Data suggest that more than 100 million Americans have high blood pressure. Unfortunately, many people do not even know they are involved in these 100 million because high blood pressure is an ailment that usually relates to very few or no symptoms. Also known as hypertension, untreated high blood pressure can lead to heart attack and stroke.
Fortunately, consuming a balanced diet and leading an overall healthy lifestyle can help maintain blood pressure levels. For example, evidence suggests that Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) is a diet plan to lower or regulate high blood pressure. The DASH diet promotes foods lower in sodium and foods high in magnesium, potassium, and calcium. It contains nutrients that help reduce blood pressure.
Like the DASH diet, several other diets help lower and regulate hypertension. This article enlists a 7-day 1,200-calorie meal plan that comprises the DASH diet pattern and the American Heart Association suggestions for a heart-healthy diet. However, lowering your blood pressure requires more than just a healthy diet. Hence, you should consult your doctor about adding a workout program and other healthy lifestyle components.
What Causes High Blood Pressure?
It’s hard to say what induces high blood pressure outright; likely, a few components are at play. For example, genetics and family history, a stagnant lifestyle, and a diet that’s exceptionally high in sodium and processed foods and less in fruits and vegetables can all boost blood pressure. However, you can regulate high blood pressure with a healthy lifestyle and diet. For example, the 7-day meal plan under 1200-1400 calories below is a smart way to control your blood pressure.
Relationship Between Calorie Consumption and Blood Pressure
More calorie consumption and low physical activity engender more obesity. According to a study, any increase in weight, even to the not overweight status. However, it is not distinguished if total calorie consumption irrespective of weight gain impacts blood pressure. But, it is essential to manage healthy body weight to prevent issues like hypertension. It is especially true if you have hypertension and fall under the obese category.
A comparative study shows the relationship between blood pressure and daily calorie consumption. As per the study results, the conventional relation between calorie consumption and blood pressure in obese may be due to insulin friction incited by obesity. However, the total daily calorie consumption has no substantial impact on blood pressure. It also does not significantly impact the advancement of hypertension when you regulate obesity and adjust BMIs. But, you should take a balanced diet and retain a healthy lifestyle to maintain your body weight and blood pressure.
A recent study concludes that lifestyle interventions are helpful for all obese hypertensive patients. In most of them, a modest weight loss is sufficient to normalise BP levels avoiding the aggressive use of multiple antihypertensive drugs.
Essential Nutrients to Control Blood Pressure
A low-calorie meal plan does not only focus on cutting down calories. Instead, to lead a healthy life, your focus should be on having a balanced diet. A balanced diet can effectively combat most health issues. Therefore, eating a balanced diet that comprises vital nutrients is crucial. These nutrients help withstand several health conditions. For example, foods rich in potassium, magnesium, folate, and vitamin C help reduce your blood pressure.
Potassium-rich foods are best for blood pressure. Foods high in potassium reduce kidney pressure by flushing extra sodium out of your system via urine. Studies show an association between low potassium intake, increased blood pressure, and a higher risk of stroke. In addition, excess sodium in your body is one of the major causes of high blood pressure. Potassium also helps maintain fluid and electrolyte balance in the body, which helps control blood pressure.
To get adequate potassium, you should consume bananas, beans, lentils, potatoes, dried fruits, raisins and apricots, spinach, broccoli, and avocado.
Magnesium is vital for many body functions, including regulating blood pressure. According to a study, magnesium intake of 500 mg/day to 1000 mg/day helps reduce blood pressure (BP). In addition, magnesium also increases the amount of nitric oxide in your body. Nitric oxide is a signalling molecule that aids in relaxing blood vessels and helps lower blood pressure levels.
Some magnesium-rich foods are pumpkin seeds, almonds, spinach, cashews, peanuts, fatty fish, lima beans, and kale.
Folic acid, or folate, is a B-complex vitamin. As per a study, folate helps reduce the risk of high blood pressure by relaxing blood vessels and improving blood flow. Some folate-rich foods include oranges, berries, broccoli, leafy green vegetables, papayas, grapes, and cantaloupe.
4. Vitamin C
The role of vitamin C in the body is as a diuretic. A diuretic makes the kidneys flush more sodium and water from the body through urine. In addition, vitamin C has several other benefits as an antioxidant, which helps reduce oxidative stress in your body.
Taking substantial doses of vitamin C may relatively decrease blood pressure. Healthy foods rich in vitamin C are lemon, orange, kiwi, pepper, strawberries, blackcurrant, brussels sprouts, and broccoli.
