Hypertension, also known as high blood pressure, affects at least 50 million Americans and millions worldwide and is a major cause of heart attacks, stroke and kidney failure. These fruits can help regulate blood pressure levels.
Potassium is a mineral and an electrolyte that’s essential for the body’s growth and maintenance. It is vital to heart function and plays an important role in skeletal and smooth muscle contraction. Potassium is the third most abundant mineral in the body and sufficient supply in the diet helps keep your muscles strong, and protect you against heart disease, hypoglycemia, diabetes, obesity and kidney disease. Studies have shown that a high potassium diet may help with hypertension.
These five fruits are some of the highest natural sources of blood pressure-slashing potassium:
Avocado and Banana
One cup of avocado supplies 874 mg of potassium. This fruit which is sometimes called a vegetable is also known for its cholesterol-lowering oleic acid. It is a good source of vitamins C, B6 and K, a nutrient which helps the body absorb calcium. Avocado also contains significant amounts of the carotenoids lutein, zeanthin, alpha-carotene and beta-carotene.
Bananas are rich in vitamin B6, one of the nutrients which assist in maintaining balanced immune system functions and ease stress, anxiety and depression. It is also a good source of vitamin C, fiber and manganese, and a cup of sliced bananas contains 467 mg of potassium.
Papaya and Kiwi
Lusciously sweet papaya is a very good source of potassium as one cup supplies 781 mg. It is an excellent source of vitamin C, a potent antioxidant which has been associated with a reduced risk of various cancers, particularly mouth, esophagus, stomach, colon and lung cancers. The papaya’s unique enzymes were also found to have arthritis fighting abilities.
The bright green flesh of kiwifruit is an excellent source of vitamin C, a very good source of fiber and is packed with 252 mg of potassium. Its nutritional punch also includes copper, manganese, magnesium, vitamin E and beneficial flavonoids and carotenoids which may help the body combat certain diseases and conditions.
The cantaloupe’s distinctive orange color is telling us that it is rich in beta-carotene, a phytonutrient beneficial for healthy eyes, lungs and skin. One cup contains 494 mg of potassium and is also rich in vitamins C, B3 and B6, fiber and folate, one very important mineral for pregnant and planning to get pregnant mothers.
Other potassium rich fruits include: oranges, apricots, strawberries and watermelon.
In addition to a healthy diet losing excess weight, regular exercise, reducing sodium in diet, limiting alcohol consumption, avoiding tobacco, and reducing stress are altogether most effective in controlling high blood pressure levels.
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