Many people in my practice ask me about the most popular diets, diet books, cleanses, ergogenic aids and, of course, the latest and greatest diet fads that have arisen. I have already blogged about the Mediterranean Diet, which I tout as one of the best diets as far as safety and wellness go. Now, I would like to discuss a well-known and well-studied diet called the DASH diet.
The DASH diet plan (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) was developed by the US National Institutes of Health to lower blood pressure with diet and exercise intervention in lieu of medication. Numerous studies have also shown that the DASH diet results in a risk reduction of many diseases, such as some cancers, stroke, heart disease, heart failure, kidney stones, and diabetes. It has also been shown to be an effective way to lose weight and improve quality of life by becoming healthier overall. The DASH diet was ranked as the #1 diet by US News & World Report in 2011, 2012, and 2013. It provides a complete lifestyle program to assist individuals in reaching and maintaining a healthy weight, while lowering blood pressure and cholesterol.
The DASH diet involves more than just the traditional low salt or low sodium diet advice. It is a research-based diet plan rich in fruits, vegetables, and low-fat or nonfat dairy. It emphasizes whole grains, lean meats, fish and poultry, nuts and beans, and contains less refined grains compared with a typical diet. It is rich in potassium, magnesium, calcium, and fiber. It's recommended by medical doctors, The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (one of the National Institutes of Health, of the US Department of Health and Human Services), The American Heart Association, The Dietary Guidelines for Americans and the US guidelines for treatment of high blood pressure. It is a comprehensive healthy approach to eating and is designed to be convenient, simple, easy to follow and to incorporate into the lifestyles and food preferences of most people. It contains all the healthy foods from the Mediterranean diet.
Specific Guidelines of the DASH:
While the DASH diet was originally intended for individuals with hypertension (high blood pressure), it fits within The Dietary Guidelines for Americans and is thus a plan that can be used as a model of healthy eating for everyone! The whole family can enjoy and thrive on the DASH diet.
It is important that you know what your average blood pressure is! Have it taken by a medical professional and have them explain your numbers to you. If your blood pressure is high, this diet plan will assist you in achieving a healthy blood pressure. It is important to have your medical doctor monitor your blood pressure regularly. The chart below explains the differences between healthy blood pressure and high blood pressure:
Even if you do not have high blood pressure currently, it is crucial to make sure you avoid it in the future. High blood pressure is a serious risk factor for cardiovascular disease and even death, so it’s not something to take lightly. It is, however, highly preventable by eating right and exercising. Now is the time to take the steps to get and stay healthy! When it comes to getting your fruits and vegetables in on a daily basis, it's NutriBullet to the rescue once again!!
In my private practice, I know when individuals consume 9-10 fruits and veggies per day, their hypertension resolves within as little as a week’s time! The NutriBullet can literally be a lifesaver if used to increase consumption of fruits and vegetables in the content of the DASH diet or any other healthy diet plan. It is also a busy person’s dream when you are trying to consume this much produce every day! It not only makes healthy eating quick and easy, but it also assists in the absorption of those important nutrients that are allowing the hypertension to resolve. Plus, a Blast is always delicious! I even use this recipe myself on those days when I just have not gotten in all my fruits and veggies (yes, it happens to me, too!)
This NutriBlast contains 8 servings of fruits and vegetables. Precisely the amount that one should consume when following the Dash diet plan.
- ½ cup baby spinach leaves
- ½ cup baby kale leaves
- 1 beet
- 1 tbsp avocado
- ½ cup blueberries
- ½ cup raspberries
- ½ pear
- ½ cup red grapes
- 1 cup water
- Combine all ingredients in your NutriBullet and BLAST.
- Enjoy! You are done with your fruit and veggie intake for the day!