Potassium And High Blood Pressure



The association between potassium and high blood pressure is a positive one. In other words potassium unlike salt is beneficial to hypertension patients. The real effect of potassium in high blood pressure patients is its ability to blunt the effects of sodium. The association between salt and high blood pressure is a negative one which causes blood pressure to rise because sodium found in most salts retains water causing blood pressure elevation.

Potassium is not only beneficial to an individual's blood pressure health. It also plays an important role of preventing the body from becoming too acidic. This has benefits against cancer when there is enough potassium to keep PH more alkaline. Especially in the western countries the balance of consumption between potassium and sodium is heavily biased towards sodium.

An average adult should have a daily intake of 4700mg of potassium per day and at most 2300mg of sodium per day. In practice many people consume times two the quantity of potassium of sodium. Doctors have established that your body requires a ratio of 1:5. This represents five times more potassium than sodium. The benefits of the association between potassium and high blood pressure also accrue to high blood pressure patients taking hypertension medications particularly diuretics.

Diuretics work by removing excess water and salt from the body there by reducing blood pressure. In the process they inevitably waste valuable potassium as a side effect. This normally manifests as muscle cramps. Taking potassium therefore helps replace this lost potassium through the use of diuretics. On the other hand because potassium affects the balance of fluids in the body, too much of it can cause complications especially in older members of the population and those with kidney disorders.

In general doctors discourage over-the-counter potassium supplements for this reason. Also because we can easily and effortlessly get it from eating lots of foods and vegetables. A wide range of fruits and vegetables actually has a ratio of 50 to 1 meaning fifty times more potassium than sodium. The following is a list of fruits and veggies indicating the ratio of potassium;

  • Apples 90:1
  • Potatoes 110:1
  • Carrots 75:1
  • Bananas 440:1

If you are a hypertension patient and would like to benefit from the association between potassium and high blood pressure you may consider following the popular hypertension diet called DASH meaning Dietary Approaches To stop Hypertension. Following DASH will adequately cover your fruits and veggies needs which are natural sources of potassium. This particular eating plan has less sodium and saturated fats and also less harmful cholesterol.

It should be always remembered that potassium is only but an aspect of your total dietary needs. A well-rounded eating plan for high blood pressure includes a whole lot more aspects that are important. Even if you elect not to follow DASH simply eating lots of fruits and vegetables will still be immensely beneficial. The following is a selected list of potassium rich foods;

  • Lima beans
  • Spinach
  • Tomatoes or tomato juice and tomato sauce with low sodium
  • Halibut
  • Tuna
  • Molasses
  • Apricots and apricot juice
  • Cantaloupe and honeydew melon


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