High Blood Pressure or hypertension is one of the most common conditions that many pregnant women suffer from. Hypertension is indicated by blood pressure equal to or more than 140/90. It is generally found in cases of first-time pregnancy or when carrying multiple babies. Obesity, smoking and drinking are typical causes of hypertension in pregnant women.
High blood pressure during pregnancy can be of the following types:
- Chronic Hypertension – It is the high blood pressure developed before the pregnancy. It lasts for about 12 weeks or more after the delivery.
- Gestational Hypertension – This type, also known as pregnancy-induced hypertension, develops during pregnancy, especially after 20 weeks of pregnancy and generally recedes with delivery.
- Preeclampsia – This is a serious condition in pregnant women which is a repercussion of chronic and gestational hypertension. After 20 weeks of pregnancy, a woman would experience hypertension as well as protein in the urine. It can be fatal for the mother and baby if left untreated.
Foods to Control High Blood Pressure While Pregnant
1. Foods with Source of Fatty Acid
Some oils that contain essential fatty acids in huge amounts are:
2. Foods Rich in Calcium & Magnesium
Calcium and magnesium are found in abundance in green leafy vegetables like:
You can also include other vegetables like:
Different varieties of fruits should also be eaten:
3. Vitamin D Supplement
Hypertension can occur as a result of a deficiency of Vitamin D in pregnant women. Foods that contain Vitamin D are:
- Egg yolks
- Beef Liver
- Mackerel, tuna and salmon
- Others foods that are fortified Vitamin D such as orange juice, soy milk and some dairy products and cereals
We all know that sunshine is a good source of Vitamin D. However, food and sunshine cannot meet the body’s requirement for adequate Vitamin D. Therefore, pregnant women are recommended to take Vitamin D supplements regularly. Always consult your doctor before you so.
4. Whole Grains
Every day, you must eat three-four portions of whole grains like:
- Whole wheat flour
- Brown rice
These whole grains are rich in soluble fibre that control hypertension. They also help in reducing the need for medicines to treat high blood pressure.
5. Fermented Milk Products
Fermented milk products have some bacterial strains that can lower high blood pressure. It is advisable to incorporate products such as:
- Natural yoghurt
- Parmesan cheese
- Cheddar cheese
- Mozzarella cheese
You must have one or two portions of these fermented milk products daily.
The key to fighting hypertension during pregnancy is to maintain a healthy lifestyle. The high blood pressure pregnancy diet must be low on sodium and fats and low salt intake. A healthy diet that includes whole grains and lots of fruits and vegetables can help solve your dilemma about what to eat to reduce high blood pressure during pregnancy. Steer clear from unhealthy lifestyle choices like alcohol and smoking and always stay active. Now that you know what to eat to reduce high blood pressure during pregnancy, these measures will only help you ensure a safe, healthy and smooth pregnancy.