Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) is a balanced eating plan that has been shown to lower blood pressure. Making some changes to your diet and lifestyle in accordance with DASH may lower your blood pressure as much as some medications. Even if you do need medication, these changes allow better control and you may only need a lower dose of the drug.
Follow the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) eating plan. This eating plan is rich in plant foods, wholegrains, fibre, fish and lean poultry, whilst including only small amount of red meat.
- Include 2 serves of fruit and 5 serves vegetables each day. 1 serve of fruit is equal to 1 medium fruit (e.g. apple), 2 small fruit (e.g. two small apricots) or 1 cup of fruit salad or berries. 1 serve of vegetables is 1 cup of salad or ½ cup of vegetables.
- Use wholegrain bread, grains and cereals. Avoid refined, low fibre choices.
- If including red meat, limit your serve to the size of your palm. Instead, try legumes, nuts, fish and skinless chicken more often as your source of protein.
Reducing sodium intake, being more physically active, reducing alcohol intake, and if you are overweight, reducing your current weight by just 10% (and keeping it off) can reduce blood pressure.