About one-third of adults in the world have high blood pressure, also called hypertension or the “silent killer,” says the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The condition rarely shows warning signs and can have fatal health consequences if untreated. An average blood pressure reading is 120/80 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg). The first number is the Systolic measurement and estimates the pressure in the arteries when contractions occur in the heart muscle; or heart beats. The second is known called the diastolic blood pressure and measures the pressure in when the heart is still and filling up with blood.
Does a vegan diet help treat high blood pressure?
Stop plaque build-up in your blood vessels and reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease by consuming a plant-based diet. Swapping out a bowl of spare ribs for a bowl of greens could look completely outrageous, but will keep you looking and feeling healthier. If you’re a vegetarian because you’re against animal cruelty, an environmentalist, or socially aware of food shortage worldwide, a meatless lifestyle is great for your heart no matter your reasons. Based on a study by JAMA Network, a vegetarian diet can lower cholesterol, boost fat loss, and decrease high blood pressure by about 50% more than what drugs can achieve.
Research now shows that a vegan diet is more effective at reducing hypertension than medication!
For a lot of people, the only remedy for high blood pressure continues to be medication. However, making healthy food choices has been proven by research as the simplest and most natural method without any side effects.
Studies and clinical trials have found that vegetarian diets reduce blood pressure more efficiently than medication. These studies included seven medical trials and 32 observational studies. The vegan diet used for the study excluded or restricted meat consumption and generally contained dairy and eggs. According to the findings of the research, removing meat from a subject’s diet led to a blood pressure reduction that was the same as losing about 11 pounds.
In the seven clinical trials held, the subjects who followed a vegetarian diet had a systolic blood pressure on average that was 4.8 mm Hg lower than their non-vegetarian counterparts. Yet, in the observational studies, there were even more noticeable declines in their blood pressures. Participants who were on a vegan diet had a typical decline of 4.7 mm Hg for diastolic blood pressure and 6.9 mm Hg for systolic blood pressure. These findings provide strong scientific confirmation that a vegan diet is effective in reducing high blood pressure.
Although the blood pressure study failed to define the type of vegan diet preferred, researcher Dr. Neal Barnard insists that even a semi-vegetarian diet helps.
How to Treat High Blood Pressure
The First line remedy for high blood pressure is a lifestyle modification, which frequently includes your diet. Here are 10 lifestyle tweaks that can help reduce your blood pressure and ensure that it stays down.
Lose pounds off your waistline
Blood pressure often rises as we store more fat. Being overweight can also trigger obstructed breathing (snoring), which further increases your blood pressure.
Routine physical activity at least a half hour daily can reduce your blood pressure by 4 to 9 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg). It is vital that you do this regularly because if you quit working out, your blood pressure can increase again.
If you’ve got prehypertension, working out can help you to prevent the condition from going hyper. Routine physical activity can take your blood pressure down to safer levels.
Eat a healthful diet
An eating plan that’s rich in grains, fruits, veggies and low-fat dairy products with saturated fat and cholesterol can reduce your blood pressure by up to 14 mm Hg. This diet program is referred to as the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH).
The DASH diet is a lifetime path to healthy eating that’s intended to help manage or prevent high blood pressure. The diet focuses on the reduction of sodium while filling up on foods rich in nutrients like veggies and fruits (calcium, potassium, and magnesium).
By following a DASH lifestyle diet, you will reduce your blood pressure by a few points in just a couple of weeks. After some time, your systolic blood pressure can drop up to 14 points, which can make a significant difference in your overall health.
Reduce sodium in your diet
Even a modest lowering of the sodium in your diet can lessen blood pressure by 2 to 8 mm Hg. Generally speaking, limiting sodium to less than 1500 milligrams (mg) a day is best for individuals with greater salt susceptibility, like:
- Anyone age 51 or older
- Anyone identified with hypertension, diabetes or long-term kidney disease
Limit your alcohol intake
Alcoholic beverage can be both bad and good for your health. In small quantities, it could lower your blood pressure by 2 to 4 mm Hg. But that lowering impact can be negative when consumed in excessive amounts. Typically, keep it down to one drink a day for people over 65 and for women. Men can have up to 2 drinks a day depending on their physical condition, but most experts recommend just one drink daily or every other day.