Health


Three cheers!



You can drop your blood pressure like a rock with this trio of minerals found in these foods. Go bananas for potassium: If you are battling high blood pressure, you probably know all about the perils of salt but potassium plays just as big a role in controlling blood pressure. Study after study shows that adding potassium to your diet helps lower blood pressure. This strategy has a greater benefit for people with elevated blood pressure, but even those with normal blood pressure may see an improvement. The combination of adding potassium and limiting salt has an even greater effect. While its main asset is its ability to control blood pressure, that's not all potassium does. Potassium is a miracle mineral that not only helps lower blood pressure and cholesterol but has several other heart-healthy benefits:

1) Protect your blood vessels from damage
2) Prevent irregular dangerous heartbeats
3) Reduce your risk of stroke
4) Dilate blood vessels
5) Prompt your sympathetic nervous system to regulate blood pressure
6) Prodding your kidneys to get rid of more sodium and less calcium through your urine

It is easy to boost your potassium intake through peas, beans, apricots, peaches, bananas, prunes, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, avocados and figs.

Go nuts for magnesium: Consider magnesium one of potassium's henchmen in the fight against high blood pressure. This mineral relaxes blood vessels and balances the potassium and sodium in your cells. Several studies have long been indicating a close association between more magnesium and a reduced risk of high blood pressure. Food sources of magnesium include whole wheat breads, cereals, broccoli, spinach, okra, oysters, scallops, mackerel, beans, nuts and seeds.

Say cheese for calcium: As you get older, your systolic blood pressure, the top number in the blood pressure reading, tends to go up but studies suggest that calcium can help prevent this. Calcium helps control blood pressure by helping your body get rid of sodium through your urine. You can find calcium in cheese, milk (choose the low fat versions), yoghurt, broccoli, spinach, turnip greens, mackerel, salmon. Make an effort to include plenty of potassium, magnesium, and calcium in your diet. When you see the effect on your blood pressure, you will agree that three is company.

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