The risk of having a stroke could be reduced by eating foods that are rich in potassium, according to a recent study. The benefits of opting for potassium-rich foods was seen in women post-menopause, as they are the people more likely to suffer from a deficiency in this mineral.
More good news is that potassium helps to control a number of other health problems, including high blood pressure. The ability to lower blood pressure was shown within the same study as this one at the Albert Einstein College of medicine.
Senior research author Sylvia Wassertheil-Smoller and other Albert Einstein College of Medicine researchers, found that women with hypertension could reduce their chances of stroke by as much as 12 percent, depending on the amount of potassium they had. Ischemic types could be reduced by as much as 16 percent. The latter type happens when the blood vessels towards the brain are blocked.
Women without high blood pressure saw better results. They were more likely of reducing the risk of ischemic forms by as much as 27 percent, and all types of these attacks by 21 percent. The higher percentages were when larger amounts of the mineral were eaten.
The American Stroke Association and American Heart Association both found that men were not as likely to have one of these sudden attacks compared to women. It is good news that something so simple like eating more potassium can help to reduce the risk of having a stroke.
All research was carried out by tracking women between 50 and 79 years old over the course of 11 years. The amount of potassium consumed was tracked, along with whether they later suffered from the debilitating attack. All 90,137 women who took part had not had a stroke in the past, and 2,611mg of potassium was consumed daily on average. Just 2.8 percent consumed the recommended amounts. The U.S. Departments of Agriculture and Health and Human Services recommends people consume 4,700mg per day.
The good news is that potassium is one mineral that is extremely easy to consume as part of a healthy diet. While bananas are considered high in potassium, it is also found in many other fruits. Milk products, including yogurt, are also high in potassium, as well as potatoes and beans. Bananas are certainly one the highest options with 422mg of potassium in just one average portion.
Having more potassium can help reduce the risk of kidney stones developing. This offers more benefits for stroke risk reduction, as it has also been found that kidney stones may increase the risk of the attacks. This would suggest that post-menopausal women are not the only ones who could benefit from eating at least the recommended amount. People of all ages and both genders could benefit. Even if the risk of the attacks is not reduced, the reduction in high blood pressure risk is certainly a benefit. Potassium also helps to counteract the levels of sodium in the body.
Eating the recommended daily amounts of potassium is certainly beneficial. For post-menopausal women, the risk of having a stroke could be reduced considerably by eating more potassium.
By Alexandria Ingham