What is The DASH Diet?
DASH stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension. It is a lifelong approach to eating healthy. This diet has been in the headlines for being one of the best diets as people showed results of blood pressure reduction within a few weeks. USA Today published an article titled Diet and Blood Pressure: It’s Not All About the Salt, in which they say that The DASH diet has been proven to lower blood pressure in 14 days.
What does the DASH Diet do?
The diet plan is designed to reduce sodium intake and increase the intake of foods that are rich in potassium, magnesium, and calcium as these nutrients are proven to reduce blood pressure.
Are there specific meal plans for the diet?
No. The diet recommends you to eat a variety of products like fish, poultry, grain, wheat, vegetables, fruits, cereals, raisins, and nuts. The diet emphasizes that you lower your salt and fat intake while promoting fiber intake. This diet also cuts down processed foods, items with preservatives, tinned and canned foods. The diet also wants you to cut down on sweets.
Alcohol should be limited and smoking should be avoided.
The DASH Diet has no negative side effects.
Who should follow this diet?
The DASH Diet is highly recommended for people with hypertension i.e., high blood pressure. Since the diet is based on an eating plan that mainly consists of fruits and vegetables, this can be followed by people who want to reduce weight in a healthy way. The good news is; meat lovers don’t have to fret about letting go of their favorite food.
How can I benefit from this diet?
The DASH eating plan should be incorporated into your life as a system of healthy eating that must be followed for you to gain a lasting benefit.
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Things to remember before beginning the DASH Diet:
- Do not stop your blood pressure medication.
- You could take supplements for potassium and calcium.
- Do not stop exercising.
What are the things that I can eat when I’m on the DASH Diet?
|Vegetables||Beets, Bell peppers, Broccoli, Cabbage, Carrots, Cauliflower, Corn, Green beans, Onions, Soybeans, Mushrooms, Lettuce, Potatoes, Sprouts, and Tomatoes.|
|Fruits||All citrus fruits, Apples, Pineapples, Papayas, Bananas, Pears, Peaches, All kinds of berries, Raisins.|
|Meat||Eggs, Chicken, Fish, Turkey and Shrimp|
|Bread and Cereals||Whole wheat bread, millets, barley. Oatmeal, Whole wheat pasta, Brown rice, cereals|
|Nuts||Almonds, Cashews, Walnuts, Peanuts|
|Dairy products||Low-fat cheese, Cottage cheese, Yogurt, Skimmed milk, Buttermilk|
We have included sample meal plans for you. Check it out!
Here are some simple recipes to try out for the DASH Diet.
|A handful of spinach leaves, (chickpeas could be added too) Low-fat cheese, A Pinch of salt and cumin, 1 tbsp honey, 4 tbsps olive oil, chili flakes, raisins.||Chop pieces of cheese and add it to spinach in a large bowl. Add cumin, salt, and chili flakes. Mix well. Add honey and raisins, toss the salad and then add olive oil. Keep tossing till all the ingredient are properly mixed.|
Chicken and Hummus Salad:
|1/2 cup Hummus, 2 tablespoons finely diced celery, 1 tablespoon finely chopped green onion, 1 tablespoon finely chopped red bell pepper, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1 cup cubed grilled chicken breast, 1 tablespoon water, Salad greens||Take a large bowl with hummus, celery, green onions, bell pepper, salt and a sprinkling of pepper. Mix.
Add chicken and water and stir until mixed thoroughly.
Serve with salad greens.
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|A cup of boiled or grilled corn kernels,1 diced tomato, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, salt to taste, 1 green bell pepper diced, Chilli flakes||In a bowl mix all the ingredients together and mix well. You can also add a tablespoon of olive oil.|
Mixed fruit salad:
|½ cup Orange juice, ½ cup Lemon juice, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1 cup pineapples, 1 banana, 1 cup sliced papaya, 1 cup sliced apples, a Half cup of sliced strawberries, 1 tablespoon of brown sugar.||Mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl. This salad can also be served with fresh cream.|
Chicken and Vegetable Salad:
|2 cups of cubed cooked chicken, 1 cup cooked potatoes,
3 cups of raw, cut up vegetables such as broccoli, carrots, tomatoes, and onions. 1/4 cup olives, sliced or chopped. 1/2 teaspoon salt and chili flakes or ground pepper to taste.
½ cup olive oil.
|Mix everything together and add 1/2 cup vinaigrette. Toss and mix.
To make the vinaigrette: Mash garlic with salt in a bowl and mix. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and 3 teaspoons of vinegar.
Boiled Egg salad:
|Boiled eggs, Onions, Red Bell peppers, Celery, mayonnaise, sliced tomatoes, and salad greens||Boil eggs, peel and slice them.
In a bowl, mix onion, celery, mayonnaise, tomatoes, and salad greens,
Mix the egg slices gently and season with pepper and chili flakes to taste.
Peach and Papaya Smoothie:
|1 ½ cups of sliced papaya, half glass lemon juice, 1 cup sliced peaches, brown sugar, ice cubes.||Blend the ingredients in a blender.
Serve it cold.
Millet with Vegetables:
|1 Cup washed and drained millets, onions, potatoes, finely chopped tomatoes, Cilantro (coriander) powder, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, salt, and chili flakes.||Heat olive oil in a saucepan and sauté onion and tomatoes for 1 to 2 minutes. Add salt, cilantro and chili flakes. Add millet and sauté 2 to 3 minutes. And then add water till the millets are fully immersed. Bring to a boil. Let it simmer on a low flame.|
|2 tablespoon barley, water, salt or brown sugar||Soak Barley in enough water for 1 hour or overnight.
Pressure cook it with 3-4 cup water for 2-3 whistles.
Remove from heat and allow it to cool. Strain the water and keep the cooked barley aside. Grind it with water.
Stir it and add salt or brown sugar.
Hope you will find the recipes and method of DASH Diet helpful. Consult with your trusted dietician before you hit start. Enjoy the delicious healthy meals and reduce blood pressure the natural way!
What is the best diet to lose weight? Read our article on The GM Diet.