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Meet The Miracle Food That Combats Strokes, High Blood Pressure And Salt Effects

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High blood pressure, often known as hypertension, causes the heart to work harder than normal to pump blood throughout the body. This puts additional pressure on important organs over time and may lead to medical problems such as heart attacks and strokes. Therefore, maintaining low blood pressure via healthy lifestyle choices may be lifesaving.

Like many health problems, high blood pressure is caused by more than one thing.

These include having a high body mass index, consuming an excessive amount of alcohol, and smoking cigarettes.

But what you eat is also a very important factor.

The link between salt intake and hypertension is well-established.

This is because salt causes water retention, increasing pressure on the walls of blood vessels.

So, people with high blood pressure or who are at risk of getting it are always told to cut back on salt.

But increasing your intake of a certain mineral is another strategy to reduce the effects of salt on the body.

Not only does potassium aid in the body’s processing and elimination of salt, but it also aids in relaxing the walls of blood vessels.

The American Heart Association recommends butter beans, sometimes referred to as lima beans, as one potassium-rich food that may help decrease blood pressure.

508 mg of potassium is present in every 100 grams of butter beans.

This is more potassium than the 358mg in the same amount of banana, which is often mentioned as a good source of potassium.

What does the study on potassium say?

The British Medical Journal published a study that says a high-potassium diet can help lower blood pressure.

Twenty-two studies were included in the meta-analysis, with a total of over 1,600 individuals.

High-quality research found that increasing potassium consumption lowers blood pressure in hypertensive individuals while having no negative effects on blood lipid levels, catecholamine levels, or renal function in adults.

The results showed that people who ate more potassium had a 24% lower chance of having a stroke (moderate quality evidence).

The findings of the study “suggest that increased potassium intake is potentially beneficial to most people without impaired renal handling of potassium for the prevention and control of elevated blood pressure and stroke.”

In a separate meta-analysis that was published in the Journal of the American Heart Association, it was found that an “adequate” amount of potassium could help lower blood pressure.

The study said, “we identified a nonlinear relationship between potassium intake and both systolic and diastolic blood pressure, although estimates for blood pressure effects of high potassium intakes should be interpreted with caution because of limited availability of trials.”

“Our findings indicate an adequate intake of potassium is desirable to achieve a lower blood pressure level,” the authors wrote, “but suggest excessive potassium supplementation should be avoided, particularly in specific subgroups.”

Health experts recommend that adults have 3,500 milligrams of potassium per day, an amount that should be easy to achieve with food alone.

Image Credit: Getty

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