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Fruit and Vegetable Minerals Linked to Improved Blood Pressure

Researchers from Vanderbilt University and the Hypertension Institute And Vascular Biology of Nashville published a new study that indicates increasing mineral consumption, particularly potassium, can help improve blood pressure.

The study was conducted by reviewing numerous studies that looked at the relationship between diet and hypertension. They found increased intake of three minerals--potassium, magnesium and calcium--was linked to lower blood pressure

Of the three beneficial minerals, the researchers concluded that the strongest supporting evidence points to potassium as being the most beneficial. Potassium helps counter the negative effects of sodium on blood pressure by promoting improved blood flow.

These results suggest that getting more fruits and vegetables--which are naturally rich in these minerals--amay improve blood pressure levels. This along with exercise and maintaining a healthy weight can reduce coronary heart disease and stroke risk.

The USDA recommends that adults get 4,700 mg of potassium per day. Excellent dietary sources of potassium include sweet potatoes, beet greens, tomato paste, yogurt, bananas and peaches.

Source: Journal of Clinical Hypertension
July 2008, 10 (7 supplement), pages 3-11
“Potassium, Magnesium, and Calcium: Their Role in Both the Cause and Treatment of Hypertension”
Authors: Mark C. Houston, MD, MS; Karen J. Harper, MS, PharmD.
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