Boosting levels of potassium in your diet may lower high blood pressure or prevent you from developing high blood pressure, say researchers from Nashville, Tennessee.
In this review of recently published studies about diet and blood pressure, the researchers found that many people could lower their blood pressure by more than 10 percent if they increased their intake of potassium-rich foods.
Foods that are high in potassium include: bananas, oranges, orange juice, potatoes, avocado, cantaloupe, tomatoes, tomato juice, chicken, salmon, and milk.
A high intake of potassium dilates blood vessels and protects them from the constricting effects of stress. Low potassium intake can cause the body to retain sodium - a well-known culprit in high blood pressure.
High blood pressure, or hypertension, is defined as blood pressure that's consistently above 140/90 mm Hg.
According to the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada, one in five Canadians are affected by high blood pressure.
Because high blood pressure often has no symptoms, an estimated 43 percent of Canadians have this risk factor for heart disease - and aren't aware of it.
For tips on how to include more potassium-rich foods in your diet, check out Leslie Beck's Foods that Fight Disease or read about how you can work one-on-one with a dietitian to reduce your risk of high blood pressure.
This report was published in the July 2008 issue of the Journal of Clinical Hypertension.
All research on this web site is the property of Leslie Beck Nutrition Consulting Inc. and is protected by copyright. Keep in mind that research on these matters continues daily and is subject to change. The information presented is not intended as a substitute for medical treatment. It is intended to provide ongoing support of your healthy lifestyle practices.