It Helps Regulate Fluid Balance
The body is made of approximately 60% water .
40% of this water is found inside your cells in a substance called intracellular fluid .
The remainder is found outside your cells in areas such as your blood, spinal fluid and between cells. This fluid is called extracellular fluid .
Interestingly, the amount of water in the ICF and ECF is affected by their concentration of electrolytes, especially potassium and sodium.
Potassium is the main electrolyte in the ICF, and it determines the amount of water inside the cells. Conversely, sodium is the main electrolyte in the ECF, and it determines the amount of water outside the cells.
The number of electrolytes relative to the amount of fluid is called osmolality. Under normal conditions, the osmolality is the same inside and outside your cells.
Simply put, theres an equal balance of electrolytes outside and inside your cells.
However, when osmolality is unequal, water from the side with fewer electrolytes will move into the side with more electrolytes to equalize electrolyte concentrations.
This may cause cells to shrink as water moves out of them, or swell up and burst as water moves into them .
Thats why its important to make sure you consume the right electrolytes, including potassium.
Maintaining good fluid balance is important for optimal health. Poor fluid balance can lead to dehydration, which in turn affects the heart and kidneys .
Eating a potassium-rich diet and staying hydrated can help maintain good fluid balance.
How To Eat More Potassium
Fruits and vegetables
Fruit and vegetables are a great source of potassium. Plus theyre full of vitamins, minerals and fibre which keep your body in good condition, helping to prevent bowel problems and some cancers as well as heart disease and stroke.
Fruits that are particularly high in potassium include:
- tomato juice and tomato puree
- orange juice
- wholemeal pasta
As well as eating foods high in potassium, will help to keep your kidneys and blood pressure in good health.
Potassium supplementsand your kidneys
Its possible to have too much of a good thing. To make sure you don’t overdose on potassium, avoid taking supplements and get your daily potassium from fruits and vegetables and the other foods listed here.
If you have or are taking certain blood pressure medications, a large increase in potassium could be harmful. If this applies to you, avoid taking potassium supplements or switching to potassium-based salt alternatives, and check with your doctor before dramatically increasing your potassium intake.
Number 3 Citrus Fruits
Oranges, grapefruit, and lemons are some citrus fruits that have been found to be very effective against hypertension. These fruits are loaded with bioflavonoids, vitamin C, and minerals like magnesium and potassium. One study showed that hypertensive patients consuming lemon juice daily, led to a reduction in systolic blood pressure. Other studies have also found similar results from drinking orange or grapefruit juice. One cup of orange juice provides 496 milligrams of potassium, though its better to eat the fruit to avoid sugar spikes.
How Long Does It Take For Potassium To Lower Blood Pressure
Its important to recognize the effect of potassium is not immediate. Its not like you can eat a banana and thenboomfive minutes later, youre less hypertensive, with lower cardiovascular risk.
And, dietary approaches dont work in all circumstances. If we have someone thats in the emergency room with high blood pressure, were not going to push potassium, explains Dr. Dixon. Its going to be a couple different blood pressure lowering drugs that would be much more effective in that case.
It will take weeks to months to lower blood pressure using potassium. Thats why eating a balanced diet and changing your lifestyle to prioritize heart health over the long haul is important. If you eat properly, youll likely get enough potassium just through your food. The best option is to combine that diet with other actionable steps to maintain healthy blood pressure levels: getting regular exercise, avoiding cigarettes, maintaining a healthy weight, and decreasing sodium intake.
If were all fortunate enough to live into our late 70s or into the eighth and ninth decade of life, at some point your blood pressure may creep up a little bit and meet that threshold of hypertension, Dr. Dixon says. But theres a lot we can do in our younger years to delay that as much as possible and hopefully prevent it.
Number 4 Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes contain both magnesium and potassium, which help keep your blood pressure in check. Studies have found a significant reduction in systolic and diastolic pressure with the consumption of baked sweet potatoes. One large sweet potato contains 1,110 milligrams of potassium. Since potassium is found in both the flesh and skin of the potatoes, the best way to consume them is washed and unpeeled. If you prefer potatoes, a single, medium baked potato has a remarkable 941 milligrams of potassium, which equals 20 percent of the daily recommended intake.
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High Blood Pressure Symptoms: 7 Natural Ways To Lower Blood Pressure And Protect Your Heart
These simple changes can help you keep high blood pressure at bay
Around a third of UK adults have high blood pressure, and many may not even be aware of it. The condition is usually silent, without symptoms, but if left untreated it could lead to serious complications.
Some of the resulting health problems of high blood pressure, or hypertension, can include heart disease, heart failure, heart attack, stroke, kidney disease, and vision loss. It is very important, therefore, to detect high blood pressure and take steps to keep it under control.
Sometimes, healthy lifestyle changes are enough to lower your blood pressure levels. In other cases, you may need to combine them with medications prescribed by your doctor.