It is an amino acid supplement that helps blood vessels function better. As a result, it improves blood flow and lowers blood pressure. Foods rich in L-arginine include pumpkin seeds, peanuts, spirulina, dairy, and lentils.
High Blood Pressure: Do I Need a 1200-1400 Calorie Meal Plan?
One size does not fit all, so a customised diet plan will be a smarter option. A diet plan formulated just for you might be best. Whichever diet plan you choose, aim to reduce visible salt, swap refined carbs for complex carbs, add more fruits and vegetables and drink pure water to better enable you to manage your blood pressure
Most food labels base their recommendations on a 1800-2000 calorie meal plan. So, consuming 1,200 calories a day may pertain to a substantial reduction in daily calories or represent a subtle deduction, relying on a person’s usual calorie intake.
Males, active individuals, breastfeeding or pregnant women, or those with specific medical conditions generally need more calories each day than other people. A 1200-1400 calorie diet is usually stable and potentially beneficial for those who require fewer calories to lose weight, ultimately lowering blood pressure.
A 1,200-calorie diet is not a decent option for every individual with high blood pressure. However, 1200 calories will fulfil the energy requirements of some people with high blood pressure. However, if your prescription includes a varied diet, there are many meals plans to select from.
A Reference 7 Day Meal Plan Under 1200 Calories:
Breakfast (266 calories)Salsa and Egg Toast1 slice of toasted whole-wheat bread1 cooked egg in 1/4 tsp olive oil, seasoned with a pinch of salt and pepper2 tbsp salsaTop the whole-wheat toast with salsa and egg.1 medium bananaA.M. Snack (63 calories)3/4 cup blueberriesLunch (343 calories)White Beans and Veggie Salad2 cups of mixed greens3/4 cup veggies of your choice1/3 cup of white beans1/2 cup of diced avocadoStir ingredients and top salad with 2 tsp olive oil 1 tbsp red wine vinegar and freshly ground pepper.P.M. Snack (62 calories)1 medium orangeDinner (449 calories)1 serving of garlic roasted salmon and brussels sprouts1/2 cup cooked lentils with a pinch of salt and pepper
Breakfast (268 calories)Strawberry Oatmeal1/2 cup rolled oats, simmered in 1 cup skim milk1/2 cup sliced strawberriesCook oats and decorate with strawberries and a pinch of cinnamon.A.M. Snack (109 calories)2 cups cubed cantaloupeLunch (318 calories)Veggie-Hummus Sandwich2 slices of whole-wheat bread3 tbsp hummus1/4 mashed avocado1/4 sliced medium red bell pepper1/4 cup sliced cucumber1 cup mixed greensSpread each slice of bread with avocado and hummus. Then top one piece with vegetables and squeeze the slices jointly to make a sandwich.P.M. Snack (50 calories)2 medium carrotsDinner(472 calories)1 serving spaghetti squash with almond pesto, roasted tomatoes, and beans1 diagonal slice baguette with whole wheat, topped with 2 tbsp grated parmesan cheese and toasted bread
Breakfast (270 calories)Blueberry and Almond Yogurt Parfait3/4 cup nonfat plain Greek yoghurt1/4 cup blueberries1 1/2 tbsp slivered almondsTop yoghurt with blueberries and almonds.1 2/3 cups cubed cantaloupeA.M. Snack (50 calories)2 medium carrotsLunch (347 calories)Mixed Greens with Lentils and Sliced Apple1 1/2 cups mixed greens1/2 cup cooked lentils1 sliced apple1 1/2 tbsp crumbled feta cheeseUse topping of greens with lentils1/2 apple slices and fetaDress the salad with 2 tsp olive oil and 1 tbsp red wine vinegar and serve the apple slices on the side.P.M. Snack (62 calories)1 medium orangeDinner (448 calories)1 1/3 cups roasted beet salad4 oz chicken breast, cooked in 1 tsp olive oil and season with 1/4 tsp cumin and a pinch each of pepper and salt
Breakfast (270 calories)White Bean and Avocado Toast1 slice of toasted whole-wheat bread1/2 mashed avocado1/4 cup mashed canned white beansTop toast with mashed avocado and white beans. Spice up with a pinch of salt, pepper and crushed red pepper.A.M. Snack (50 calories)2 medium carrotsLunch (341 calories)Green Salad with Chicken2 cups mixed greens3 oz leftover cooked chicken breast2/3 cup roasted beet saladIncorporate ingredients and top with 2 tsp each lemon juice and olive oil.P.M. Snack (62 calories)1 medium orangeDinner (472 calories)Black Bean and Corn Tacos2 warmed corn tortillas1/4 cup mashed canned black beans1/2 cup corn½ diced avocado1/4 cup salsaSpread tortillas with beans and top it with corn, avocado, and salsa.2 cups mixed greens, finished with 2 tsp olive oil, 1 tbsp lime juice, and a pinch each of pepper and salt.
