Written By Anupama Rajesh
May17th of every year is designated as World Hypertension Day and in India, nearly 3 out of every 10 adults suffer from high blood pressure (BP) or hypertension. Since an appropriate diet forms a large part of hypertension management, here are a few suggestions on food habits and specific types of food that can help you manage your hypertension better.
- Include plenty of fresh fruit, vegetables and low-fat dairy products in your diet. Consume fish regularly too.
- The right fruits and vegetables: Some fruits such as amla, sapota (chikoo), orange, papaya & banana and vegetables like cabbage, bitter gourd (karela), ladies finger (bhindi), drumstick & spinach contain a high amount of potassium which helps improve BP
- Excess table salt or sodium chloride is harmful: Do not have more than 1 flattened teaspoon of salt in a day. Interestingly, amla, cabbage, ladies finger and bitter gourd which contain high potassium also have low sodium, making them great food choices!
- Eat protein-rich food: this can be from dairy products (milk, curd, etc.), eggs, meat or plant products
- Try these less harmful options
- a. Replace your sandwich bread with thick crisp chapati. You can use thick crisp chapati/bhakri as a pizza crust too!
- b. Use low salt paneer as an alternative to cheese
- Completely avoid: Monosodium glutamate (commonly known as Ajinomoto), fried foods, alcohol and baked goods (biscuits, bread, pastries, cakes), pickles, ready to eat foods and highly salted foods (potato chips, cheese, peanut butter, salted butter and papads)
Follow these simple tips to keep your BP in control!
- Management of Hypertension. Indian Guidelines on Hypertension-IV. J Assoc Physicians India. 2019 Oct;67(Suppl):22-29.
- Shi Z, Yuan B, Taylor AW, Dai Y, Pan X, Gill TK, Wittert GA. Monosodium glutamate is related to a higher increase in blood pressure over 5 years: findings from the Jiangsu Nutrition Study of Chinese adults. J Hypertens. 2011 May;29(5):846-53.