Potassium-rich fruit and veges may lower blood pressure

Potassium-rich fruit and veges could be key to lowering blood pressure, according to US research.

The research review published in the American Journal of Physiology suggests a relationship between increased dietary potassium, found in fruit and veges such as kumara, bananas, avocados, spinach and beans, and lowered blood pressure.

Decreasing sodium intake is a well-established way to lower blood pressure but increasing dietary potassium may be as important, cell and neurobiology professor Alicia McDonough says in a University of Southern California press release.

The review found higher dietary potassium was associated with lower blood pressure, regardless of sodium intake.

“If you eat a typical Western diet, your sodium intake is high and your potassium intake is low. This significantly increases your chances of developing high blood pressure,” Professor McDonough says.

She recommends developing public policies to increase intake of dietary potassium from plant-based sources and adding potassium content to nutrition labels to make it easier for consumers.

First published: April 2017

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