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Nutrition Tips for Women with Gestational Hypertension


medically reviewed by Dr Valsala

Dr Shahnaz Fathima A

Updated on November 01, 2023

Gestational Hypertension is a condition in expectant mothers characterized by high blood pressure in pregnancy, usually in the third trimester and is a matter of great concern. Left untreated, it can lead to preeclampsia, which is life-threatening for both mother and baby. 

Though the cause of gestational hypertension is poorly understood, it goes away soon after the baby is born. 

Complications from gestational hypertension can be avoided to a large extent by following a specific diet. This blog will showcase how nutrition can make a huge difference in managing this condition. Let's dive in. 

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The Role of Nutrition in Managing Gestational Hypertension

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A balanced diet is your go-to option for managing gestational hypertension naturally.

Include Essential Nutrients

Foods rich in minerals like potassium, magnesium and calcium are crucial in regulating blood pressure. 

Balance Sodium Intake

For controlling hypertension, managing sodium intake is critical. You can explore healthier alternatives to regular table salt and reduce sodium consumption.

Stay Adequately hydrated

Water levels in your body play an important role in managing blood pressure levels. 

Building a Gestational Hypertension-Friendly Diet Plan

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A diet plan for gestational hypertension helps you manage your condition effectively. 

Stay in the Pink of Health

Switch to Himalayan Pink Salt. Pink salt contains substantially higher levels of calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, potassium, aluminium, barium, silicon, and sulphur but lower sodium levels than white table salt. 

Incorporate Heart Health Foods

A diet rich in fresh vegetables and fruits with whole grains supports heart health. 

Green Leafy VegetablesKale, Collard greens, Spinach and Broccoli are good sources of calcium and magnesium
Other VegetablesAsparagus, Carrots, Beetroot, Celery, Garlic, Beans, Onions, Peas, Squash and Tomatoes.
Fresh FruitsApples, Bananas, Pears, Grapefruits, Pineapples, Plums, Strawberries and Pomegranates. 

Whole GrainsBrown Rice, Millets, Buck wheat, Quinoa, Oats, Rye, Wholemeal Flour






Pro Tip: Ensure you consume four portions of whole grains every day. 

Lean Protein Sources

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Protein is crucial during pregnancy, but choosing lean sources is vital for blood pressure regulation for optimal maternal and foetal health. 

Protein SourcesChicken, turkey, salmon, legumes, tofu and eggs


Pro Tip - Ensure you consume pasture meats and eggs on a regular basis.

Healthy Fats

Healthy fats, mainly those rich in omega-3 fatty acids, play a significant role in managing hypertension. 

Fruits, Nuts, Seeds and moreAvocado, Chia Seeds, Coconut Oil, Flax Seeds Oil, Hazelnuts, Olive oil, Pumpkin Seeds, Walnuts


Pro Tip - Avoid nuts with added salt or if you are allergic to them. 

Hydration and Fluid Intake

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Dehydration can elevate blood pressure levels, especially when dealing with gestational hypertension. Hydration helps in regulating blood volume and prevents blood pressure from rising excessively.

Here are some options you can opt for optimal hydration. 

Water: It is the best way to stay hydrated. There are no calories, caffeine or additives in it. Aim to drink at least eight glasses of water per day. You can change this based on your specific needs. 

Herbal Teas: Chamomile, ginger, or hibiscus tea are hydrating and beneficial for managing blood pressure. Be careful about the caffeine content in some herbal teas, and avoid those with liquorice root, as it can raise blood pressure.

Fruit-Infused Water: An exciting way to make plain water more enjoyable is by infusing it with slices of fruits like citrus, berries or cucumbers. This not only adds flavour but also encourages you to drink more. The fruits provide vitamins and antioxidants that support your overall health during pregnancy.

Pro Tip: Always have a bottle of water handy, within your reach. 

Meal Planning and Portion Control for Gestational Hypertension

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Effective meal planning and portion control are critical in managing gestational hypertension during pregnancy. An approach with regular and balanced eating patterns helps stabilise blood sugar levels and prevents dramatic spikes in blood pressure.

  • Aim for three balanced meals daily, with two to three healthy snacks in between.
  • Include lean protein, whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and dairy or dairy alternatives.
  • Focus on fibre-rich foods to support digestion and help regulate blood sugar.

Portion control is crucial for managing caloric intake and supporting blood pressure regulation. Here are some practical tips for effective portion control:

Use Smaller Plates

They can help you control portions by making your meals look more substantial. This psychological trick can prevent overeating.

Divide Your Plate

Mentally divide your plate into sections. Allocate half for non-starchy vegetables and the remaining two quarters for lean protein, whole grains or healthy carbohydrates.

Measure Ingredients

Use measuring cups and a kitchen scale to ensure accurate portion sizes. This is particularly important for calorie-dense foods like grains, nuts, and fats.

Pay Attention to Your Hunger

Eat slowly and mindfully. Listen to your body's hunger and fullness cues to prevent overconsumption. Stop when you're satisfied, not overly full.

Pre-Portion Snacks

Instead of eating snacks straight from the package, portion them into smaller containers or bags. This reduces the temptation to consume more than you planned.

Stay Hydrated

Sometimes, thirst is mistaken for hunger. Drinking water before a meal can help you recognize hunger and prevent overeating.

Plan Your Meals

Decide your meals and snacks in advance. Knowing what you'll eat can prevent impulsive, oversized portions.

A Sample Meal Plan for Gestational Hypertension

  • Scrambled eggs with spinach and tomatoes.
  • Whole-grain toast with a spread of avocado.
  • A serving of fresh mixed berries.
  • Herbal tea or water.
Mid-morning Snack
  • A small Greek yoghurt with a drizzle of honey.
  • Sliced cucumber or carrot sticks for crunch.
  • Water or herbal tea.
  • Grilled chicken breast salad with plenty of leafy greens, cherry tomatoes, and cucumber.
  • A quinoa and black bean salad with a light vinaigrette.
  • Fresh fruit like an apple or pear.
  • Water with a squeeze of lemon.
Evening Snack
  • A handful of mixed nuts (unsalted).
  • A small serving of baby carrots.
  • Water or herbal tea.
  • Baked salmon with a squeeze of lemon.
  • Steamed broccoli and carrots.
  • A small serving of brown rice.
  • Water or herbal tea.





Foods to Limit or Avoid During Gestational Hypertension

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Controlling salt intake is crucial. Sodium can lead to increased blood pressure, potentially exacerbating the condition. Processed foods - canned soups, frozen meals, and processed meats are often high in sodium. Restaurant and fast-food dishes can also be significant sources of hidden sodium.

Refined Sugars

Refined sugar, commonly found in sweets, sugary beverages, and processed foods, can impact blood pressure. Sugary drinks like soda, fruit juices, and energy drinks can be exceptionally high in hidden sugars.


Caffeine, commonly found in coffee, tea, and some soft drinks, can affect blood pressure, mainly if consumed excessively. Limit caffeine consumption to around 200-300 milligrams per day during pregnancy, as most health experts recommend.

Wrapping Up

Managing gestational hypertension during pregnancy is a delicate balancing act. It may present its challenges, but a well-informed approach to nutrition, hydration, and overall lifestyle choices can significantly improve the experience and outcomes of pregnancy.

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