Hypertension. The word itself is enough for people to sit up and take notice. With the increasing prevalence of hypertension among Indians, it is necessary to take preventive care. As with most lifestyle diseases, changing your diet is the first step in correcting the course of your health.
If your current diet is not serving your health as well as it should, or if you are experiencing problematic symptoms, it’s time to try something new. Since the Indian diet is predominantly plant-based, as compared to a lot of cuisines, it is easier for us to transition into a vegan diet for managing hypertension.
But why is exactly is the vegan diet or plant-based diet recommended for managing hypertension? And what are some easy vegan recipes that can get you started on your hypertension management journey?
Keep reading to know more.
The Impact of Vegan or Plant-based Diet on Hypertension
A recent study published in January 2021 in the Journal of Hypertension has established how adopting a vegan diet can show a significant change in blood pressure management. Since blood pressure is an effective indicator of long term health risks and is often the precursor of conditions like heart disease, stroke and other metabolic conditions, it is necessary to manage it better.
When compared with popular diets for hypertension management, vegan diet continues to come out on top as being the most effective. Even if one doesn’t go completely vegan, following a predominantly plant-based diet, with a limited amount of animal protein can help in lowering your systolic and diastolic pressure by far. The simple acts of cutting down on red meat, processed oils, and reducing your salt is enough to get you on a healthier path.
If you are looking to go completely vegan, there has been a lot of vegan brands and influencers who can guide you on this journey. The following are some favourite Indian dishes, that are familiar, easy to make and is still healthy.
5 Vegan Indian Dishes To Help In Your Hypertension Management
For those who grew up eating chicken, mutton or seafood, the idea of eating vegan food can seem extremely daunting. Even for vegetarians, giving up your favourite dairy ingredients like butter, ghee, cheese or cream will not come easy. But with a few intelligent switches, Indian food can easily be made vegan friendly. The following are some of the most loved Indian dishes, with a vegan twist, that you can keep in your diet and still continue to manage your hypertension.
Most Indians know and love Palak Paneer as a heartwarming comfort meal. The idea of changing anything in this dish might feel hard. But with a few easy switches, it can be easily made vegan friendly. Simply by replacing the paneer with tofu, and the heavy cream with coconut cream, you can achieve this. This easy recipe from One Green Planet is a foolproof Indian vegan dish that you can start off with.
Gajar Ka Halwa
Imagine, Gajar Ka Halwa without any ghee or milk. Sounds impossible? Not really.
Simply replacing all the dairy needed int he recipe with coconut cream, will ensure that your dessert still tastes the same, and still the glossy texture you know and love. With the addition of dates and almonds, this recipe becomes even more of a nutrition powerhouse. If you’d like to try making this dish for yourself, you can get the whole recipe on One Green Planet.
Vegeterian Kofta Curry
The perfect dish for a cold winter night, kofta curries are loved across India and is familiar, filling and are always a great bet for dinner. The word kofta itself usually refers to a savoury ball made with minced meat or paneer, in addition to some vegetables. But for the vegan variant, all you have to do is increase the variety and quantity of vegetables that you’re adding to your kofta mix, and replace the paneer with tofu. This recipe from Archana’s Kitchen also calls for adding cashew paste to the curry for additional creaminess.
Vegan Dal “Makhani”
While dal is a staple at most Indian meals, there are a number of ways in which you can make it that are easily vegan. But if you are specifically craving for Dal Makhani with its rich buttery finish, this recipe from the Fiery Vegetarian should help you. By replacing the dairy in the dish with a combination of sunflower oil, coconut cream and plant-based butter, the dish has been made completely vegan.
Made with ghee, yoghurt and milk in the dough, the traditional Indian naan is not vegan in any way. But the same technique with a few easy swaps can be used to make vegan naan that is healthier, and only has a fraction of the calories. Whether you choose to pair it with some of the above-mentioned curries, for a complete vegan meal or just want to make your naans more healthy, you can read the whole recipe for this oil-free vegan naan on Home Cooked Roots.
If you look at the above recipes, simple alternatives like tofu, coconut cream, and cashew cream can easily replace the common Indian dairy products. Since these vegan alternatives are calorie-packed, it is important to remember that a balanced approach is important, no matter what diet you are following. It will be especially helpful in your hypertension management, to keep track of your calories to stay at your ideal weight.
While a more plant-based diet is effective in lowering your blood pressure, it is not a complete solution for hypertension. When paired with the guidance of an expert doctor, and constant monitoring of your vitals, it can significantly help in managing it.
Phable is an innovative lifestyle disease management app simplifying life for patients & doctors through health monitoring and doctor intervention.
Download Phable Here!