The DASH diet is a popular diet that was recently ranked by US News as the #1 rated diet. The DASH (which stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet, is designed primarily to help treat or prevent chronic hypertension (high blood pressure) by encouraging you to reduce the sodium in your diet and replace it with a variety or nutrient-rich foods that help reduce blood pressure. This is very beneficial for many people, but what are the other DASH diet benefits?
DASH LifestyleThe DASH diet is not just any diet. It actually defines dieting as the opposite of dieting. Dieting carries with it a certain amount of restriction or lack. While an eating plan is a more positive approach to weight loss which is healthier, more sensible, and focuses on a lifelong approach to healthy eating.
How It WorksThe DASH diet is a low sodium eating plan, and teaches you to eat healthy. This approach is meant to be a consistent method of losing weight and keeping it off, but focuses on your overall health and wellness. By promoting electrolytes in your bloodstream, you increase the health of your heart, which is a key element of a healthy eating plan and way of life. Most medical doctors will tell you if you improve the health and well-being of your cardiovascular system, the rest of your body will be healthier too, resulting in a higher quality of life.
- POTASSIUM-Potassium is a natural electrolyte which is responsible for promoting heart strength and contraction normalities. People with PVC’s or PAC’s (premature ventricular contractions or premature atrial contractions) are often low on this key element which is primarily reponsible for the regular contractions of the heart. Foods rich in this element include potatoes, bananas, spinach, and other fresh fruits and vegetables. For people who are very low in potassium, their doctor may prescribe a potassium supplement to get their body up to acceptable levels.
- CALCIUM- Also an electrolyte, calcium is responsible for natural heart health as well, including contractions of the heart and pumping ability. Like potassium, it is necessary to get a good dose of calcium in your diet to maintain heart strength and health.
- MAGNESIUM- Doctors recommend a magnesium supplement if you are lacking in magnesium. Magnesium is responsible for heart rhythm issues as well, and works in conjunction with potassium and calcium to keep it working normally.
Evidence the DASH Diet WorksIn clinical trials, the DASH diet was responsible for reducing kidney stone formations, preventing heart disease and strokes, and lowering cholesterol and hypertension, as well as possibly preventing or lessening the effects of diabetes. These results were consistent with other clinical trials in other facilities.
ENDORSEMENTSThe DASH diet is endorsed by the following reputable health organizations:
- The American Heart Association (AHA)
- Mayo Clinic
- The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
- General practitioners and heart experts