Although your body requires a certain amount of sodium to help maintain blood pressure, it also requires certain amounts of other minerals, such as potassium, to hold sodium levels in your body from getting too high.
Some studies showed that, taking 3100mg of potassium supplements every day for 3 weeks, reduced systolic blood pressure by 6.9 points and diastolic pressure by 2.5 points.
It’s not fully understood how potassium reduces blood pressure. One theory suggest that, potassium calms the small blood vessels, and enables your body eradicate water and salt.
Most of us get around 2600mg of potassium a day. However, it’s advised that you include at least three servings of potassium rich fruits and veggies like potatoes and bananas in your daily diet. Also take diary products, 1 cup of milk (244g) has around 366mg of potassium, nearly the same amount a banana has. Here are some of the top potassium rich foods that fights high blood pressure.
Having a healthy diet is one of the ways to have the right potassium intake. There are many foods in the market that have potassium whether in low or high content.
Tomatoes and Tomato Products are a rich source of potassium. Potassium supports the function of body cells, organs, tissues and also helps to maintain a proper fluid balance in the body. It is essential for relaxation and contraction of muscle and it also falls under the category of potassium foods for high blood pressure.
For potassium intake, the size of a tomato influences the amount of potassium intake. A large tomato has 431 milligrams of potassium and this gives almost 10% of the daily requirement. A medium sized tomato will give 292 milligrams and a small sized one has 216 milligrams. You can take tomato juice in the morning as juice or use tomato products such as tomato paste in preparation of food during dinner and lunch. Tomatoes can also be used in salads, sandwiches.
Raisins and Figs. Dried figs have high a concentration of calories and nutrients. Dried figs about 2/3 cups provide 680mg of potassium, this is approximately 14% of the recommended intake. For raisins, 100 grams has 749 mg of potassium. Potassium helps to reduce stroke risk and prevent osteoporosis and also helps to reduce the risk of contracting calcium-containing kidney stones. Dried figs are also an excellent source of fiber and raisins have a dense source of energy.
Raisins can be taken as a mid-morning snacks or mix them with yogurt for added flavors or mix them in salads. Taking uncooked dried figs will give more potassium than when they are cooked. They can be enjoyed as snacks just like raisins.
Mangoes. A 330g mango (1 fruit without refuse ) provides close to 564.5 mg of potassium. Potassium is an electrolyte that maintains fluid balance and carries electricity throughout the body. The process makes the heart beat and also allows the muscles to contract normally. Potassium also allows the nerves to transmit messages to and from the brain.
Mangoes can be eaten as fruit cuts or as juice in the morning and also as fruit cuts after meals.
Brussels sprouts. A 78-gram Brussels sprouts serving has an approximate 274 milligrams amount of potassium. This is roughly 5% RDA. Maintaining adequate amounts of potassium is important for the body as it plays a great role in cardiovascular and muscular system functioning. Women, especially need to eat foods rich in potassium such as Brussels sprouts to prevent bone loss which may lead to osteoporosis.
The best way to eat them is as salads or blanching and tossing them in olive oil. These are the best ways as the minerals are not lost while cooking. Eat then during dinner with other foods. Taking them 4-5 times a week is perfect.
Winter Squashes. These are healthy high potassium foods since one cup of baked squash has 494mg of potassium. This is another star in potassium levels. A cup of winter squashes is equivalent to two servings of vegetables. There are many varieties of winter squashes, but they are all handled the same way when it comes to cooking.
The best way is to take them as a side dish during any dinner meal. Take at least 115 to 125 mg of winter squashes daily.
Bananas. An average Chiquita banana has about 422 mg of potassium. This is a little less than half a gram. This makes the banana a Healthy high potassium food since it gives 13% of the daily- recommended amount of potassium. The potassium in bananas helps to stimulate muscles, cells and nerves which reduces blood pressure as well as the risk of stroke.
Take a banana in the morning as a fruit, banana smoothies, and banana cream pies or take them as salads.
Sweet potatoes. A 5 inch sweet potato has 438 mg of potassium. A large cooked sweet potato in the skin has more than 850 mg. Eating a sweet potato will boost the body’s fluid balance, heart function and muscle contraction. It also prevents the chances of suffering from hypokalemia. Sweet potatoes are also good in alleviating muscle cramps. Sweet potatoes are also potassium foods for high blood pressure.
Baking sweet potatoes is the best way to eat them and ensure you do not peel off the skin. Eat medium sized sweet potatoes three to four times a week.
Lentils. Just like dried beans or peas, lentils are excellent potassium foods for high blood pressure. Eating lentils also helps muscles to contract properly and also proper heartbeats. One cup (198g) boiled lentils has 730mg of potassium. It is important to limit the level of potassium in the body as it can cause irregular heartbeats or heart attack. For people with chronic kidney diseases, it is important to keep their intake level of food high in potassium low. These are foods that give more than 200mg per serving.
Lentils can be taken during dinner as a protein. Keep the servings low to avoid too much potassium in the body.
Kale. A 100 gram of boiled, drained and slightly salted kale have 228mg of potassium. The same amount of kale when raw contain 447mg of potassium. Most of the potassium is lost in the boiling process. The best way to cook kale so as to retain potassium is by steaming or stir-frying them. A small amount of kale servings provides between 5 and 10% of the daily requirements of potassium. Potassium helps the body to stabilize water levels in the body and also keeps sodium levels in check. It also improves the function of the nervous system.
Eat kale as part of your main dish. They play the role of greens on the plate and are majorly used as vitamins.