Role Of Potassium In Blood Pressure
Published on: 11-Aug-2022
10 min read
Role Of Potassium In Blood Pressure
Potassium is an abundant intracellular ion. Its role in the regulations of blood pressure is well established. But, have you ever wondered how?
As per the American Heart Association, “The more potassium you eat, the more sodium you lose through urine.”
Let us understand the role of potassium in blood pressure.
Table of Contents
1. Role of Potassium In Blood Pressure
2. Potassium And Your Diet
3. How Does Potassium Lower Blood Pressure?
4. The Final Say
Role of Potassium In Blood Pressure
Foods high in potassium are essential for managing high blood pressure as it reduces the effect of sodium. However, other nutrients are necessary for your health. Potassium is exclusively known for its ability to lower high blood pressure.
One should consume around 4,700 to 5,000 milligrams of potassium daily. It is an essential mineral required for various body processes. Since our body cannot produce potassium, it needs to be supplied through food.
The American Heart Association states, “ Having a sufficient potassium intake both as a preventive measure and a treatment option for patients is needed.”
Potassium And Your Diet
Many elements of the Dash ( Dietary Approached to Stop Hypertension) diet, like fruits, vegetables, fat-free dairy and fish, are good natural sources of potassium. But unfortunately, our diets are higher in sodium than potassium leading to an imbalance in our system.
According to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, fewer than 2% of Americans achieve the recommended consumption of potassium. The best way is to consume whole-grain foods and avoid packaged and processed foods.
The vital sources of potassium are:
- Spinach and other leafy greens
- Whole potatoes with the skin
- Dried fruits like apricots and prunes
- Whole fruits like bananas and grapefruits
- Legumes like beans, lima beans and black beans
- Salmon and sardines
- Vegetables like beets and broccoli
How Does Potassium Lower Blood Pressure?
Too much sodium is bad for blood pressure. Therefore, kidneys have a mechanism for excreting excess sodium to maintain blood pressure. Potassium helps the kidneys to eliminate that excess sodium rather than retain it.
A recent large-scale PURE study (Prospective Urban Rural Epidemiology) examined the association of urinary sodium and potassium excretion with BP in more than ten lakh participants and reported that higher potassium excretion is associated with a lower death risk and reduced major cardiovascular complications.
It also helps improve overall vascular health and eases the walls of blood vessels that benefit your heart health and reduces multiple risks.
The Final Say
Lifestyle change is the first step in dealing with hypertension. While talking about the nutritional factors to manage hypertension, it is recommended to lower your salt intake.
To control blood pressure, a few doctors recommend that their patients eat more potassium-rich foods, such as nuts, vegetables and fruits.
1. Which fruit is rich in potassium?
Bananas, oranges, cantaloupe, honeydew, apricots, and grapefruit are potassium-rich fruits. However, some dried fruits, such as prunes, raisins, and dates, are also high in potassium.
2. Does potassium relax blood vessels?
Potassium relaxes the blood vessels, lowers blood pressure and protects against muscle cramping. Conversely, several studies have shown an association between less potassium intake, increased blood pressure, and a higher risk of stroke.
3. What are the signs of low potassium?
Some signs of low potassium are palpitation, muscle weakness, fatigue, constipation and numbness.
4. Does drinking a lot of water lower potassium?
Excessive water consumption may lead to depletion of potassium through urine.
5. How much potassium should you take for high blood pressure?
A study says people at risk of high blood pressure, kidney stones, osteoporosis or stroke may benefit from consuming at least 4,700 mg of potassium per day.
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