Bananas and citrus fruits can help lower blood pressure, research finds.
These fruits are rich in potassium, which research has linked to decreased blood pressure.
Pomegranates have even higher levels of potassium than bananas.
High potassium levels could be more important than lowering salt intake for keeping blood pressure down, a study suggests.
The conclusions come from an analysis of 3,303 people involved in the Dallas Heart Study.
The results showed that higher levels of potassium in the urine were strongly linked to lower blood pressure.
Dr Susan Hedayati, the study’s lead author, said:
“The lower the potassium in the urine, hence the lower the potassium in the diet, the higher the blood pressure
This effect was even stronger than the effect of sodium on blood pressure.”
The study is particularly important for African-Americans, said Dr Hedayati:
“Our study included a high percentage of African-Americans, who are known to consume the lowest amounts of potassium in the diet.”
Along with lower sodium (salt), those worried about their blood pressure should eat foods that contain high levels of potassium.
Dr Hedayati said:
“High-potassium foods include fruits such as bananas and citrus fruits and vegetables.
Consuming a larger amount of these foods in the diet may lower blood pressure.”
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The study was published in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (Hedayati et al., 2012).