Sample Essay on Nutritional Support For Patients With Hypertension

Hypertension is the medical term for high blood pressure. Hypertension is a very dangerous and serious health problem because if a person regularly has high blood pressure, it can result in many other medical problems in the body, such as kidney disease, heart disease, stroke, as well as many other medical problems. The thing to note is that hypertension does not usually have many symptoms, which is why it is also known as a silent killer. If people do not have their blood pressure checked regularly, it can mean that the high blood pressure can go unnoticed and untreated for many years. The thing to note is that even though hypertension can be alleviated by using various medication, it is much better to have lifestyle changes that would work to lower the high blood pressure. In this regard, it has to be noted that people with high blood pressure can have nutritional support so that their blood pressure can be lowered. It would be important to see how nutritional support can help alleviate high blood pressure.

The thing to note is that a person’s diet plays a very important role in maintaining blood pressure in the body. This is why a patient of hypertension can follow various diets to help reduce the high blood pressure. Several dietary recommendations are there with regards to lowering the blood pressure, and these include the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet (Chiu et al 341). Other dietary recommendations for patients of hypertension include reduction in the intake of alcohol, sodium, and fat. Other than that, the DASH diet also depicts that people with hypertension should eat more foods that are rich in potassium, magnesium, and calcium (Padwal et al. 214). It is also recommended that people eat low-fat protein sources, more vegetables and fruits, as well as whole grains. It is important to note that the DASH diet not only helps the patients with hypertension but it also helps with other illnesses and diseases, such as diabetes, stroke, and cancer (Larsson, Wallin and Wolk 986).

For nutritional support for hypertension patients, it is important that aside from limiting such foods and liquids as salt, alcohol, fat, and sugars, it is also important to increase the intake of certain types of food that would help with the lowering of the blood pressure as well. For example, it is important to have leafy greens, which means that it is more important to have potassium rather than sodium in the diet. Foods that are high in potassium allow the kidneys to better process the sodium and to remove it from the bloodstream, which means lowered blood pressure. Patients of hypertension can greatly benefit from eating such foods as kale, lettuce, turnip greens, spinach, and collard greens. It is important to eat fresh or frozen greens because the manufacturers tend to add sodium to the canned ones.

Another good type of food to have for hypertension patients is different types of berries. Blueberries, as well as other berries, contain natural compounds that are known as flavonoids. These flavonoids have been noted to help prevent hypertension as well as to reduce high blood pressure in people. It is important to note that it is easy to add such berries to the diet. People can put them on their cereals in the morning and they can also freeze them and mix them in their shakes or smoothies.

Potatoes have also noted to be high in magnesium and potassium. Both of these minerals have been noted to reduce the blood pressure in people. Moreover, potatoes are also very high in fiber, which means that they are good for the overall health as well. Baked potatoes would work the best because they are not fried. Similarly, beets have been noted to be quite good for lowering the blood pressure. Research has shown that drinking beetroot juice is something that results in lowering of the blood pressure. This is mostly attributed to the nitrates that can be found in the beets. Beets can be juiced or they can also be cooked in a variety of ways.

Instead of drinking regular milk, it is recommended that patients of hypertension drink skim milk as well. This is because the DASH diet recommends that people take high amounts of calcium in their diets. At the same time, a low fat intake is also recommended. This is why it is not a good idea to drink normal milk, which although is high in calcium content, is also high in fat content. This is why skim milk is the best option because it has high calcium content and low fat. Another important food to have for hypertension patients is oatmeal. This is high in fiber while at the same time being low in sodium and fat. The thing to note is that it is important not to add too much sugar, as sugar is bad for hypertension. You can add fruits, such as berries and bananas in the oatmeal for a much healthier option.

Thus, we find that even though hypertension is something that can be treated by using medication that lower the blood pressure, it is much better to control the hypertension by diet. As noted herein, the DASH diet can work to help lower the blood pressure and this diet is also healthy as well as quite effective for reducing the risk factors for many other illnesses as well.

Works Cited

Chiu, Sally, et al. "Comparison of the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop

Hypertension) diet and a higher-fat DASH diet on blood pressure and lipids and lipoproteins: a randomized controlled trial." The American journal of clinical nutrition 103.2 (2016): 341-347.

Larsson, Susanna C., Alice Wallin, and Alicja Wolk. "Dietary Approaches to

Stop Hypertension Diet and Incidence of Stroke Results From 2 Prospective Cohorts." Stroke 47.4 (2016): 986-990.

Padwal, Raj, et al. "Primary prevention of CVD: modification of diet in people

with hypertension." BMJ Clininical Evidence 5 (2016): 214.