcoholic beverages considerably as they can increase blood pressure.
- Season your meals naturally with onion, red peppers, leek, garlic, celery and oregano, pepper and basil.
- Do not use meat marinades or seasonings as they are very high in sodium.
- Avoid using Worcestershire sauce.
- Increase the consumption of vegetables and fruits rich in potassium such as bananas.
- Drink more than two liters of water a day to keep your kidneys healthy.
This article is merely informative, at FastlyHeal .com we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any type of condition or discomfort.
If you want to read more articles similar to Diet for high blood pressure , we recommend that you enter our Food category .
I am a Surgeon with a diploma in comprehensive ultrasound and surgical care residency, an area I am specializing in. During the exercise of my profession, I have realized the need for patients to know the diseases they suffer, and I can tell you that a large part of their complications is due to a lack of information. Being a health web writer allows me to transmit my experience, without borders, to all those readers eager for knowledge, educate them in the prevention of diseases and promote a healthy lifestyle.