Foods that are rich in potassium help protect against heart disease. A new study showed that mice that were fed with low-potassium diets tend to have harder arteries compared with mice that were fed with high-potassium diets.
Dietary Potassium And Heart Disease
The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends increasing potassium intake from food to reduce blood pressure and odds for stroke and heart disease. The findings of the new study back up this recommendation.
In experiments involving mice, researchers found a link between reduced dietary potassium and elevated aortic stiffness, which in humans is associated with increased risk of heart disease and death from heart disease.
"The findings have important translational potential," said study researcher Paul Sanders, from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. "Since they demonstrate the benefit of adequate potassium supplementation on prevention of vascular calcification in atherosclerosis-prone mice, and the adverse effect of low potassium intake."
Here are examples of potassium-rich food that may help prevent heart disease:
Bananas are a good source of potassium, containing more than 400 mg of the mineral each. Bananas also contain a good amount of vitamin B6 and is a good source of vitamin C and fiber.
The avocado is a single-seeded berry packed with nutritional benefits. It contains some of the highest amounts of potassium having around 708.1 mg of the dietary mineral per cup, or about one serving. It is also loaded with the antioxidant vitamin E, B vitamins, and healthy fats.
Sweet potato contains 448 mgs of potassium per cup. It also comes with B vitamins and an enzyme known as amylase, which encourages normal blood sugar.
Roughly a handful of raisins provides about 600 mg of potassium, which is equivalent to 12 percent of the recommended daily value. Raisin also contains the antioxidant resveratrol, which can help control cholesterol, and reduce inflammation.
A half cup serving of spinach provides 420 mg of potassium.It also contains other important minerals which include calcium, iron, and magnesium. It has vitamins A, C, and K.
A cup of coconut water provides 575 mg of potassium. The liquid inside the coconut also contains enzymes that stimulate metabolism, as well as zinc, magnesium, and iron that play a role in regulating immune function and energy.
Other foods that contain potassium include orange juice, tomato juice, cucumbers, eggplants, milk, yogurts, soybeans, and whole-wheat bread.