A one-day DASH diet meal plan from a dietitian to make healthy eating easy

Danielle Smith specializes in the DASH diet.

Getty/ Danielle Smith

The DASH diet is designed to reduce high blood pressure, but is also a generally healthy way to eat.It’s low in salt, but packed with whole foods such as vegetables and legumes.Dietitian Danielle Smith shared some of her favorite DASH diet recipes. 

If you’re thinking of switching to the heart-healthy DASH diet you might be wondering where to start.

Business Insider is here to help. This year, Danielle Smith, a dietitian working with Top Nutrition Coaching, who specializes in the low-sodium, whole-food diet designed to lower high blood pressure, shared her favorite DASH diet recipes with BI.

We’ve compiled some below into a handy one-day meal plan to help you follow the diet that the American Heart Association says is the healthiest way to eat.

Breakfast: Wild blueberry and avocado protein smoothie

Grace Cary

Smoothies are a quick and easy way to get some fruits and vegetables into your diet. This wild blueberry and avocado protein smoothie also contains a hit of protein, which will help you feel full until lunchtime.

To make it, blend wild blueberries, avocado, vanilla protein powder, a milk of your choice, and water.

Smith said that wild blueberries are a “powerhouse fruit” for the DASH diet, and contain more anti-inflammatory antioxidants than regular blueberries. Antioxidants can help to reduce chronic inflammation, which can contribute to the development of high blood pressure.

Lunch: Roasted beet and lentil salad

Beet and lentil salad

BURCU ATALAY TANKUT/ Getty

For this vegetarian roasted beet and lentil salad, sauté the beet greens, and roast the beets themselves, before tossing them with lentils, chopped carrots and onions, and a homemade vinaigrette.

“Beets are good for blood pressure because they are rich in nitrates, which the body converts into nitric oxide, a molecule that helps relax blood vessels, improve blood flow, and ultimately lower blood pressure,” Smith said.

Snack: Greek yogurt with fruit and nuts

Arx0nt

The DASH diet allows for two to three portions of dairy per day and this simple snack could also be a quick and easy breakfast.

To make it, add whichever fruit and nuts you like on top of Greek yogurt, which provides calcium, vitamin B12, iodine, and probiotics.

Smith recommended adding walnuts, which are an “excellent” source of anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids, and berries because they are full of fiber and antioxidants.

Dinner: Sheet pan honey mustard chicken

haoliang

This one-pan recipe is a super easy dinner. Season potatoes, chicken, onions, carrots, and Brussels sprouts with curry powder, honey, and mustard, and then bake in an even layer on a sheet pan for 30 minutes.

This recipe contains all the components of a balanced meal, and the vegetables and protein can be changed depending on your tastes and what’s in season. Smith suggested swapping the potatoes with sweet potatoes.

“A high sodium intake can contribute to high blood pressure. Both white and sweet potatoes contain potassium, which helps counter the effects of sodium,” she said. Potassium relaxes the walls of the blood vessels, which can help to lower blood pressure.

If you’re vegetarian, you could swap the chicken for chickpeas.

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