- A new tally from the American Heart Association shows that about 103 million U.S. adults have high blood pressure, that’s almost 50 percent of all adults in the country.
- A typical American diet has loads of sodium, which can increase one’s blood pressure.
- Including foods that are rich in potassium can help lower blood pressure by balancing out the effects of sodium.
People with hypertension should be aware that diets high in sodium can raise blood pressure. It’s concerning that many foods have loads of salt compounds that don’t even taste all that salty.
High blood pressure can lead to heart attacks, strokes, and even deaths from heart disease. The good news is that there are some things that you can do to lower your blood pressure and reduce your risk.
The American Heart Association recommends reducing your overall sodium intake and increasing your whole grains servings to manage your blood pressure.
The one thing that you can start doing immediately? Eat foods that are rich in potassium.
According to Harvard Health, normal body levels of potassium are important for muscle function. Potassium relaxes the walls of the blood vessels, lowering blood pressure and protecting against muscle cramping. Previous studies link low potassium intake to high blood pressure.
Potassium can lessen the harmful effects of sodium in your blood.
“The more potassium you eat, the more sodium you lose through urine,” the AHA says on its website. “Potassium also helps to ease tension in your blood vessel walls, which helps further lower blood pressure.”
It means eating foods rich in potassium like bananas can balance the levels of sodium in your body by flushing them out.
A medium-sized banana has 12 percent of your recommended daily intake (RDI) of potassium. There are a lot of other delicious and healthy foods that have potassium like oranges, sweet potatoes, and dark leafy greens.
Aside from providing a good amount of soluble fiber, white beans and lentils are also rich in potassium. Other foods that contain this nutrient include avocados, yogurt, beets and some other nutrient-dense vegetables.
Good news to coconut water lovers. A cup of this refreshing drink offers 13 percent of the RDI.
People with hypertension may also be overweight, so consider potassium-rich foods that are low in calories and carbohydrates so they will not add more to your weight. These include broccoli, water chestnuts, spinach, and other leafy greens and fruits like cantaloupe and kiwi.
Source: The Daily Meal