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High blood pressure, or hypertension, is when the pressure of blood flow pushes against veins. High blood pressure can contribute to other major heart events and even stroke. High blood pressure can be symptomless and if not monitored will only reveal itself through a major heart event. This is why it’s so important to monitor your blood pressure as well as take preventative measures to keep it in the normal range.
One way a person can control their blood pressure is through potassium. Potassium is an essential mineral which our bodies require. Research suggests by taking potassium you can better manage your blood pressure.
Overview of potassium
Potassium is naturally found within the body as well as in many foods which we eat. Therefore getting an ample supply of it is quite easy. Potassium is used in the body in many ways, but one function in particular is to support heart health.
Because the typical American diet is high in sodium it can lead to potassium deficiencies. High sodium has been linked to high blood pressure as well. Therefore to combat the effects of sodium it’s essential to get in adequate amounts of potassium.
The current recommendation for potassium is 4,700 mg a day for those over the age of 14.
As mentioned, potassium can be found in many health foods including leafy greens, fruits, grain products, milk products and meat.
Potassium and blood pressure
The American Heart Association (AHA) suggests eating foods which contain potassium is a good way to boost potassium levels and better manage blood pressure. Potassium can flush out excess salt which is found in our diet. Salt has been highly linked to increasing blood pressure. Potassium works to weed out salt through a process which occurs in the kidneys.
The kidneys control fluid within the body. Excess fluid gets pulled into the bladder where urine is formed. Both sodium and potassium are used during this process to bring the fluid into the bladder. A diet high in sodium disrupts the balance between salt and potassium making this pulling of fluid much more difficult. By increasing potassium intake, balance can be restored again leading not only to better kidney which in turn can help improve blood pressure.
Alternative health benefits of potassium
Not only is potassium helpful to aid with blood pressure, but it can offer other health benefits as well.
Potassium works to boost oxygen to the brain preventing stroke.
Potassium can work to maintain healthy blood sugar. A drop in potassium can lead to a drop in blood sugar resulting in symptoms like headache, sweating and even fainting.
Potassium aids in the function of our muscles. Additionally it can prevent muscle cramping. Potassium also plays a role in muscles strong.
Potassium helps to preserve calcium in the bones leading to stronger, healthier bones.
Potassium helps metabolize nutrients leading to more energy.
Potassium can help reduce symptoms associated with stress and anxiety and can help stabilize mood. Maybe the next time you’re feeling overwhelmed, opt for a banana!
As you can see potassium can greatly improve bodily functions and can offer many health benefits. Ensuring you’re getting in the recommended amount is then essential to overall good health. But take note: Too much potassium isn’t good. To avoid over-consuming potassium check in with a doctor to check your levels.
This article was republished with permission from belmarrahealth.com.