Healthy blood pressure isn’t only about sodium. In a Chinese study, people who often ate fresh fruit had lower systolic blood pressure than those who rarely did.
Potassium may be the key: It helps recruit molecules that return sodium to your blood, so you flush out more sodium as a result. That usually leads to lower blood pressure, says USC’s Alicia McDonough, Ph.D. The mineral also relaxes blood vessel walls, which helps lower blood pressure.
According to the American Heart Association, adults with blood pressure higher than 120/80 should consider increasing their potassium intake — though people with kidney problems, or other illnesses that impact how the body handles potassium, should be cautious. (Chat with your doctor before making any major changes to your diet.)
Top potassium sources include avocado, squash, spinach, sweet potatoes, salmon and (yes) bananas.
The 5 Best Sources of Potassium That Aren’t Bananas
1. Sun-dried tomatoes – 1,851 mg/cup
2. Edamame – 1,587 mg/cup
Damar Muharram / EyeEm / Getty Images
3. Raisins – 1,361 mg/cup
4. Prunes – 1,274 mg/ cup
5. Sweet potato – 885 mg/1 large, baked
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