If you want to reduce your risk of having a stroke, you might want to cut down on salt. But would you think about how much potassium you're eating? A series of studies in the BMJ show that reducing salt to 3g a day and increasing potassium-rich foods – fruit and vegetables are good sources – would help to prevent strokes by reducing high blood pressure. So should you ditch the crisps and grab a banana instead?
is a chemical that is essential for cells to work properly. It's
particularly important in nerve and muscle cells but it is also
essential to help keep the body's fluid balance in a steady state.
levels of potassium in the blood can cause weakness and muscle cramps.
It is rare to get these problems from eating too little potassium;
usually they're caused by medical conditions that make us lose
potassium, through diarrhoea, kidney failure or excessive sweating.
that's not to say that eating enough wouldn't have benefits. Hundreds
of years ago we had diets that were rich in potassium and we would
consume about 200mmol a day. This study suggests that many don't eat
the government's recommended 90mmol a day. Some countries, the
USA and Canada included, advocate 120mmol a day. As the amount of
processed food we eat has risen and we consume fewer fruits and
vegetables, so the amount of potassium we eat has fallen.
research, which specifically looked at the effects of potassium on heart
disease and stroke, suggests that a higher intake of potassium could
cut the risk of stroke by 24%.
Source - Guardian