High blood pressure, also referred to as hypertension, is considered a serious conditions because of the health risks if it’s left untreated. It’s important to have your blood pressure checked on a regular basis as symptoms don’t always show. Certain factors are known to increase your chance of developing a high reading, such as eating unhealthily. As part of a healthy diet to keep your blood pressure reading normal, experts recommend eating plenty of potassium.
Potassium helps to lower blood pressure by balancing out the negative effects of salt, according to Blood Pressure UK.
It explains: “Your kidneys help to control your blood pressure by controlling the amount of fluid stored in your body. The more fluid, the higher your blood pressure.
“Your kidneys do this by filtering your blood and sucking out any extra fluid, which it then stores in your bladder as urine.
“This process uses a delicate balance of sodium and potassium to pull the water across a wall of cells from the bloodstream into a collecting channel that leads to the bladder.
“Eating salt raises the amount of sodium in your bloodstream and wrecks the delicate balance, reducing the ability of your kidneys to remove the water.”
By eating more potassium, you can help your kidneys work more efficiently.
Potassium is found in most types of food, but the NHS says good sources include:
- Nuts and seeds
The health body recommends adults get 3,500mg of potassium a day and that you should be able to get this from your daily diet.
The Department of Health advises if you take potassium supplements, not to take too much as this could be harmful.
Taking too much potassium can cause stomach pain, feeling sick and diarrhoea.
A dose of 3,700mg or less of potassium supplements a day is unlikely to have obvious harmful effects, but older people may be more at risk of harm because their kidneys may be less able to remove potassium from the blood.
Exercise can also help lower a high blood pressure reading – doing a certain household chore counts as exercise and can help.
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