Hypertension is a condition where the pressure of blood against artery walls is persistently higher than what is normal. There are millions of cases reported in India every year and blood pressure of higher than 140/90 is said to be a marker of hypertension. Blood pressure is considered to be severe when it shoots above 180/90. Elevated blood pressure usually doesn’t have any symptoms, but may lead to increased risk of potentially fatal conditions like heart disease and stroke. Hypertension can be regulated by making certain dietary and other lifestyle alterations. Eliminating foods with high amounts of trans-fats, salt and sugar from your diet may help you regulate blood pressure if you suffer from this condition.
Similarly, there are certain foods that a hypertension patient may add to his/her diet in order to reduce or regulate blood pressure. A high blood pressure patient must focus on including certain nutrients, minerals and vitamins in diet, which can improve symptoms of hypertension and potassium is one of the most prominent ones.
Benefits Of Potassium For Hypertension Patients
According to the American Heart Association, a healthy adult must consume as much as 4,700 mg of potassium daily, in order to regulate blood pressure and maintain it in the healthy range. Adults are advised to improve their potassium intake, if their blood pressure goes above 120/90 and there is an increased risk of the person developing hypertension. What potassium effectively does is that it reduces the blood pressure-raising effects of salt in our diet. In other words, potassium is a mineral, which when consumed can reduce the negative effects of salt on the body. Potassium has protective abilities for the heart as well as the kidney.
Hypertension Diet – Fruits Rich In Potassium
A lot of fruits and vegetables are rich in potassium and recommended for those who are at an increased risk of developing hypertension or high blood pressure. Here are some of the best, most common fruits that you can consume to regulate symptoms of hypertension;
One of the most popular, widely available and widely consumed fruit, orange is rich in potassium. A 100 gm portion of the bright and vitamin C-rich fruit contains as much as 181 mg of the mineral (as per data from the United States Department of Agriculture). So eat the fruit whole, include it in salads and juice it to get your blood pressure under control.
One of the best fruits to load up on potassium is banana, which contains as much as 358 mg of potassium, per 100 gm (as per USDA). Bananas can be added to smoothies and milkshakes, or consumed on pieces of toast or just consumed as is, in the morning to regulate blood pressure levels.
Apricot, that is called khubani in Hindi, is a great fruit to consume if you’re looking to lower your blood pressure. The stone fruit contains as much as 259 mg of potassium in a 100 gm portion (as per USDA data). The most common way of eating apricot besides consuming the pulp as is, is to make into jams and compotes and top your breakfast bowl of oatmeal with it.
The millennial obsession with avocado isn’t without reason. The savoury and creamy fruit comes loaded with health benefits and regulation of blood pressure is just one of them. Avocados contain levels of potassium that are even higher than bananas at 458 mg per 100 gm (as per USDA data). So binge on that guacamole or simply dump the mashed pulp of the avocado in your morning smoothie to reap its benefits.
Although consumed like a vegetable, tomato is technically a fruit that is widely consumed around the world. A 100 gm portion of tomatoes contains 237 mg of potassium (as per USDA data). The deliciously juicy fruit can be consumed whole or can be made into soups, or even added to curries and pastas. However, make sure your tomato preparations are low in salt, or you will end up negating the effects of potassium from the fruit.
This tropical fruit is loaded with health benefits and is probably underappreciated for them. Guavas are richer than even oranges, when it comes to both vitamin C and potassium. They contain 417 mg of potassium per 100 gm (as per USDA data) and can be added to juices, cocktails/mocktails and fruit salads.
The bright red seeds of pomegranate make for great additions to salads, smoothie bowls, toasts and even curries and soups. Pomegranate contains 236 mg of potassium per 100 gm and is probably one of the healthiest fruits to include in your hypertension diet.
Another bright green tropical fruit that you’re probably not eating enough of is the kiwi. The delicious and flavourful fruit is rich in potassium, with 312 mg of mineral per 100 gm portion of the fruit (as per USDA data). Consume kiwi fruit in your summer mixed fruit salad or juice it for a yummy glass of fruit juice to regulate blood pressure.
Apart from this, consuming green leafy veggies and exercising daily may also significantly improve symptoms of hypertension and bring your blood pressure down. Ditch the junk foods and instead start including more fruits and veggies in your diet to regulate hypertension.
Learn More: Low Carb Diet