Salt Intake of Indians Extremely High: Foods to Keep BP In Check

Salt Intake of Indians Extremely High: Foods to Keep BP In Check

Health News

Salt intake among adult Indians has been found to be high and exceeding the levels recommended by the World Health Organisation, according to a recent study conducted by the Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI).

High dietary salt intake has detrimental effects on blood pressure and associated cardiovascular diseases (CVD). With the burden of hypertension and CVD increasing rapidly in India, steps need to be taken to reduce this salt intake. Dome recommendations by researchers include to generate awareness among consumers, promote salt reduction in processed food industry and implement consumer friendly food labelling.

One in every eight Indians suffers from high blood pressure as per new data released by the Union Health Ministry.

This was concluded after screening 22.5 million Indian adults spread across 100 districts in 2017.

Hypertension or high blood pressure can go undetected, without any major symptoms for a long time. Blood pressure levels above 120/80 mm Hg (120 systolic & 80 diastolic) are considered high.

Which is why it is important to keep a routine tab on your blood pressure levels.

Once diagnosed with hypertension, your diet can either become your biggest ally or your biggest foe! Which is why people suffering from hypertension are advised to avoid sodium-rich diets.

Consumption of salt should be kept at 2 gms per day or less, depending on the severity of the blood pressure levels.

There are plenty of foods that are both tasty and help reduce high blood pressure.

Have a look!

Coconut Water

(Photo: Flickr)

Many doctors suggest that patients with high blood pressure should have Coconut water on a daily basis. It helps lower the systolic pressure by 71 percent and the diastolic pressure by 29 percent.

Coconut water is the best way to lower high blood pressure. It is rich in potassium, electrolytes and other nutrients that help keep the blood pressure levels in check.
Dr Shikha Sharma, Nutritionist

Celery

(Photo: Pixabay)

Celery stalks have been known to reduce high blood pressure. Many experts suggest that having at least four to five celery stalks a day helps people control their blood pressure levels. Celery contains substances called phytochemicals which helps in relaxing the muscle tissue in the artery walls. This helps increase the blood flow and lowers the blood pressure.

Any plant-based diet has a good balance of electrolytes which control the level of sodium in your bodies and in turn, control your blood pressure.
Dr Shikha Sharma, Nutritionist

Also Read: Indians, Alert to Dangers of High Salt Intake, Are Changing Diets

Watermelon

(Photo: Flickr)

Watermelon is generally known as a food item that promotes heart health. It has fibre, vitamin A, potassium and lycopenes along with an amino acid called L-citrulline, which is known to lower blood pressure levels.

Many studies show that consuming watermelon on a regular basis had a positive impact on aortic blood pressure and other vascular parameters. People also showed improvements in blood pressure and cardiac stress. So, have a slice of watermelon everyday to keep your blood pressure in control!

Bananas

(Photo: Pexels)

Bananas are rich in potassium and low in sodium. This makes them a perfect food for lowering blood pressure levels. Many studies show that having two bananas a day can reduce pressure levels by 10%. The natural compounds in bananas act in a manner similar to anti-hypertensive drugs. It might be a good idea to incorporate more bananas in your daily diet. Add it to your cereals, smoothies, cake and enjoy!

Fruits, in general, are considered good for controlling hypertension. But it is important not to sprinkle salt over your fruit salads. That defeats the entire purpose!
Dr Shikha Sharma, Nutritionist

Also Read: Average Indian Consumes 119% More Salt Per Day Than WHO Recommends

(For more news on hypertension follow FIT)

(FIT is now on WhatsApp. To receive handpicked stories on topics you care about, subscribe to our WhatsApp services. Click here and hit the Send button.)

Follow our Health News section for more stories.

Health News

    Also Watch