How A Potassium Rich Diet Can Help Combat High Blood Pressure
Many people are aware of the effect that sodium in the diet can have on their blood pressure, but it is only more recently that people have begun to recognize the effects of dietary potassium on blood pressure. Eating a diet that is rich in potassium can help prevent high blood pressure. The combination of low sodium and high potassium can help prevent heart disease.
A vast scientific study with over 17,000 participants found that a diet which includes a lot of potassium, obtained from fruit and vegetables, could help to lower the blood pressure of people who had been diagnosed with high blood pressure. The study showed that people who ate 8.5 servings of fruit and vegetables every day had significantly reduced blood pressure compared to those who only ate 3.5 servings.
The importance of potassium in the diet has been recognized by the NHLBI, which is responsible for the creation of the DASH diet that is designed to help prevent hypertension or high blood pressure. The DASH diet recommends that the amount of sodium in the diet is limited, which is common advice for the treatment of high blood pressure, but it also makes recommendations about the consumption of potassium, magnesium and calcium.
In order to enjoy the beneficial effects of potassium, it is necessary to eat a diet that contains plenty of potassium-rich foods. The best sources of potassium are fruit and vegetables. A healthy diet should contain plenty of fruit and vegetables, and it should therefore be rich in potassium. It is recommended that an adult should consume 4700 milligrams of potassium every day. However, most people in the United States only get about half of this amount from their normal diet.
In order to increase the amount of potassium in the diet, it is a good idea to incorporate some potassium-rich foods into daily consumption. Most fruits and vegetables are good sources, but the foods that contain the most potassium are bananas, potatoes, tofu and beans. Another way of increasing potassium consumption is to change the way that vegetables are cooked. When a vegetable is boiled, the potassium it contains can be leached out into the water, and is, therefore, lost. This does not happen when the vegetables are steamed, baked or roasted instead. It is possible to take potassium supplements, but it is important to consult with a doctor before doing so, particularly if you suffer from any kidney problems.
As well as trying to eat plenty of potassium, it is a good idea to limit sodium intake, choose low fat dairy products and eat a lot of fruit, vegetables and whole grains. Drinking alcohol in moderation and trying to maintain a healthy weight can also help prevent high blood pressure.