Jun 25, 2012

Potassium and High Blood Pressure

Fruit plate by Upsilon Andromedae
Fruit plate, a photo by Upsilon Andromedae on Flickr.

Ever wonder why we crave for certain foods at certain times?  I'm not talking about sudden craving for, say, donuts, which I would probably consider an unhealthy craving.  I'm talking about whole, natural foods here.  When we do crave for those, sometimes, it could be our body's subtle way of telling us we need certain nutrients.  Don't you find that fruit plate above quite inviting?  I do.  I see the words antioxidant and Vitamin C hidden among the grapes, strawberries, orange slice and everything else on the plate.

 Ever since I could remember, I love these fruits, in order of preference:

  • mangoes
  • melons / cantaloupe
  • jack fruit
  • avocados
  • pineapples
  • grapes (that includes raisins)
  • papayas 
  • prunes
  • kiwi fruits (newbie on the list)
And I eat vegetables too but I am loving these in a whole new light:
  • cauliflower
  • broccoli
  • lettuce
  • celery
  • cabbage
  • asparagus
Not to forget root crops such as:
  • potatoes (I go crazy over these)
  • sweet potatoes
I love other fruits and veggies but I purposely listed only these.  Know what these foods have in common?  They all contain an essential mineral called Potassium in higher or considerable quantity compared to other foods. Why the interest in potassium?  Well, for one thing, it is directly linked to heart health and  it plays an important role in the management of hypertension.  How is that?  Potassium is claimed to have relaxing effect on the blood vessels or it promotes lesser contraction.  Either way, relaxed blood vessels leads to lesser pressure.  Also, potassium balances out the effects of sodium.   

It is recommended in the USDA that an adult should have 4,700 mg of potassium daily.  Much as I would like to comply with that, it's kind of difficult though.  I would have to gobble up most of those on the list on a daily basis or have very large servings of at least three items that are in season or are readily available. I think 2,000 mg is manageable for me right now.  At least I can start somewhere, and work it up from there.

I don't consider potassium supplementation necessary for me.  I think it's best to get it naturally.  Besides, I love these potassium-rich foods so it's not quite an effort to shove these down my throat.  The challenge would be to have these on regular, rotational basis on my diet.  That should do the trick.


Here are interesting articles to read that could serve as guide for potassium intake:

Generally, people with hypertension like me could benefit from increasing potassium levels. But while it is an essential nutrient, some people like those with renal failure need to limit potassium intake.  It is always best to consult with doctors and nutritionists or dieticians.


 

49 comments:

  1. Hi Aileen! I agree with you.  Sometimes, I do feel the craving too for some vegetables especially when I eat meats 3 days in a row.  By then, I would rush to buy some veggies and fruits to satisfy my cravings.  Like you, I look after my health, too but maybe not as strict as you, though. :) Thanks for all these information!

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  2. thanks for the info my tests show that i need more potassium..

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  3. I so love mango too.. thanks for sharing this healthy tips...

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  4. Bananas i think is also rich in potassium. All the above list of foods with nutritional value are also the food that my family eat right now. Going vegetarian is also a hard task to do. Needs more focus and adjustment.

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  5.  Yes, bananas are very rich in potassium too.  I just didn't include that on my list because I am already going bananas lol!  It's the most abundant fruit we have here, I think. 

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  6. i'm planning to start my diet today, seriously, and 75% of that diet should be fruits.  i miss eating mangoes. :(

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  7.  That's great Mai!  You'll be giving yourself a great gift and that is health

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  8.  That's great Mai!  You'll be giving yourself a great gift and that is health

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  9. We have a history of high blood pressure. And I love the food you listed. Hopefully I would be spared because of this. hehe

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  10. I want to stay away from unhealthy foods.... Will definitely include your list in my diet plan.

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  11. And I love all those! :-) Hey baby spare me some grapes :-)

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  12. Mangoes are my fave too!  I'm a new follower from BC bloggers and would love for you to follow me back at sugarplumsandlollipops.blogspot.com and pinterest

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  13. I love mangoes!  Bananas, I love more :).  I'm not getting any younger, so I really must pay more attention to my diet.  Thanks for sharing this.

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  14. Farida Jane TiongsonJune 28, 2012 at 12:50 AM

    I once read about the miracle fruit, banana that is super-loaded with potassium and the many things this does to our body.

    Informative post. Makes me remind to eat more greens :D

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  15. Why are bananas not on the list?  It should be, because it's one of the richest source of potassium. Some doctors would even recommend that to those with hypokalemia (extremely low potassium levels).  So why did I not include bananas on my list?  I still eat bananas, but I don't crave much over it anymore.  I have been eating turon and banana cue as a kid and like I said, I am already going bananas lol!