Breakfast (288 calories)Blueberry and Almond Yogurt Parfait3/4 cup nonfat plain Greek yoghurt1/4 cup blueberries1 1/2 tbsp slivered almondsTop yoghurt with blueberries and almonds.2 cups cubed cantaloupeA.M. Snack (13 calories)1/2 sliced bell pepperLunch (336 calories)Toaster-Oven Tostadas2 corn tortillas1/2 cup canned black beans1/2 cup corn1/2 sliced bell pepper2 tbsp shredded Cheddar cheeseYou can top your tortillas with beans, bell pepper, corn, and cheese.P.M. Snack (42 calories)1/2 cup blueberriesDinner(428 calories)2 1/2 cups avocado and shrimp diced saladOne diagonal slice baguette 1/4 inch thick, toasted whole-wheatEvening Snack (84 calories)2 kiwis
Breakfast (266 calories)Banana Oatmeal: 1 ServingTake ⅓ cup of rolled oats, simmered in ⅔ cup milkTake one sliced medium bananaSimmer oats and top with banana and a pinch of cinnamon.A.M. Snacks (136 calories)Blueberries: 1 cupUnsalted Dry-Roasted Almonds: 1 tbspLunch (308 calories)Tuna and White Bean SaladTake ½ cup canned white beansChunk 2½ oz light tuna in waterAdd 8 halved cherry tomatoes, ½ sliced cucumberAdd 1 tbsp red wine vinegar and 2 tsp olive oilTake 2 cups mixed greensNow, incorporate beans, Tuna, cucumber, and tomatoes. Stir with vinegar, oil, and a pinch of salt and pepper.M. Snack (62 calories)Orange: 1 mediumDinner (440 calories)Chicken Chilli Sauteed with Sweet Potatoes: 1½ cupsMixed greens, topped with 2 tsp olive oil, 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar and a pinch of pepper and salt: 2 Cups
Breakfast (255 calories)Egg and Tomato Tortilla: 1 ServingCorn Tortilla: 1 cupLarge Egg (Cooked in ¼ tsp olive oil with a pinch of pepper): 1Halved Cherry Tomatoes: 5Top tortillas with egg and tomatoes.Medium Banana: 1A.M. Snack (109 calories)Cubed Cantaloupe: 2 cupsLunch (324 calories)Chili Chicken with Sweet Potatoes: 1½ CupsP.M. Snack (46 calories)Strawberries: 1 cupDinner (446 calories) Stuffed Delicata Squash: 1 cupMixed Greens: 2 cupsGrated Carrot: ¼ cupTop greens with carrot and drizzle with 2 tsp olive oil and 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar.
Foods to Avoid with High Blood Pressure
Whether or not you obey a specific diet, certain foods and ingredients may increase your blood pressure or help keep it elevated. Therefore, restricting these foods may help regulate your blood pressure.
Salt or Sodium
Salt, particularly sodium in salt, is a primary contributor to high blood pressure. That is because of how it influences fluid equilibrium in the blood. Table salt is around 40% sodium. Some salt is vital for health, but it’s easy to overeat.
As a general rule, scan the nutrition label and try to limit foods that have more than 20% Daily Value of sodium per serving. As per the research, 5% Daily Value or less of sodium per serving is considered low, and 20% Daily Value or more of sodium per serving is high.
Processed deli and lunch meats are often rich in sodium. For example, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) database, two slices of bologna have 910 mg of sodium. Adding other high salt foods, such as bread, condiments, and cheese, means that a sandwich can quickly become extremely high in sodium.
Conserving any food requires salt. It halts the food from deteriorating and keeps it secure for longer. However, it can lead to a high sodium intake. For example, one small pickled lemon contains 448 mg of sodium. Therefore, it is recommended not to consume pickles if you have high blood pressure.
Canned soups are modest and easy to prepare, particularly when crunched for time or not feeling good. However, they are high in sodium. It implies that they can elevate your blood pressure.
One can of chicken soup has 2,140 mg, while tomato soup has 1,110 mg of sodium. Try selecting low or reduced-sodium soups or make your soup at home from fresh ingredients.
