High blood pressure is a problem that quite a few Indian families are dealing with. Our rich culture, with specific regards to food, coupled with less active lifestyles and the rise in fast-food consumption makes it harder to manage this ailment. Obesity in the country also seems to be on the rise and that, combined with stress, and the amount of sodium aka salt intake thanks to fast-food and outside food has lead to more and more Indians suffering from high blood pressure. Your family can avoid or manage high blood pressure or hypertension through the food choices made daily. There are many traditional, as well as more modern or improvised Indian dishes that can keep your family’s sodium intake at a reasonable level.
Your family can avoid or manage high blood pressure or hypertension through the food choices made daily. There are many traditional, as well as more modern or improvised Indian dishes that can keep your family’s sodium intake at a reasonable level.
Making cooking a family activity
Before we get started with a list of dishes here’s a quick tip for families when it comes to cooking for those with hypertension:-
Involving the whole family in cooking process will help other family members stay vigilant about the kind of food they consume and of course understand why and how to help out the members suffering from hypertension. Children can be supervised and carefully taught how to cut vegetables and measure out ingredients. This is a skill that will help them as they advance beyond the home. Teaching children to avoid high sodium intake and choose the right foods can help to improve their health for years to come.
Now let’s take a look at five healthy Indian dishes for those struggling with high blood pressure:
1. Dahi Bhindi
Dahi Bhindi is a dish that hails from Rajasthan. It is quick to prepare and takes around 30 minutes. Bhendi provides many key nutrients that are helpful for managing blood pressure. The coriander, cumin, and besan add the flavour. You only need a pinch of salt to be added to this healthy, tasty, mouth-watering dish while keeping the oil usage to a minimum.
2. Mixed Vegetable Thoran
You and your family can enjoy a medley of vegetables and all the nutrients contained therein with a dish of Mixed Vegetable Thoran. It’s loaded with fibre and plenty of healthy vitamins and minerals. Add some green leafy vegetables, like palak aka spinach to get a nice serving of calcium. By using spices like chilli powder and flavourful ingredients like minced garlic, you have little need for salt in a serving of this dish. Use this as an example in all situations, when you reach for the salt, ask yourself if another spice could be used in place of sodium and provide an adequate flavourful substitution.
3. Roti or Naan
The traditional roti and naan may have a higher sodium intake. The good news is with a slight twist to the recipe you can still enjoy this Indian staple. Just use the general guideline: don’t use more than ¼ teaspoon of salt in a serving size of four. And, like the parathas, you could opt to use wheat or whole grain flour to make them even healthier.
4. Rice and Carrot Appas
You can whip up some Rice and Carrot Appas in just 15 minutes. This is a great breakfast dish for the whole family. The Appas are low in salt and heavy enough to keep your hunger pangs at bay; so if you’re at work, home or school, you won’t feel like spending money on those sugary drinks or snacks. The carrots are a great source of fibre and beta-carotene. The green chillies add flavour and opting for brown rice makes for a healthier option as well.
5. Cabbage and Dal Parathas
Cabbage and Dal Parathas are a delicious combination of heart-healthy cereals and vegetables. The recipe can be modified to be even healthier by replacing the flour traditionally used in its preparation with nachni or soya flour. Use very little salt in a serving of 6 parathas, so it’s a perfect choice if you’re monitoring the sodium intake of your family.
These simple to make Indian dishes are great examples of how traditions can be slightly modified to suit anyone dealing with high blood pressure. It’s important for a family to understand how to be responsible caregivers and thereby help the next generation be more careful when it comes to managing health or cooking for anyone with any health-related issues.