Eating more plant-based food proves to have numerous health benefits even with complimentary, limited portions of meat and dairy. Specifically, plant-based diets help lower blood pressure.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly 500,000 deaths in the United States are due to high blood pressure, or hypertension. Almost 50 percent of adult Americans have hypertension.
The Warwick Medical School in the UK recently published a study on how consuming more plant-based foods can help lower the risk of high blood pressure, resulting in reduced risk of heart attacks, strokes, and heart disease. Joshua Gibbs, the study's lead author, said, 'this is a significant finding as it highlights that complete eradication of animal products is not necessary to produce reductions and improvements in blood pressure.'
'Essentially, any shift towards a plant-based diet is a good one,' said Gibbs. These are the seven plant-based diets that can help lower blood pressure:
Healthy Nordic Diet
While a typical Nordic diet may include large amounts of dairy products, red meat, and alcohol due to the abundance of local produce, the Healthy Nordic diet involves lowering the consumption of these foods.
Instead, plant foods such as berries, fruits, and vegetables are highly recommended. The diet also consists of fish, whole grains such as rye and barley, eggs, and vegetable fat.
High-Fruit and Vegetable Diet
As the name suggests, this diet consists of increased portions of fruits and vegetables. Some people that consume mostly fruits in their diet are often called fruitarians.
The goal is to intake more polyphenols or compounds from plant foods that can significantly improve health, such as lowering blood pressure, blood sugar levels, and increase protection against blood clots. Some versions of this diet include regular consumption of dark chocolate since it contains antioxidants.
Fiber has a direct impact on cholesterol levels and helps reduce blood pressure and inflammation. Foods with high fiber content include legumes, oats, and whole grains.
Lacto-Ovo Vegetarian Diet
This plant-based diet includes dairy products such as milk, butter, cheeses, and eggs. Other meat products are not consumed and are replaced with fruits, vegetables, nuts, and grains.
Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) aims to reduce the intake of sodium, and instead eat foods rich in nutrients that contribute to lowering blood pressure. The diet emphasizes fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy products. Whole grains, nuts, fish, and poultry are consumed moderately.
Inspired by the beautiful, abundant produce from the Mediterranean, the diet focuses on regular consumption of legumes, fruits, vegetables, and olive oil. Nuts, dairy, fish, and eggs are also abundant in the area, while the consumption of meat is limited.
Lastly, the vegan diet excludes all animal-based products, including mean, dairy, and honey. It focuses on more consumption of whole plant foods. Some meat and dairy alternatives have been nut-based milk and cheeses, tofu, tempeh, seitan.
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