Friday, April 1, 2011

Potassium and Health

A high-potassium diet helps keep arteries healthy and may lower your risk of stroke. Your best sources: fruits and vegetables. Keep your blood pressure and stroke risk down by eating more potassium-rich foods. A recent study in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology found that a diet high in potassium can reduce the risk of stroke by more than 20 percent. Americans get so little daily potassium that the government considers our collective lack of the mineral to be a public health concern. Potassium helps protect against strokes by blunting the effects of sodium on blood pressure. High blood pressure is the number one cause of stroke. You can also help take the pressure off your arteries by reducing your sodium intake. In addition to kicking your saltshaker to the curb (or at least relegating it to your cupboard), boost potassium by stocking up on fruits and vegetables. Your top crops for potassium: sweet potatoes, tomatoes and bananas.

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