A new report from the University of Southern California – Health Sciences contends that eating more veggies that are rich in Potassium could lower your blood pressure significantly. Researchers say it’s a logical effect of modifying the body’s Sodium-Potassium balance. So, bring on the Bananas!
In fact, bring on the Sweet Potatoes, Avocados, Spinach, Beans and even coffee. All these common foods are great sources of Potassium and just might help lower your Blood Pressure.
According to Dr. Alicia McDonough, lead author of the report, “When dietary potassium is high, kidneys excrete more salt and water, which increases potassium excretion. Eating a high potassium diet is like taking a diuretic.”
How does this help your BP?
McDonough postulates that our modern diet is high in Sodium and low in Potassium because out ancestors ate a lot of high-Potassium foods naturally and developed a craving for Salt, to balance it. These days – especially since the Post WW II era, when processed and packaged foods took off in popularity and availability – we just naturally get too much Sodium to balance properly with the lower level of Potassium in our bodies. That’s why reducing Sodium intake can help reduce Blood Pressure – it brings the high Sodium closer in line with the lower Potassium.
And that mention, by Dr. McDonough, about eating more Potassium being like taking a diuretic? We also take diuretics to help lower Sodium and moderate Blood Pressure.
So, how much extra Potassium do we need?
A 2004 Institute of Medicine report recommends that adults consume at least 4.7 grams of potassium per day to lower blood pressure. The good news is, it’s not so hard to get that! Three-quarters of a cup of Black Beans can give you half that in one serving! But don’t forget that Banana with Breakfast and the Sweet Potato instead of regular white Potato two or three times a week…
It’s an epidemic
How serious a threat to our health is High Blood Pressure? High Blood Pressure is a global health issue that affects more than one billion people worldwide. The World Health Organization estimates that hypertension is responsible for at least 51 percent of deaths due to stroke and 45 percent of deaths due to heart disease.
~ Maggie J.