Eating Potassium-Rich Foods May Help Lower Blood Pressure
According to the World Health Organization, hypertension is the leading global risk factor for cardiovascular disease. A recent review suggests that eating potassium-rich foods may help lower blood pressure.
The review was written by Alicia McDonough, PhD, a professor of cell and neurobiology at the Keck School of Medicine of the University of California. It examines population, interventional, and molecular mechanism studies that looked at the effects of dietary sodium and potassium on hypertension.
In her research, Dr. McDonough found several population studies that showed that higher levels of dietary potassium were associated with lower blood pressure, regardless of how much sodium a person consumed. She also examined recent studies on rodent models and found that the body uses sodium to balance potassium levels.
The review was published on April 4, 2017, in the American Journal of Physiology, Endocrinology and Metabolism.
Previous studies have linked potassium with helping prevent hypoglycemia, diabetes, obesity and kidney disease. It may also help counteract muscle cramps.
Many foods are rich in potassium, including beans, avocados, bananas, whole grains, sweet potatoes, beet greens, tomato paste, yogurt, bananas and peaches. The USDA recommends that adults get 4,700 mg of potassium per day.