Studies show that 1 out of 4 American adults have high blood pressure which can evantually lead to a heart attack or stroke.
Even slight elevations of blood pressure above the optimal level of less than 120/80 mm Hg are unhealthy. The higher the blood pressure above normal, the greater the health risk.
In the past, researchers had tested various single nutrients, such as calcium and magnesium, to find clues about what affects blood pressure. These studies were done mostly with dietary supplements and their findings were not conclusive.
Then, scientists supported by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) tested nutrients as they occur together in food. The results were dramatic. The clinical study, called “DASH” for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, found that elevated blood pressures can be reduced with an eating plan low in saturated fat, total fat, and cholesterol, and rich in fruits, vegetables, and lowfat dairy foods. The plan is rich in magnesium, potassium, and calcium, as well as protein and fiber.
For the recipes and the complete diet plan:
Facts About the DASH Eating Plan 24 pages. NIH Publication No. 03-4082.