But in either case, there simple changes to your diet and everyday life, proven by research, you can make to keep your arteries healthy. We have consulted Penn Medicine and Jonhs Hopkins Medicine for the latest advice from the experts.
Potassium As Important As Sodium For Healthy Blood Pressure
A high salt diet is known to increase the risk of hypertension. A recent review concludes that consuming adequate potassium levels might be just as important for maintaining a healthy blood pressure.
High blood pressure is a silent killer. Worldwide, it affects an estimated 1 billion people. Approximately of these live in the United States totaling around 1 in 3 people.
Studies over recent years have clearly demonstrated that eating a diet high in salt , such as the standard Western diet, can lead to hypertension.
This most recent review, published in American Journal of Physiology Endocrinology and Metabolism, shows that high sodium intake is not the only important dietary factor potassium also has a vital role to play.
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Getting Enough Potassium For Healthy Blood Pressure
The government-recommended adequate intake for potassium is 3.4 grams for men and 2.7 grams for women. This is recently down from an AI of 4.7 grams that, to my eye, had more evidence behind it for healthy blood pressure.
I continue to recommend folks with healthy kidneys shoot for 4.7 grams potassium per day. Only about 3% of Americans hit this target, but if youre consuming a whole foods diet, your chance of potassium sufficiency goes up dramatically. Said another way: if one is not eating processed junk, you are likely good on potassium.
Why? Because whole foods diets are full of potassium-rich foods like meat, fruits, and vegetables.
To see where youre at, calculate your daily intake with an app like Cronometer, then supplement to make up the shortfall. .
If youre feeling ambitious, get a blood pressure cuff and start taking daily readings. See what happens when you bump up potassium.
But you neednt experiment on yourself to justify getting enough potassium. Just do it. Your heart will thank you.
To put it plainly: We can dive crazy deep on proposed mechanisms, arcane studies, and the latest medical literature, and I could still sum it up with just eat real food.
How Does Potassium Lower Blood Pressure
Dr. Makam explains that the most direct way potassium helps lower blood pressure is in how the nutrient interacts with your kidneys and sodium. We know too much sodium is bad for blood pressure, so kidneys have a mechanism for excreting excess sodium to maintain blood pressure, he explains. Potassium helps the kidneys excrete that excess sodium instead of retaining it.
But potassium also helps improve your bodys overall vascular health, he adds. Potassium eases tension in the walls of blood vessels and that, in turn, can have other benefits on your heart health.
Because potassium positively affects your entire vascular system, it helps reduce multiple risks, explains Dr. Makam. Because it helps blood vessels in your brain, kidneys and heart, it reduces the risk of stroke, kidney failure and heart disease.
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Add More Potassium To Your Diet
Potassium acts in two ways to help lower your blood pressure. The mineral both helps your body get rid of sodium and eases tension in your blood vessel walls, helping regulate heart rate.
The NHS says a varied balanced diet should provide all the potassium you need, and that taking too much from supplements could be harmful. People with kidney disease should avoid consuming too much potassium, and consult with their doctor.
It’s Usually Best To Get Calcium Magnesium And Potassium From Food Are You Getting Enough
A healthy, balanced diet plays a major role in blood pressure control. And you should consume some specific minerals on a regular basis for good blood pressure management: calcium, magnesium, and potassium. But do most of us get enough of these? “If you’re eating a healthy diet, you probably have nothing to worry about. But people eating a diet of processed and canned foods or taking certain medications might not be getting enough of these micronutrients,” says Dr. Randall Zusman, director of the Division of Hypertension at the Massachusetts General Hospital Heart Center.
of potassium, 67 mg of magnesium,and 96 mg calcium.
potassium, and 91 mg ofmagnesium.
|78 mg of magnesium, and146 mg of calcium.|
Normal body levels of potassium are important for muscle function, including relaxing the walls of the blood vessels. This lowers blood pressure and protects against muscle cramping. Normal potassium levels also are important for the conduction of electrical signals in the nervous system and in the heart. This protects against an irregular heartbeat.
The Recommended Dietary Allowance of potassium is 4.7 grams per day for both men and women ages 51 and older.
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How Much Do You Need
The U.S. Department of Agriculture recommends 4,700 milligrams per day for healthy people. The easiest way to get this amount is by adding high-potassium fruits and vegetables to your diet.
It’s possible to get too much of a good thing, though. Ask your doctor before starting a potassium supplement.
If you have kidney failure or other kidney problems, talk with your doctor about how much potassium you should get.
Some diuretics for heart failure can make you lose potassium in your pee. If you are taking one, have your levels checked. If yours are low, you can raise them by taking a supplement or eating more potassium-rich foods.
