Potassium Rich Foods Lower Blood Pressure

June 1, 2010 3 Comments

Potassium Rich Foods Lower Blood PressureRecent studies, including those cited by Harvard University at St. George’s Medical School in London,  have shown that potassium rich foods are an  essential defense in helping to relieve high blood pressure. Potassium is an essential mineral that enables the body to maintain a healthy fluid and electrolyte balance, while also promoting optimal nerve and muscle functions.

The results of the study above  showed that potassium citrate has the same blood-pressure-lowering effect as potassium chloride, which has been shown in the past to lower blood pressure. Potassium chloride, though, must be taken as a dietary supplement. Meanwhile, potassium citrate is easily found in many common and familiar foods.

The researchers reported, “These results support other evidence for an increase in potassium intake and indicate that potassium does not need to be given in the form of chloride to lower blood pressure. Increasing the consumption of food high in potassium is likely to have the same effect on blood pressure as potassium chloride.

A regular supply of potassium in your diet is vital to your health, as it is a bulwark against what has been called the silent killer – high blood pressure. Often, patients suffering from high blood pressure have been found to be taking in less than 1,500 milligrams of dietary potassium per day. Among other things, potassium helps you to excrete more sodium, and prevents your blood pressure from rising. In addition,  potassium rich foods may aid in reducing the risk of stroke, kidney stones and osteoporosis – as well as improving the immune system and delaying the onset of aging.

Potassium is found in orange colored fruits and vegetables, including pumpkins, carrots and apricots. Tomatoes and bananas are another easy source of high potassium. It is also found in artichokes, spinach, potatoes, fish, and and a variety of beans.

Rather than spending money on dietary supplements, try lowering your blood pressure by paying attention to what you eat, and use  potassium rich foods to help push your blood pressure down. However, before dramatically increasing your intake of potassium, check with your doctor to be sure your kidneys are healthy. Those with kidney conditions often need to limit mineral intake. However, munching on some healthy potassium rich food in the meantime is unlikely to do any harm –  and will probably do a lot of good.

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3 Comments to “Potassium Rich Foods Lower Blood Pressure”
  1. Larry R. King says:

    My wife had surgery and in the hospital at night her BP was 170 and is still high. She was tested today (released yesterday) and her potassium level was 5.2. So if potassium lowers BP, why does she have high BP and high potassium? She was told by her Dr. to eat low potassium food, but will that raise her BP?

  2. Mike says:

    It’s more complicated than this… how old is your wife; how well do her kidneys function; etc.
    The relationship between potassium and BP is also related to the RATIO of sodium to potassium not just potassium alone. And, finally, the effect of potassium on BP (lowering) is not a statistically real strong one…. there is SOME positive effect in some people.

  3. Bill says:

    Mike, thanks for your comment. I am not at all qualified to give medical advice, but get frequent questions asking for it. Nutrition is very complicated, and there’s not even agreement among experts in many areas. The best I can say is to listen to your body, pay attention to positive and negative changes, and pay attention to cravings you may have.

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