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Why the DASH Diet Lowers High Blood Pressure

Several studies show that just eight weeks on the DASH diet lowers high blood pressure to normal in 80 percent of test subjects (American Journal of Hypertension, 2001, Vol 14, Iss 6, Part 2, Suppl. S, pp 206S-212S).

The authors explain that a diet high in potassium and calcium helps to lower high blood pressure because these minerals relax the smooth muscles that surround and constrict arteries. All plants are rich sources of potassium, and many contain calcium. Yogurt, cheese, nuts and legumes are good sources of calcium. The DASH diet is based on eating lots of whole grains, beans, seeds, nuts, fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, seeds and nuts and low-fat dairy products.  See my report on the DASH (High-Plant) Diet for Heart Health, Weight Loss and Diabetes Prevention/Control

If you have high blood pressure, start your day off with oatmeal.. For the rest of the day eat a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans and other seeds. Aim for up to 8 servings of whole grains (including your oatmeal), 5 servings of vegetables, 5 servings of fruit, up to 5 servings of beans, nuts or seeds, up to 3 servings of yogurt or cheese and not much else. A serving is about ½ cup of cooked food, or 1 cup of raw fruits or vegetables.   If you want to work with your doctor to see if you are one of the 80 percent of people who can control their blood pressure with diet alone, see my instructions for My SHOW ME! Diet.

Checked 9/23/17

September 28th, 2014
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About the Author: Gabe Mirkin, MD

Sports medicine doctor, fitness guru and long-time radio host Gabe Mirkin, M.D., brings you news and tips for your healthful lifestyle. A practicing physician for more than 50 years and a radio talk show host for 25 years, Dr. Mirkin is a graduate of Harvard University and Baylor University College of Medicine. He is board-certified in four specialties: Sports Medicine, Allergy and Immunology, Pediatrics and Pediatric Immunology. The Dr. Mirkin Show, his call-in show on fitness and health, was syndicated in more than 120 cities. Read More
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