Thursday, September 16, 2010

Eat Potassium-Rich Foods to Lower Your Blood Pressure

High blood pressure affects millions of people worldwide. While a great deal of attention has been paid to salt (sodium) in the management of blood pressure, much less emphasis has been paid to the importance of potassium in lowering blood pressure.

Could Eating Potassium-Rich Foods Lower Your Blood Pressure?
A number of studies show that increasing intake of fruits, vegetables, seeds and other potassium-rich foods could have a favorable impact on your blood pressure. But most Americans are not eating enough of these foods.

Why Increase Your Potassium Intake?
High blood pressure increases the risk of heart attack and stroke. By lowering your blood pressure, you could lower these risks and prevent premature death from cardiovascular disease.

Effects of Potassium on Blood Pressure
Results of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey III demonstrated that people with higher intakes of potassium had lower blood pressure than those with lower levels of intake. The DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) trial also showed that a potassium-rich diet can result in lower blood pressure. A more recent study from from the Netherlands looked at the average potassium intake in 21 countries and confirmed previous findings, showing that higher levels of potassium results in favorable effects on blood pressure.

Dietary Sources of Potassium
  • Bananas, prunes, orange, tomato, raisins 
  • Potato 
  • Spinach and other green leafy vegetables 
  • Dried beans and peas 
  • Nuts and seeds 
  • Mollasses 
Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University
USDA National Nutrient Database
Boosting Potassium Intake Would Cut MI and Stroke Deaths