fresh peppers and asparagus, eat your vegetables, potassium rich foods, vegetable-rich diet

If you want a healthy heart, fill your plate with potassium rich foods, especially vegetables. That seems to be the message from an important new study in mice (Sun et al, JCI Insight, Oct. 5, 2017).

Dietary Potassium and Atherosclerosis:

The scientists at the University of Alabama found that mice given low-potassium chow were more likely to develop hardened arteries due to calcium deposits in the vessel walls. Mice eating a high-potassium diet had far more flexible arteries and less vascular calcification.

The mouse study revealed the reasons that calcification occurs when potassium levels are low. That is why you should be eating plenty of potassium rich foods.

Vegetables and fruits are particularly rich in potassium, along with several types of fish. Perhaps that helps explain why the DASH diet, which emphasizes vegetables and fruits, is helpful against hypertension.

Here is a partial list of potassium rich foods:

  • artichokes
  • apricots
  • asparagus
  • avocado
  • bananas
  • beets
  • bell peppers
  • blackberries
  • broccoli
  • Brussels sprouts
  • cabbage
  • cantaloupe
  • carrot
  • cauliflower
  • chard
  • mushrooms
  • nectarines
  • oranges
  • potatoes
  • spinach
  • squash
  • sweet potatoes
  • tomatoes

People with low potassium levels can face life-threatening emergencies. It makes sense to pay attention to your potassium!

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  1. bj

    I have found across many years that one needs to obtain results of each and every lab test/imaging done, and look for a pattern of change(s) across time. It seems that many of our health providers order the lab tests but fail to looke for patterns of change (susually for the worse) that would lead to more timely intervention that would prevent development of more serious conditions. Example: a consistent downward slop across blood lab tests that indicated increasingly sever anemia, for which nothing was acted on until the Iron was down to 5, and the patient was extremely ill and debilitated.
    We must act as our own “watchdog” for more timely interventions.

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