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And you should consume some specific minerals on a regular basis for good blood pressure management: calcium, magnesium, and potassium. But do most of us get enough of these? But people eating a diet of processed and canned foods or taking certain medications might not be getting enough of these micronutrients," says Dr.

Key minerals to help control blood pressure - Harvard Health

Normal body levels of potassium are important for muscle function, including relaxing the walls of the blood vessels. This lowers blood pressure and protects against muscle cramping. Normal potassium levels also are important for the conduction of electrical signals in the nervous system and in the heart. This protects against an irregular heartbeat.

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Potassium is found naturally in many foods, such as prunes, apricots, sweet potatoes, and lima beans. But food may not be enough to keep up your potassium levels if you take a diuretic for high blood pressure such as hydrochlorothiazide Esidrix, HydroDiuril. These drugs cause potassium to leave your body in the urine, thereby lowering your body's potassium levels.

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In those cases, we do use supplements," says Dr. Don't try a supplement on your own.

Potassium and your diet

Some risk factors for high blood pressure, like obesity and smoking, are well established. But now, a team of MED researchers has published a study in the American Journal of Hypertension , finding that a crucial nutrient—protein—may have been overlooked, and could offer a surprising level of protection.

Omelets, peanut butter, and chicken stir-fry may be our new weapons against high blood pressure. When low-fat dairy was added to a diet that included lots of fruits and vegetables, the blood pressure lowering effect was almost double what was seen in the fruit and vegetable-rich diet alone. There have been a lot of questions about why that is, and one possibility was protein.

Plant proteins had been previously suggested to lower blood pressure.

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Moore and her colleagues set out to investigate whether all types of protein might have beneficial effects. Using data from the long-running Framingham Offspring Study , the researchers found that adults who consumed more protein, whether from dairy, eggs, meat, or plant sources, had lower blood pressure levels after four years of follow-up.

People with the highest protein intake—on average grams a day—saw the biggest benefit, with a 40 percent lower risk of developing high blood pressure. In the Framingham Study, when the higher protein-eaters ate lots of fiber, too, the benefit was even more dramatic: a 40 to 60 percent reduction in risk of developing high blood pressure.

This was true for both obese and normal weight people. While plant proteins did have a slightly stronger benefit, all types of proteins seemed to work. Moore notes that dietary variety is important, so people should try to eat protein from many different sources. For example, a tuna fish sandwich for lunch, a small handful of nuts or yogurt as a snack, and grilled chicken for dinner is a better choice than 17 eggs or 5 protein bars.

Men more often have a higher blood pressure than women.

Minerals and blood pressure.

Diet and lifestyle plays an important role in managing blood pressure. High intakes of sodium and low intakes of potassium have unfavorable effects on blood pressure. Therefore, reducing the consumption of sodium and increasing the consumption of potassium are both good ways to improve blood pressure. This is considerably lower than the 4. A hypothetical increase in the potassium intake to the recommended level would reduce the systolic blood pressure in the populations of these countries by between 1.

This corresponds with the reduction that would occur if Western consumers were to take in 4 g of salt less per day.

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The intakes of both potassium and sodium are therefore of importance in preventing high blood pressure. Earlier studies have shown that salt reduction of 3 g per day in food could reduce blood pressure and prevent deaths per year due to cardiovascular diseases in the Netherlands. In Western countries, salt consumption can be as high as g a day whereas 5 g is the recommended amount according to WHO standards.

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Most household salt is to be found in processed foods such as bread, ready-made meals, soups, sauces and savoury snacks and pizzas. An effective way of increasing potassium intake is to follow the guidelines for healthy nutrition more closely, including a higher consumption of vegetables and fruit.