Potassium Blood Pressure Benefit
Potassium rich fruits and vegetables help lower blood pressure because the natural potassium is easily absorbed by the body. When preparing vegetables high in potassium the recommended cooking methods include:
The Third National Health and Nutritional Examination Survey (NHANES III) published in the Archives of Internal Medicine (February 2001), confirmed the benefit of potassium on blood pressure.
Eat at Least 4-5 Servings a Day
Incorporating fruits and vegetables everyday is part of a heart-healthy diet that will have a positive effect on your blood pressure. Include at least 4-5 servings of vegetables daily. Ideally some of these servings should be uncooked because preparation of your fruits and vegetables plays a role in the nutrition you receive from the foods you eat. To gain the most benefit, be sure to use less oil when preparing vegetables and don't peel the skin on fruits because they hold the maximum nutrients.
A study presented in the November 2007 issue of The Journal of Nutrition provided results of how eating beans improves lipid profiles associated with cardiovascular disease. Beans and other legumes are a good source of potassium and folate which benefit your heart's health. In fact, include 4 or more servings of legumes in your diet each week and it can reduce your risk of heart disease by 22 percent. This is because they contain fiber, protein and other nutrients but no cholesterol or saturated fat.
Swiss chard is a good source of potassium but it is also rich in:
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin K
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin E
Broccoli is a powerhouse vegetable. It not only provides the body with vitamins A and C, but it is also a good source of calcium. Enough calcium that it makes a good alternative to dairy products which are not always heart friendly. One reason that broccoli helps to lower blood pressure is that it is rich in cholesterol-reducing fiber.
A common complaint from people is that eating broccoli produces flatulence. To help reduce this problem, eat your broccoli with ginger or garlic.
Cabbage is high in a chemical known as glutamic acid which is why it helps to lower blood pressure. Glutamic acid is among the most common amino acids. Cabbage is also a rich source of vitamin C and fiber. It comes in three varieties. White, green and red cabbage. The red cabbage has less potassium than the white or green but all are good for you.
Spinach contains the chemicals choline and inositol which have been shown to help prevent heart diseases that contribute to high blood pressure like arteriosclerosis and diabetic heart disease. Spinach is a great source of vitamins A and C. This team of antioxidants works to help stop cholesterol from oxidizing. It's oxidized cholesterol that sticks to the walls of blood vessels and eventually blocks arteries. Other nutrients in spinach include folate and magnesium (a mineral that can help lower high blood pressure).
Of all the fruits, citrus fruits are the most effective in lowering high blood pressure. This is one of the reasons people who take high blood pressure medications are told not to eat grapefruit. Citrus fruits contain:
- Vitamin C
Many people are aware that bananas are a good source of potassium, but bananas are also one of the highest sources of naturally occurring B6. What people don't realize is that this tropical fruit benefits much more than blood pressure. They're a good source of dietary fiber and are beneficial to the:
You've heard the old saying, "An apple a day keeps the doctor away." Apples are good for us in many ways and this is one fruit that's valuable in the fight against high blood pressure. They are a good source of potassium and phosphorus but low in sodium. They also provide fiber and flavonoids.
Other fruits that are high in potassium and good for bringing blood pressure down include:
- Passion Fruit
Fruits and Vegetables that Lower
Eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables that lower blood pressure is one step toward naturally bringing your blood pressure down. Eating whole grains and low-fat dairy also helps along with reducing your sodium while increasing your intake of potassium. If you're unsure where to start, you may want to consider the DASH diet. Other steps to lowering your blood pressure naturally include:
- Drinking plenty of water
- Stop smoking
- Reduce alcohol consumption
- Stress management