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Cover Story: 3 Healthy Recipes For High Blood Pressure

Blood pressure readings are comprised of two values: one for systolic and one for diastolic pressure; anything equal to or above 140 over 90 is considered high.

Nigeria is one of many developing countries where the health services have focused on treating infectious diseases, such as malaria and tuberculosis. In recent years though, noncommunicable conditions have become an increasing problem. One of the most prevalent noncommunicable conditions worldwide, hypertension is responsible for an estimated 45% of deaths due to heart disease and 51% of deaths due to stroke globally according to reports by the World Health Organization.

Of WHO’s six regions, the African region has the highest prevalence of hypertension estimated at 46% of adults aged 25 and above, according to WHO’s Global status report on noncommunicable diseases 2010.high-blood-pressure-hypertension-in-nigeria

“The high prevalence of hypertension is explained in part by lifestyle changes, many related to changing environmental and social factors,” says Dr Obinna Ekwunife, a lecturer at the University of Nigeria in the south-eastern town of Nsukka.

Ekwunife cites factors such as increased salt and fat intake from the consumption of processed foods, increased tobacco use and sedentary lifestyles. “An increasing number of Nigerians are driving to work and participating in jobs with minimal physical activity,” he says.

That being said, we won’t leave you without at least a few remedies. Those who suffer the setbacks of living with hypertension know that a healthy diet is as important as exercise. Increase in the intake of ginger, basil leaves,Coconut water, honey and bananas are essential for a good diet that lowers the risk of blood pressure but we bring you three healthy but fun and tasty recipes that you’ll be glad to try out:

  1. Colorful Tuna Pasta Salad: 

This salad makes for a great and delicious meal whether in the morning or for dinner.


INGREDIENTS: 6 ounces dried rotini (whole-wheat preferred)

6 ounces grape tomatoes
1/2 small cucumber
1/2 medium red bell pepper
2 to 2 1/2 ounces sweet onion (about 1/3 small)
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
2 Tablespoons chopped parsley
2 6-ounce cans very low sodium chunk white albacore tuna
1/4 cup light balsamic vinegar dressing
1/4 cup light mayonnaise

Prepare the pasta using the package directions, omitting the salt and oil. (Cover the pot to reduce the time it takes for the water to come to a boil.) Drain in a colander. Rinse with cold water and drain well. Transfer to a large bowl.

Meanwhile, chop the tomatoes, cucumber, bell pepper, onion, parsley and cilantro. Drain the tuna. Add with the dressing and mayonnaise to the cooked pasta. Stir gently to coat. Serve immediately or refrigerate for up to 24 hours.

 Nutritional Analysis-Per serving-
Calories Per Serving -336
Total Fat: 8.0g
Saturated Fat:1.0g; Trans Fat: 0g ; Polyunsaturated Fat: 4.0g;  Monounsaturated Fat:2.0g; Cholesterol: 42mg; Sodium: 320mg; Carbohydrates: 40g; Fiber: 7g; Sugar:6g; Protein: 29g

DIETARY EXCHANGES: 3 lean meat, 2 1/2 starch, 1 vegetable.

2. Savoury Sweet Potato Fries

Savory seasonings provide zesty flavor to vibrantly colored, nutrition-rich oven-fried sweet potatoes.


Cooking spray
2 small sweet potatoes (about 1 pound total)
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon cayenne

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Lightly spray a baking sheet with cooking spray. Cut the sweet potatoes in strips about 4×1/4×1/4 inches. Put the sweet potatoes in a medium bowl.

In a small bowl, stir together the remaining ingredients. Sprinkle over the sweet potatoes. Stir gently to coat. Spread the sweet potatoes in a single layer on the baking sheet. Lightly spray the tops with cooking spray.

Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until golden brown on the outside and tender on the inside, turning once with a spatula halfway through.

Nutritional Analysis: Per serving

Calories Per Serving: 102

Total Fat: 0.0g ; Saturated Fat: 0.0g; Trans Fat:0.0g; Polyunsaturated Fat:0.0g; Monounsaturated Fat:0.0g

Cholesterol:0.0mg; Sodium:139mg; Carbohydrates: 24g; Fiber: 4g; Sugar:5g; Protein:2g

Dietary Exchanges-1 1/2 starch

3. Pinapple- Raspberry Parfaits
Handy for those busy nights…and mornings, good for the whole family too and easy to make. It takes literally 5 minutes! Good for losing weight too. Tidy package right?
  • 2 8-ounce containers (2 cups) nonfat peach yogurt
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh, frozen or canned pineapple chunks
  • 1/2 pint fresh raspberries, (about 1 1/4 cups).

Divide and layer yogurt, raspberries and pineapple into 4 glasses and serve.

  • Nutritional Analysis: Serving size: 1 parfait
  • Per serving: 155 calories; 0 g fat(0 g sat); 3 g fiber; 33 g carbohydrates; 6 g protein; 28 mcg folate; 2 mg cholesterol; 29 g sugars; 5 g added sugars; 60 IU vitamin A; 38 mg vitamin C; 188 mg calcium; 0 mg iron; 67 mg sodium; 334 mg potassium
  • Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin C (73% daily value).
  • Carbohydrate Servings: 2
  • Exchanges: 1/2 reduced-fat milk, 1 fruit

…Time to get cooking!

Source: www.heart.org; www.eatingwell.com; www.who.int.