What is the DASH diet?marcin jucha/Shutterstock
The DASH diet—short for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension—is a healthy-eating, heart-conscious plan that aims to treat or prevent high blood pressure by lowering sodium intake and increasing the consumption of nutrient-rich foods. According to the Mayo Clinic, following this diet will give you results in just two weeks; over time, your systolic blood pressure could drop as much as 14 points.
How does it lower blood pressure?ldutko/Shutterstock
For starters, cutting back on salt can work some serious magic. But in addition to that, the DASH diet—with its focus on vegetables, fruits, low-fat dairy, and lean proteins, as well as on portion control—cuts down on foods that contain fat and cholesterol and increases foods with fiber and protein. The diet also delivers foods high in potassium, calcium, and magnesium, all of which help to lower blood pressure.