Sodium Potassium & Your Blood Pressure
We all know that a high-sodium diet can increase your risk for high blood pressure, which can lead to a heart attack or stroke. But a recent study has revealed that a diet rich in potassium can counteract these effects. Replacing some foods in your diet with high-potassium alternatives can help control your sodium retention.
Salt is a key ingredient in many foods that we love to indulge in, and no one wants to sacrifice taste. This new finding tells us that we dont have to increasing the potassium in our diets will allow us to enjoy the foods we want to, without putting ourselves at an increased risk for blood pressure problems.
Researchers have found that if you consume a diet high in sodium and low in potassium, your body will retain the sodium to hold onto its limited supply of potassium. As a result, the sodium in your diet increases, which could be even more detrimental to your health.
The typical Western diet contains increased amounts of sodium, but how did our collective eating habits end up like this? Our early ancestors consumed a primitive diet that mainly consisted of roots, fruits, beans, and grains. Since they had a high-potassium diet, weve evolved to crave sodium, not the other way around. Because our diet is now imbalanced in this regard, we have to make a conscious effort to consume foods that can help us reach our daily potassium intake.
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Potassium Linked To Low Blood Pressure
Written byMohan GarikiparithiPublished onApril 14, 2017
High blood pressure is one of the leading causes of heart disease, resulting in the deaths of nearly 610,000 people in the U.S. alone. For decades, doctors and health professionals have advocated for exercise and eating healthier diets to help curb this statistic, but to no avail. Perhaps the type of healthy food may also play a role, however, as a new study links increased dietary potassium with lower blood pressure.
Eating potassium-rich foods like sweet potatoes, avocados, spinach, beans, bananasand even coffeecould be key to lowering blood pressure, according to Alicia McDonough, Ph.D., professor of cell and neurobiology at the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California .
McDonough and her colleagues recognize how high blood pressure is a global trend affecting nearly one billion people worldwide. This pandemic has led to increasing rates of heart disease and stroke, becoming one of the worlds most common contributors to global mortality rates. The World Health Organization estimates that high blood pressure is responsible for at least 51 percent of deaths due to stroke, and 45 percent of deaths due to heart disease.
Decreasing sodium intake is a well-established way to lower blood pressure, McDonough says, but evidence suggests that increasing dietary potassium may have an equally important effect on hypertension.
Potassium Rich Foods To Lower Blood Pressure
Banana: Usually the first fruit you think of when seeking a potassium boost, this tasty treat offers about 15 percent of your daily recommended intake. It can be added to pretty much anything, like your morning cereal, smoothies, or other foods that benefit from a kick of sweetness.
Yogurt: A great morning, mid-day, and even evening snack. It can be found in a variety of flavors and is especially great when fresh fruit is added. A 100g serving offers more than 250mg of potassium.
Packed with vitamins A and C, it is also a great source of potassium. A 100g serving of apricots gives you about seven percent of your daily recommended intake of potassium. It also has a low glycemic index for those who are glucose conscious.
Acorn squash: Boasting 400mg of potassium with every 100g serving, acorn squash can be baked with brown sugar and cinnamon and eaten as a tasty side dish, complementing any meal.
Avocado: This versatile fruit is packed with goodness. It provides and an abundant amount of omega-3 fatty acids, maintains electrolyte balance, and offers close to 1000mg of potassium per serving.
Potato: A nutritious root vegetable, the potato is also rich with potassium, offering approximately 30% of the daily recommended intake for every cup of the stuff. Potatoes are great baked, grilled, and boiled, but its best to avoid the fried variants.
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Potassium Lowers Blood Pressure
When it comes to fighting high blood pressure, the average American diet delivers too much sodium and too little potassium. Eating to reverse this imbalance could prevent or control high blood pressure and translate into fewer heart attacks, strokes, and deaths from heart disease.
Normal body levels of potassium are important for muscle function. Potassium relaxes the walls of the blood vessels, lowering blood pressure and protecting against muscle cramping. A number of studies have shown an association between low potassium intake and increased blood pressure and higher risk of stroke. On the flip side, people who already have high blood pressure can significantly lower their systolic blood pressure by increasing their potassium intake when they choose to eat healthy foods.
Most Americans get barely half of the recommended amount of potassium 4,700 milligrams a day. Fruits, vegetables, beans, and some seeds offer good ways to get more of it. Bananas are often held up as the poster child for potassium, but there are better sources.
Since people with high blood pressure may also be trying to lose weight, consider potassium rich foods that are low in calories and carbohydrates. Good examples include broccoli, water chestnuts, spinach, and other leafy greens. Also goodalthough slightly higher in carbs and caloriesare butternut squash and sweet potatoes, and fruits such as cantaloupe, kiwi, and nectarines.
How Does Potassium Affect High Blood Pressure
The treatment of hypertension involves more than just antihypertensive drugs. In addition to exercise, maintaining an ideal weight, and quitting cigarettes, diet plays an important role in controlling blood pressure.
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