Application of Plant-Based Diets on Hypertension

The prevalence of non-communicable diseases (NCD) is increasing rapidly each year, thus becoming the largest cause of death. WHO (2020) stated that 73% of death in Indonesia is caused by NCD. It is caused by the poor regulation regarding the limitation of salt usage, saturated fatty acids, trans fat, and the prohibition of advertising or sponsoring products that utilize tobacco as its main ingredients.


One of the largest NCD causes in Indonesia and the world is hypertension. Several risk factors contributed such as age, gender, genetics, and living environment. Besides those unchangeable factors, lifestyle also plays a huge role in causing hypertension. Alcohol consumption, smoking, physical activities, and diets are the main causes of hypertension.

Limiting the consumption of alcohol and tobacco may not be enough to prevent or minimize the chance of hypertension. A change of diet is also necessary to boost the nutrition that our body needs to maintain the functionality of the organs. One of the diets that can be applied is a plant-based diet. Consumption of plant-based contains lots of fibers, magnesium, folic acid, Fe3+, vitamin C and E, n-6 polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA), antioxidant, carotenoid, flavonoid, dan other phytochemicals that can prevent hypertension.

Effects of the diet

Based on several works of literature, there is a significant relationship between the application of a plant-based diet to hypertension. It is because of the high content of fibers present in fruits and vegetables, nuts, and legumes. Foods that are rich in fibers have low calories which can lower the risk of obesity, thus also lowering blood pressure. Those foods are also rich in magnesium and potassium which help to lower the tension in the veins, keeping the blood pressure low. Besides that, plant-based foods also contain a rich amount of vitamins and polyphenols, and unsaturated fatty acids which help maintain a low level of blood pressure.

Gibbs et al. (2021), stated that implementing a plant-based diet, can lower and maintain both systolic and diastolic blood pressure in all BMI and gender. Individuals that consume a plant-based diet have lower BMI and a low risk of obesity. Obesity can increase blood pressure because our body needs more work to pump blood passing all those fats. Plant-based also has low natrium content. High natrium intake can draw liquids from inside the cell, causing liquids to pile up in the veins, causing higher blood volume and pressure.


Overall, the implementation of plant-based food in our diets has a significant effect on reducing the chance of hypertension and its derived impacts. Macro and micronutrients in plant-based foods have the capabilities of maintaining the blood pressure, and veins and reducing risks of obesity which can make us healthier. However, this is not sufficient enough, because we still need to maintain a healthy lifestyle such as reducing smoking and alcohol intake + exercise regularly to be able to maintain our healthiness

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