May is High Blood Pressure Education Month!
What is high blood pressure, also known as hypertension? Hypertension occurs when your blood pressure is consistently higher than normal (Centers for Disease Control [CDC], 2020). Hypertension can put you at risk for health problems such as heart attack and stroke. There are often no signs or symptoms of hypertension, and many people do not even realize that they have it. Your healthcare provider can measure your blood pressure and monitor its levels. Your doctor may also teach you how to monitor your blood pressure levels yourself, so that you may do it at home.
There are several ways in which you can prevent or manage hypertension. Making these simple lifestyle changes can assist in lowering your pressure:
- Exercising 30 minutes a day, 5 times a week
- Eating a healthy diet
- Keeping a healthy weight
- Getting enough sleep
- Managing your stress
- Not smoking and limiting alcohol consumption
- If you are prescribed blood pressure medication from your doctor, take it as directed
Interested in recipes that can help prevent and lower high blood pressure? The DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet is an eating plan that follows heart healthy guidelines to lower or control hypertension. The DASH diet emphasizes eating fruits, vegetables, fat-free or low-fat milk, whole grains, fish, poultry, and nuts; while limiting the consumption of foods that are high in saturated fat and cholesterol.
Here are two recipes from the DASH diet that are affordable and easy to make for lunch or dinner:
- 2 cans (6 oz. each) water-packed tuna
- 1/2 cup chopped celery
- 1/3 cup chopped green onions
- 6 1/2 tablespoons low-fat mayonnaise
- Rinse and drain tuna for 5 minutes.
- Break apart with a fork.
- Add celery, onions, and mayonnaise.
- Mix well.
*Makes 5, 1/2 Cup Servings
New Potato Salad:
- 16 small new potatoes
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/4 cup chopped green onions
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon dill weed
- Thoroughly clean potatoes with veggie brush and water.
- Boil potatoes for 20 minutes or until tender.
- Drain and cool potatoes for 20 minutes.
- Cut potatoes into quarters and mix well with olive oil, onions, and spices.
- Refrigerate until ready to serve.
*Makes 5, 1 Cup Servings
For more information on the DASH diet or for more recipes click here
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. 2021, December 29. DASH eating plan. https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/education/dash-eating-plan
Centers for Disease Control. 2020, September 30. Prevent and manage high blood pressure. https://www.cdc.gov/bloodpressure/prevent_manage.htm