Hypertension is another name for the problem of high blood pressure. Hypertension results in severe health complications and increases the risk related to stroke, heart attack or cardiac arrest, stroke and similar others. Blood pressure indicates the force exerted by the human blood against the blood vessels’ walls. Pressure in this case depends on the tasks performed by one’s heart and resistance of one’s blood vessels. Based on this, hypertension implies the blood pressure as exceeding 130/80 mmHg (millimeters of mercury).
Do Bananas Lower Your Blood Pressure?
Bananas act as one of the best fruits to eat on a daily basis, especially, if you are a patient of high blood pressure. This is because; bananas come with potassium in huge amounts, which make them beneficial to manage the problem of blood pressure.
Key Facts on Potassium Intake and Potassium Rich Foods
Most of the studies have highlighted that deficiency of potassium has a close relationship with the problem of hypertension or high blood pressure. In fact, a large number of people in different countries with relatively higher rate of hypertension have failed to get potassium in adequate amounts.
According to the experienced nutritionists, an adult should intake an average of 4700 mg of potassium and 1500 mg of sodium in a day with the aim to maintain a proper balance between the two essential nutrients.
A majority of dieticians always recommends the intake of vegetables, fruits and low fat or fat-free dairy products and fishes, as each of these items act as excellent and natural sources of potassium. For instance, a medium size of banana comes with about 420 grams of potassium.
Potassium Helps in the Excretion of Sodium via Urine
Food items rich in potassium, especially the banana have significant roles to manage high blood pressure or hypertension. This is because; potassium reduces the effects with the intake of sodium. Potassium consumption helps you to excrete or lose sodium via urine. In this way, potassium eases tension in the walls of your blood vessels and thereby, helps you to reduce the problem of blood pressure. Thus, along with the reduction of salt or sodium intake; high blood pressure patients should increase the potassium intake with the objective to excrete sodium from your body itself.
Role of Potassium as a Natural Diuretic
Another major reason, for which cardiologists and nutritionists always recommend the intake of potassium i.e. at least 1 banana a day to adults (patients of high blood pressure), is that it works to deal with the problem of water retention caused mainly because of sodium intake. Potassium promotes body cells to excrete sodium and water from the body and thereby, plays its role as a natural diuretic.
Helps in Proper Muscle Functions and Avoids Muscle Cramps
Normal levels of potassium in the body of a person are very much essential to achieve appropriate muscular functions. This is because; potassium found in banana relaxes blood vessels’ walls, reduces blood pressure and protects from muscular cramps. If you found the research study related to high blood pressure or hypertension patients, you will likely come to know that individuals suffering from the problem of high blood pressure have succeeded to reduce the top number i.e., systolic value associated with the blood pressure by simply increasing their potassium intake by choosing healthy food options.
Alternative Food Options to Increase the Potassium Intake
While you will expect to get potassium in the highest possible amount from bananas, you may go with other alternative food options to intake Potassium. These include grapefruits, apricots, prunes, cantaloupes, spinach, kiwi fruit, nectarines and green veggies in higher amounts as possible.