Having a healthy diet is a great way to improve your blood pressure, but can diet alone beat high blood pressure?
According to studies, adults can effectively improve their blood pressure by following the DASH diet and cutting back on salt. A team of researchers led by Dr. Stephen Juraschek found their results “reinforce the importance of dietary changes.”
High blood pressure is a condition that affects millions of Americans and is a significant factor in developing heart disease. So when it comes to what works best against high blood pressure (hypertension), what’s the best dietary strategy?
Diet and Blood Pressure
Salt (sodium) has been associated with an increase in blood pressure. The current U.S. Food and Drug Administration guidelines recommend a daily limit of 2,300 milligrams (1 teaspoon) of sodium.
The study divided their 412 participants into three groups: half a teaspoon of salt per day, one teaspoon per day, and 1.5 teaspoons per day. The average age of the participants was 48 and their average blood pressure was 135/86 mm Hg.
In addition, participants were also randomly assigned either a regular diet or the healthier DASH diet. The DASH diet (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) focuses on fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and other healthy dietary components.
According to the results, those who continued taking in higher amounts of salt but switched to the DASH diet had lowered their systolic blood pressure by 4.5 to almost 11 points. However, the participants who cut their daily salt intake and followed the DASH diet had the biggest improvement. Participants who started with a systolic reading of 150 mm Hg or higher reduced their blood pressure by almost 21 points if they cut salt and followed the DASH diet.
Moreover, participants with “mid-range” hypertension also reduced their systolic blood pressure if they cult salt and switched to the DASH diet. However, they only reduced their levels by an average of 7 to 10 points. Juraschek’s team believes that more research is necessary to determine if this combination has the same effect on adults with systolic blood pressure above 160 mm Hg.
According to Dr. Benjamin Hirsch, director of preventive cardiology at Northwell Health’s Sandra Atlas Bass Heart Hospital in Manhasset, N.Y., the study shows the importance of diet in treating hypertension. “This study provides compelling evidence that people who adhere to a DASH diet improve at all levels of hypertension risk,” says Hirsch.
Diet is a great way to reduce your blood pressure numbers, and you can optimize your health even more by taking L-arginine Plus. As a daily heart supplement, it boosts your circulation, blood pressure, and overall heart health. If you want to give your blood pressure health the best support possible, switch over to the DASH diet, cut back on salt, and take L-arginine Plus.