Healthy Living

Fruits and vegetables’ latest superpower? Lowering blood pressure


Eating potassium rich foods such as yams, avocados, spinach, legumes, bananas, as well as java, might be crucial to lowering blood pressure level, according to Alicia McDonough, PhD, professor of cell and neurobiology in the Keck Medical school of the University of Southern California. Falling sodium consumption is a well recognized way to reduce blood pressure, McDonough says, but evidence indicates that increasing dietary potassium could have an equally significant impact on hypertension. Hypertension is a global health problem which impacts over one billion individuals world-wide. The World Health Organization evaluates that hypertension 45 percent of deaths due to heart disease and is liable for at least 51 percent of deaths due to stroke.

McDonough investigated the connection between the sodium potassium ratio and dietary sodium, potassium as well as blood pressure in a review article published in the Apr 2017 problem of the American Journal of Endocrinology, Physiology and Metabolism. The review looked at molecular and people, interventional mechanism studies that investigated the effects of potassium and dietary sodium on hypertension. The review of mcDonough found several population studies showing that higher dietary potassium was linked with lower blood pressure level, no matter sodium consumption. Interventional studies with potassium supplementation additionally indicated that an immediate gain is provided by potassium. McDonough reviewed latest studies in rodent models, from others among her very own laboratory, to exemplify the mechanisms for potassium advantage.

These studies suggested that the body does a balancing act that uses sodium to keep close control of potassium levels in the blood, which can be crucial to muscle function, nerve and standard heart. Kidneys excrete more salt and water, which increases potassium excretion, when dietary potassium is high, McDonough says. Eating a higher potassium diet is similar to taking a diuretic. A conscious attempt will be taken by increasing dietary potassium, nonetheless. McDonough describes that our early ancestors ate archaic diets that have been high in vegetables, roots, fruits, legumes and grains and extremely low.

Consequently, not, although people evolved to crave sodium potassium. Modern diets, nevertheless, have changed dramatically since then: processed foods are often low in potassium, and processed food companies add salt to fulfill our cravings. McDonough says, your sodium consumption is high, in the event you eat a typical Western diet, as well as your potassium intake is low. This substantially raises your likelihood of developing high blood pressure level., When dietary potassium is low, the balancing act uses sodium retention to hold onto the small potassium, which will be like eating a greater sodium diet, she says.

But exactly how much dietary potassium should we use up? A 2004 Institute of Medicine report suggests that adults have at least 4.7 grams of potassium each day to lower blood pressure level, blunt the aftereffects of dietary sodium and reduce the dangers of kidney stones and bone loss, McDonough says. Frac34 eating &, cup of black beans, for instance, may help you reach nearly 50 percent of your day-to-day potassium target.

McDonough recommends developing public policies to increase intake of dietary potassium from plant-based sources. She also advocates adding potassium content to nutrition labels to help raise consumers’ awareness of economical sources of potassium.