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  16. informative post you have here
    my brother has hyperkalemia and he must consume minimal potassium

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  17. Maria Teresa GuanlaoJune 30, 2012 at 7:00 PM

    I don't know why I don't like jack fruits and avocados sis but when serve as a smoothie or a shake,I can try them,hehe! I love kiwis! Informative post,sis! Didn't know mangoes are also rich in potassium :)

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  18. Same with bananas so rich with potassium, i love eating veggies and fruits but sometimes my junkfoods din kaya not balance.. Anyway, informative post!

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  19. I am so glad I can freely eat anything I want. Of course I am trying to eat healthy and have no condition limiting me to eat healthy food.

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  20. this is True and very informative. Bananas I think this is really popular if ever that we will talk about potassium. But papaya nah i haven't got any idea before that it is also rich on potassium. Thanks for keeping us informed!
    Be healthy and fit always.


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  21. I sure hope that i can encourage my picky eater son to try out fruits. This is my long time problem now because he doesn't eat any.

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  22. Great that you've shared some information like this. It will sure inform people a lot about the fruits and vegetables that should be eaten.

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  23. thanks for this information. I've also heard that craving means that our body needs whatever was in the food. Glad that my kids also like banana which s really reach in potassium.

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  24. your post is making me crave for all those healthy fruits + veggies! i have recently discovered avocado in a whole new light + i cannot wait to grab some the next time i go to the greengrocers!


    it was a good thing i am teaching my little one to eat healthy, it is making me eat healthy, too, i just wish he'd have my appetite for all these fruits + veggies that i am serving him! :D

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  25. That's great, teaching the little one to eat healthy. It's hard with kids, specially when they're already exposed to the "goodness" of fast food. It's kind of hard but it can be done.

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  26. It will be a challenge but there are ways... :-)

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  27. Avocado smoothie sounds great! But jack fruits, I like them as is. Hassle lang himayin hehehe..

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  28. I agree that we can get potassium from the food that we eat and don't need a separate supplement for that mineral alone.

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  29. I also love grapes! Very informative post.

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  30. I love to take natural supplements. I did malunggay capsule (see my post here: http://chemist9861.blogspot.com/2012/06/project-homemade-supplement-malunggay.html) I love the fruits. I am not aware that potassium is really linked in helping blood pressure regulation. Good to know this from you.


    Visit from BC Blogger

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  31. the baby looks adorable! I love fruits, and we really stock up on them every week. fruits are the reason why my grocery bag is always heavy!

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  32. Whenever I get a craving, I do stop and ask myself what my body is asking. For example, a craving for ice cream usually indicates that I need some calcium.

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  33. I love fruits, but sometimes I only pick some veggies that I like. I don't eat veggies that much:( though I know hat I really should.

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  34. i thought potassium is for muscle functions, glad to learn it also helps regulate BP...gotta grab some fruits and veggies...

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  35. I'm a very picky eater but I'm glad most of the fruits I do eat are on the list. My fave fruits include mangoes, kiwis, and strawberries. Also, my husband was rushed to the hospital late last year because of a sudden drop in his potassium levels. I'll keep your list in mind to prevent it from happening again.

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  36. this is so informative.. I learned something new thanks for sharing..

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  37. Hello Aileen! I'm just finding your blog and loving it, b/c I have hypertension too. I've struggled w/ weight for 10 years, can't seem to get a handle on it. I eat lots of fruits and veggies, and gave up meat/chicken two years ago (animal fat) b/c of high cholesterol. I'd love to follow what you're learning, so I'm a new follower. :-) Nice to find you!

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  38. Hi mare ball! Thanks for the visit. I'm no expert in weight loss and hypertension. On my end, it's more of awareness about my lifestyle and I have identified areas where I can improve in terms of fitness and nutrition. It's a struggle too, but as long as we keep it up, we'll reach our goals :-) Do you have a blog or site? Couldn't find links. Would be nice to trade tips :-)

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  40. Most of the time, I only crave for chocolates or anything sweet. I'm a fan of fruits and vegetables and my family has managed to limit our meat consumption in the last five years. Thanks for this informative post, sis. Will certainly remember this info. (By the way, I like the new header).

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  41. Wow, the fruit plate is really so inviting. Mango is on top my list too among fruits. Anyway, I wish fruits are cheaper here no? So we could always munch on them. Hehe.


    Mommy Maye

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  42. Found it. Sis, I'm interested to read about your new header. Probably you can write it in your other blog. I hope so.

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  43. i love all the fruits listed except for the kiwi. :)

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  44. Yup, Aileen, why no bananas? I love them and it is so filling. Nakakabusog talaga siya

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  45. Sawa na kasi ko sa saging....hehehe....yun nilagay ko kasi sa list are my favorites. I purposely excluded saging :-)

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  46. I smiled when I saw the photo of this boy. Eating fruits are really a good thing. I have a friend who is now training her son to eat fruits in the morning. It's really useful. My kids are fond of fruits as well. I'm not fruit eater unfortunately.

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  47. how i wish pareho tau mag-isip or same tau ng nakikita pag healthy food ang kaharap natin. :) its nice to think and "see" the vitamins and nutrients behind those colorful plate of fruits <3

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