The name ‘DASH Diet’ itself suggests its benefit- Dietary Approach to Stop Hypertension.

As diet plays a vital role in increasing blood pressure, nutritionists have created specific dietary strategies to help reduce it. A result of which is the DASH diet.

This article will quickly introduce you to the special diet.

Introduction

The DASH diet was designed after researchers noticed that cases of hypertension were lower in people who followed a plant-based diet, like vegetarians and vegans. Reason why, the diet emphasizes intake of fruits and vegetables along with some lean protein sources like chicken, fish and beans. The diet also recommends to reduce the intake of red meat, salt, added sugars and fat.

Benefits

While DASH diet mainly helps to lower blood pressure, it has other benefits too.

  • Lowers Blood Pressure

Nutritionists believe that a key reason why the DASH diet works is because it reduces salt intake. When following this diet, you are advised to consume no more than 1 teaspoon of salt per day.

  • Aids Weight Loss

When on a DASH diet, you cut out a lot of high-fat, sugary foods. Which reduces your calorie intake and may help in weight loss.

  • Decreases Cancer Risk

According to a review published by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (United States), a DASH diet may lower the risk of some cancers like colorectal and breast cancer.

  • Lowers Diabetes Risk

Studies by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (United States) indicate that the DASH diet can not only lower the risk of type 2 diabetes, but also improve insulin resistance

  • Decreases Heart Diseases Risk In Women

Following the DASH diet has been linked with a 20% lower risk of heart disease and a 29% lower risk of stroke according to a review published by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (United States).

Foods To Eat

An important thing to note is, a DASH diet doesn’t recommend a list of foods to eat. Instead, it advises specific servings of different foods based on your recommended daily calorie intake. Since these foods vary from one person to another, we have listed down some common foods consumed by people following this diet.

  • Whole grains

Whole-wheat breads, whole-grain breakfast cereals, brown rice, quinoa and oatmeal

  • Vegetables

Leafy veggies like spinach, broccoli, carrots and tomatoes

  • Fruits

Apples, pears, peaches, berries, pineapple and mango

  • Dairy products

Skim milk, low-fat cheese and yogurt

  • Lean Non-veg

Chicken, fish and eggs

  • Nuts, Seeds & Legumes

Almonds, peanuts, hazelnuts, walnuts, sunflower seeds, flaxseeds, kidney beans, lentils and split peas

  • Oils

Vegetable oil, olive oil and safflower oil

Remember, these foods are only for your information. If you are keen on following this diet, it is highly recommended to consult a doctor or nutritionist for a personalised plan.

Following the DASH diet can have delightful results for you. However, do not consider it as an alternative to your medication. Depending on your need, a doctor/nutritionist can advise you to follow both.

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