DASH Diet to Lower Blood Pressure

What you eat can help lower your blood pressure. Find out what delicious foods to include in your diet to help combat high blood pressure.

By Jane Schwartz Harrison, RD, Contributing Writer

Want to lower your blood pressure? Try the DASH eating plan, short for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension.

If your first thought is that the DASH is bland and boring, think again. The DASH is as much about adding tasty, nutrient-rich foods as it is about limiting fats and sugars.

What the studies say
Two large studies, both supported by the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute, have offered proof that DASH works.

The first study looked at the effects on blood pressure of eating a varied, wholesome diet versus the typical American diet.

The second study then looked at the added effect of a reduced-sodium intake on blood pressure as people followed either the DASH eating plan or a typical American diet.

How the DASH works
Experts believe the DASH eating plan works for these reasons:

So what exactly IS the DASH eating plan?
The DASH eating plan includes the following:

Daily servings:

Weekly servings:

Fitting the DASH into your lifestyle
You can work these DASH nutrient-foods into your meal plan in these ways:

Up your vegetable intake

Go whole-grain

Go nutty

Do it with dairy

DASH isn't just for people with high blood pressure. It's an overall healthy, wholesome, high-fiber eating plan than can also help reduce cholesterol levels and aid in weight loss.