Potassium-rich diet can help to lower blood pressure

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A recent study has shown that patients, and particularly women, who consume a lot of salt can lower their blood pressure by consuming potassium-rich foods such as bananas, avocados, salmon and spinach.

High blood pressure has long been known to be a risk factor for heart attacks and strokes, and in this study the blood pressure lowering effect of a diet high in potassium translated into a lower risk of these events; women who consumed the most potassium were 11% less likely to suffer a heart attack or stroke compared with those with the least potassium in their diet, and in men, the risk was 7% lower.

A healthy well-balanced diet will naturally include potassium-rich foods and this is to be encouraged, but patients are advised not to increase their potassium intake with supplements, since this can cause stomach pain and diarrhoea, and particularly high levels of potassium can cause life-threatening heart rhythm changes.

To read the original research paper, please click here. The British Heart Foundation has also summarised the research very succinctly, and you can find this here.

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