Diet Recommendations to Reduce High Blood Pressure in Pregnancy
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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
A balanced and healthy diet is the only solution to fight high blood pressure in expectant mothers. You can include the following foods to lower high blood pressure during pregnancy:
1. Foods With Sources of Fatty Acid
Foods that are rich in essential fatty acids help to fight hypertension. You must include a variety of nuts, seeds and fruits in your diet. For example:
Some oils that contain essential fatty acids in huge amounts are:
You can also have oily fish like salmon, herring, sardines and mackerel. Remember to avoid food items with added salt.
2. Foods Rich in Calcium & Magnesium
Your high blood pressure pregnancy diet must have plenty of calcium and magnesium. They not only reduce but also prevent hypertension in pregnant women.
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 with 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.
Also Read: Natural Remedies to Manage High BP while Pregnant