The better the potassium/sodium balance; the healthier the heart.
Where do you get potassium? A plant-based wholefood diet is rich in fresh fruits, vegetables such as leafy greens, spinach, kale, beans, legumes, potatoes, sweet potatoes, winter squash, dried apricots, prunes, citrus fruit, cantaloupe, fresh fish and bananas.
“Our findings give women another reason to eat their fruits and vegetables. Women with hypertension had a lower total mortality risk with higher potassium intake but no lowered risk of stroke, suggesting that higher potassium intake may be of more benefit before hypertension develops. Healthcare providers, therefore, may wish to reinforce the importance of a potassium-rich diet especially among postmenopausal women”
Sylvia Wassertheil-Smoller, PhD, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, New York City, September 2014.
The latest analysis of data comes from the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) and has found “women with hypertension who consumed the most potassium each day had a 12% lower overall risk of all stroke and a 16% lower risk of ischemic stroke when compared with women consuming very little potassium”.
Even more interesting was that “among women without hypertension, those in the highest quartile of reported potassium consumption had a 27% lower risk of ischemic stroke than those in the lowest quartile”.
This new evidence strongly backed up the same findings in a 2013 meta-analysis of 22 randomized controlled trials as published in BMJ.
Study by Seth A, et al “Potassium intake and risk of stroke in women with hypertension and nonhypertension in the Women’s Health Initiative” as published in Stroke 2014. WHI is funded by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Also; study by Aburto NJ, Hanson S, Gutierrez H, Hooper L, Elliott P, Cappuccio FP “Effect of increased potassium intake on cardiovascular risk factors and disease: systematic review and meta-analyses” as published in BMJ. 2013 Apr 3;346:f1378. doi: 10.1136/bmj.f1378.