Credit: © sebra / Fotolia

Credit: © sebra / Fotolia

Eating fruits and vegetables is key to lowering blood pressure

Eating fruits and vegetables is key to lowering blood pressure, according to the latest research from the University of Southern California (USC).

According to the researchers, eating foods high in potassium like bananas, spinach, avocados, sweet potatoes, and more can significantly lower blood pressure.

Decreasing sodium intake is a well-established way to lower blood pressure,” Alicia McDonough, PhD says, “but evidence suggests that increasing dietary potassium may have an equally important effect on hypertension.”

High blood pressure has become a serious problem in the United States, especially because it puts you at greater risk for heart disease and stroke, which are leading causes of death.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 75 million adults in America have high blood pressure, which is 1 in every 3 adults.

McDonough’s review found several studies showed that higher potassium intake was linked to lower blood pressure, regardless of sodium intake.

When dietary potassium is high, kidneys excrete more salt and water, which increases potassium excretion,” McDonough explains. “Eating a high potassium diet is like taking a diuretic.”

However, a high potassium diet will take some extra effort, McDonough says.

If you eat a typical Western diet,” McDonough says, “your sodium intake is high and your potassium intake is low. This significantly increases your chances of developing high blood pressure. When dietary potassium is low, the balancing act uses sodium retention to hold onto the limited potassium, which is like eating a higher sodium diet,” she says.

Some of the best sources of dietary potassium are avocados, squash, spinach, sweet potatoes, salmon, apricots, pomegranates, and bananas.

The study showing that eating fruits and vegetables is key to lowering blood pressure was published in the journal Endocrinology and Metabolism.

Note: None of the information in our website is intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any illness or disease. The content on our website is for educational purposes only.

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1. “Fruits and Vegetables’ Latest Superpower? Lowering Blood Pressure.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, n.d. Web. 06 Apr. 2017.
2. “Cardiovascular Benefits Associated with Higher Dietary K+ vs. Lower Dietary Na+: Evidence from Population and Mechanistic Studies.” American Journal of Physiology – Endocrinology and Metabolism. American Physiological Society, 01 Apr. 2017. Web. 06 Apr. 2017.
3. “High Blood Pressure Fact Sheet.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 16 June 2016. Web. 06 Apr. 2017.
4. “Top 10 Potassium-Rich Foods & Potassium Benefits.” Dr. Axe. Dr. Axe, n.d. Web. 06 Apr. 2017.

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