Eating potassium-rich foods like sweet potatoes, avocados, spinach, beans, bananas - and even coffee - could be key to lowering blood pressure, according to researcher of cell and neurobiology at the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California (USC).
Decreasing sodium intake is a well-established way to lower blood pressure. But evidence suggests that increasing dietary potassium may have an equally important effect on hypertension. Hypertension is a global health issue that affects more than one billion people worldwide. The World Health Organization estimates that hypertension is responsible for at least 51 percent of deaths due to stroke and 45 percent of deaths due to heart disease.
Increasing dietary potassium will take a conscious effort, however. Researcher explains that our early ancestors ate primitive diets that were high in fruits, roots, vegetables, beans and grains (all higher in potassium) and very low in sodium. As a result, humans evolved to crave sodium - but not potassium. Modern diets, however, have changed drastically since then: processed food companies add salt to satisfy our cravings, and processed foods are usually low in potassium.