Hypertensive? Study nutrition labels, make smart purchases, and try this delicious recipe.

A person with hypertension may be well aware of what to avoid in foods, but trying to decipher nutrition labels on packages and products may cause a blood pressure hike in itself!

Learning how to decode the numbers and percentages is the first step in shopping for healthier foods. A good tip is to look at serving sizes and unhealthy contents like fat, sodium and sugar that go beyond the daily recommended limit. Do seek out products containing dietary fiber, vitamins A and C, calcium, iron and potassium. Don’t be fooled by healthy-looking images, healthy slogans and brand descriptions. You can trust health claims – such as ‘heart healthy,’ as the FDA closely monitors the use of these on food packaging.

A grocery store visit that yields bags filled with nutritious products is pointless if not used in a healthy, home-cooked meal. Here is a recipe designed for those with high blood pressure. It has 200 calories per portion, 5 g of total fat, 12 mg cholesterol, and 165 mg of sodium. It is also rich in protein, calcium, magnesium, potassium and fiber.

Zucchini Lasagna

Ingredients:

    • 1/2 pound cooked lasagna noodles, cooked in unsalted water
    • 3/4 cup part-skim mozzarella cheese, grated
    • 1 1/2 cups fat-free, low-sodium cottage cheese
    • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
    • 1 1/2 cups raw zucchini, sliced
    • 2 1/2 cups low-sodium tomato sauce
    • 2 tsp. basil, dried
    • 2 tsp. oregano, dried
    • 1/4 cup onion, chopped
    • 1 clove garlic
    • 1/8 tsp. black pepper

Method:

    • Preheat oven to 350 °F. Lightly spray a 9- by 13-inch baking dish with vegetable oil spray.
    • In a small bowl, combine 1/8 cup mozzarella and 1 Tbsp. Parmesan cheese. Set aside.
    • In a medium bowl, combine remaining mozzarella and Parmesan cheese with all the cottage cheese. Mix well and set aside.
    • Combine tomato sauce with remaining ingredients. Spread a thin layer of tomato sauce in the bottom of the baking dish. Add a third of the noodles in a single layer. Spread half of the cottage cheese mixture on top. Add a layer of zucchini.
    • Repeat layering. Add a thin coating of sauce. Top with noodles, sauce, and reserved cheese mixture. Cover with aluminum foil. 6. Bake 30 to 40 minutes. Cool for 10 to 15 minutes. Cut into 6 portions.

Enjoy!

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