Understanding Water and Mineral Functions
High blood pressure is also known as hypertension. If a person consistently has blood pressure readings 140 over 90 and higher during several weeks, he/she has hypertension. Apart from this, high blood pressure is recorded if one of the numbers is above normal for a number of weeks. Having high blood pressure puts extra tension on a person’s heart and blood vessels. Therefore, a special diet and a healthy lifestyle should be applied to cope with hypertension.
One of the means of reducing risks of having high blood pressure is a healthy diet. A lot of healthy diet plans are available nowadays. In general, effective diets against hypertension should limit the intake of salt and increase fruit and vegetables intake in the menu. According to the American Heart Association (2014), one of the most popular and proven diets is the DASH plan. DASH is Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension. This diet plan includes much fruits and vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy products, and food which contains low-fat proteins, namely, fish, fat free poultry, and leguminous plants. More than that, DASH reduces sugars and red meat intake, and is characterized by a number of other nutritional advantages. Salt (sodium) intake should be limited up to 1,500 mg per day, and it can lead, in turn, to great reduction in blood pressure. Food labels can give a hint concerning the amount of sodium a person eats.
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service (1998), the DASH plan observes heart healthy guidelines aimed at limiting cholesterol and saturated fat. On the contrary, intake of foods rich in nutrients that serve to decrease blood pressure should be enhanced. Minerals, such as calcium, magnesium, potassium, ferrum and zinc, and proteins and fiber are known to lower blood pressure. Besides, it is pointed out that the DASH eating plan combined with lifestyle changes can help people prevent and control blood pressure. If a person’s blood pressure is not too high, he/she can control it just by changing the eating habits, doing physical exercises regularly and reducing alcohol consumption.One more important element contained in DASH is its calorie-saving tips.
Thus, it is recommended to use low-fat condiments, to reduce the consumption of mayonnaise, vegetable oil, soft or liquid margarine, and salad dressing, to prepare smaller portions of food, to pay attention to the food labels in order to compare the content of fat in packaged foods. Furthermore, according to DASH, it is required to reduce foods with added sugar, for instance, ice cream or soft drinks, to mix fruit with low-fat yogurt, and to eat fruits that are canned in their own juice (U.S. Department of Health and Human Service, 1998).Numerous studies have been conducted to examine the influence of DASH and to make it more effective for people suffering from hypertension. As Dean Ornish, MD, puts it (DeNoon, 2008), DASH is “a good place to begin.” It can be enough to bring blood pressure down. However, people who want to …