Dr Chris Steele shares diet tips on reducing blood pressure
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It’s no secret that high blood pressure, also known as hypertension, can be aided by potassium. The key mineral has been praised for its ability to cut your reading. However, there’s more to potassium sources than bananas. There are also plenty of “interesting” foods packed with potassium that could offer blood pressure busting effect while also satisfying your cravings.
While potassium has been labelled the number one mineral when it comes to hypertension, new research explains just how pronounced its effects are.
Published in the European Heart Journal, the study revealed that high-potassium diets helped to lower blood pressure, particularly in women following a high-salt diet.
What’s more, researchers found that for every gram of potassium consumed daily, systolic blood pressure was lowered by 2.4 millimetres of mercury (mmHg).
In case you’re not aware, blood pressure is measured in two numbers, with systolic pressure representing the higher one and diastolic pressure being the lower number.
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While fruit and veg are the obvious potassium sources, Planet Organic shared there’s more options that could help “keep things on track”.
They said: “High potassium snacks needn’t be as mundane as a banana or an avocado.”
Plus, one banana a day won’t get you to the target as the fruit only offers around 358mg of potassium.
But according to the NHS, adults need to get 3,500mg of potassium a day.
Planet Organic recommended considering these snacks that can be found in their stores:
- Banana chips
- Salmon fillets
- Zero percent fat yoghurts
- Prune juice
- Fruit and nut mixes
- Tuna fillets
- Brown rice noodles.
Remember to check the nutritional value labels when shopping to see the exact potassium content as the amount of the mineral may vary depending on the exact product.
Another thing to keep an eye out for is salt content as too much sodium makes you hold onto water, consequently boosting your blood pressure.
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The NHS recommends having no more than six grams of salt daily. However, it’s important to remember that salt doesn’t only come from the salt shaker in your kitchen as it’s often hidden in foods.
What does the research say?
Potassium has previously been linked to lower blood pressure, however, the new research stressed that the mineral can especially help women.
The research found that the more grams of potassium women eat daily, the bigger the reduction of blood pressure.
Looking at 25,000 participants between the ages of 40 to 97, the study found that women who had the highest intake of potassium had a 11 percent lower risk of hospitalisation or death due to cardiovascular disease.
Men were also able to reap the benefits as they saw their risk fall by seven percent.
How does potassium help lower blood pressure?
Blood Pressure UK explains that the mineral plays a part in how much fluid is stored in your body.
Too much water in your body will put strain on your blood vessels, raising your hypertension.
This is where potassium steps in with its ability to restore the delicate balance of sodium and potassium, allowing your kidneys to work well and lower your reading.
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