Potassium and high blood pressure
Potassium regulates the heartbeat and ensures proper function of the muscles and nerves. It is vital for synthesizing protein and metabolizing carbohydrates. The diet of our ancestors included significant component of potassium but sodium has replaced it in modern diet. Higher use of sodium instead of potassium is one of the key drivers of high blood pressure.The adequate recommendation for potassium consumption is 4,700 mg. Fruits like bananas are a good source of potassium, but other fruits (such as apricots, and orange juice) and vegetables (such and potatoes) also have high potassium level. Studies show that higher serving of potassium rich fruits and vegetables along with low-fat dairy products and reduced sugar and meat can lower blood pressure by as much as 11 mm Hg in systolic blood pressure and 5.5 mm Hg in diastolic pressure. It can also reduce risk of stroke in people with high blood pressure or heart disease.
- Eat more fruits and vegetables with high potassium content as it may lower blood pressure and the risk of heart disease and strokes.
- Do not take potassium supplements without a doctor’s prescription, as it can lead to dangerous blood potassium levels.
- Using potassium based salt substitutes can be harmful for diabetes patients or those at risk of kidney disease