Diet for Pregnancy with Hypertension

If you are pregnant and suffer from hypertension, you may need to watch your salt intake regularly. Consult your gynaecologist for specific instructions concerning your salt and sodium intake. A systematic evaluation of your diet will allow you to identify areas that need specific changes, and that will help alleviate the problem to quite an extent.

Some pointers to keep in mind while planning a diet for a hypertensive person:

  • As the body retains sodium, use jaw ka paani or barley water for drinking. Barley flushes out all the toxins from the body and helps keep the kidneys in good working condition.
  • Pumpkins and unpolished rice are rich in zinc, which is an effective antidote for blood pressure related ailments.
  • Avoid packet flour, as this is not pure wheat flour. Preservatives and additives have been added to them to increase their shelf life.
  • To check your salt intake, sprinkle some ‘kala namak’ or rock salt when the vegetable is ready and served in the dish. This is an effective remedy to beat constipation as the vegetables are not completely cooked and add to the roughage. Rock salt is a natural salt and has a lot of potassium, which meets another purpose – of beating depression.

    Hypertension [Illustration by Shinod AP]

  • If you suffer from various aches and pains, it would be a good idea to rub edible oil or ghee on that area and expose it to the sun. This is an effective way of producing plenty of vitamin D.
  • Have plenty of calcium-rich fruits such as oranges, guavas, lemons, grapefruits and the Indian gooseberry (amla. Drink two to three glasses of milk and milk products everyday. The calcium will maintain the flexibility of your artery walls.
  • It is imperative to consume enough high-fibre foods such as fruits and sprouts. Choose the sources you like and fit them into your diet. You know you have consumed the right amount of fibre when your stools are soft and well formed.
  • Have a clove or two of garlic every day. This is the easiest and surest way of reducing blood pressure. It helps the body maintain adequate levels of the enzyme sulphur that prevents hypertension.