Sugar can heighten your blood pressure in numerous ways. Evidence suggests that sugar and particularly sugar-sweetened drinks contribute to weight increase in adults and children. Added sugar may also have an immediate effect on raising blood pressure, though more study is needed.
By living an active lifestyle, you can keep your blood pressure healthy. Deterring high blood pressure, also called hypertension, can reduce your heart disease and stroke risk. Follow healthy living habits such as:
Eating a Healthy Diet
Choose healthy meals and snack alternatives to help you prevent high blood pressure and its complications. Consume fresh fruits and vegetables to keep yourself healthy. Consult with your doctor care team about eating various foods rich in potassium, protein, fibre, and lower in salt and saturated fat.
Be Physically Active
Physical activity can keep you healthy and reduce your blood pressure. The Physical Activity Guidelines suggest that adults get at least two and half hours of moderate-intensity exercise, such as brisk walking every week.
Do Not Smoke
Smoking increases your blood pressure and leaves you at increased risk for heart attack and stroke. If you stop smoking, it will reduce your risk for heart disease. In addition, your doctor can recommend ways to help you quit.
Limit How Much Alcohol You Drink
Do not drink an extensive amount of alcohol, increasing your blood pressure. Men should have no more than two alcoholic drinks daily, and women should have no more than one alcoholic drink daily.
Get Enough Sleep
Getting sufficient sleep is significant to your overall health. Conversely, not obtaining enough sleep regularly is associated with an increased risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, and stroke.
Essential Things to Keep in Mind if You Have High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure is inferred as the “silent killer” because it generally has no apparent symptoms. Understand how to decrease your risk.
Get your blood pressure tested regularly.Several measurements are needed to confirm a diagnosis.Know the signs of strokes and heart attacks.Make lifestyle modifications to prevent or reduce medicationKnow the medication and lesser-known health conditions that cause high blood pressure.Exercise regularly to maintain blood pressure.Reduce your stress; it can help you face the situation more decently.Get your family support; it can help you counter the problem efficiently.
Along with other lifestyle improvements, acquiring a healthy diet can considerably lower blood pressure levels and help lessen your heart disease risk. Including certain foods like leafy greens, lentils, fatty fish, berries, beans, citrus fruits, seeds, and carrots in your meals may enable you to reach and retain optimal blood pressure levels. If you maintain high blood pressure levels or want to have healthy blood pressure, following the diet plan listed in this article may help.
Adding numerous protein sources to your meal may reduce your risk of high blood pressure. For example, a study reports you should consume four or more protein sources comprising whole grains, unprocessed and processed red meat, poultry, refined grains, fish, egg, or legumes as they have a 66% lower risk for high blood pressure than those who ate just two or fewer proteins. As long as you balance protein with the other things in your meals, like veggies, grains, and fruit, you’re on your path to a heart-healthy lifestyle.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q. Is boiled egg good for lowering blood pressure?
A. Proteins found in egg whites may enable lower blood pressure. Its effectiveness is as well as a popular medicine. Hence, incorporating egg whites with medication could be a potent one-two punch in combating high blood pressure in humans.
Q. Is Tuna good for high blood pressure?
A. Tuna can easily fit into a high blood pressure diet plan. It assists in lowering levels of LDL cholesterol and triglycerides, hampering the rate at which plaque accumulates in your arteries and reducing your blood pressure. In addition, some of the top sources of omega-3s are fatty fish, especially salmon, and other species like tuna, herring, and trout.
Q. How can I lower my blood pressure instantly in an emergency?
A. Most of the lifestyle modifications and therapies will take time, and a few of them will enable you to sustain healthy blood pressure over the long term. For example, rest and lie down for 10 minutes during an emergency. Take deep and slow breaths. Drinking more water can also help.
Q. How can I bring my blood pressure down immediately?
A. You can easily decrease your systolic blood pressure immediately. You start by taking six deep breaths within a 30-second duration. Set a timer for 30 seconds and sit back still in a peaceful place and relax.
Q. Is Avocado Good for Blood pressure?
A. Avocados are loaded with oleic acid. It helps decrease high blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Avocados are also full of potassium and folate, healthy for the heart.
Q. Can Honey cure high blood pressure?
A. No, honey can help reduce blood pressure, but it cannot cure it. It can also enhance fat blood levels, restrain your heartbeat, and prevent the death of healthy cells. All these factors can help improve your heart health and function.
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