They say an apple a day keeps the doctor away. But what about bananas? Is it true that bananas can help lower blood pressure? Keep reading to find out!
What affects blood pressure?
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), high blood pressure can be caused from unhealthy lifestyle choices. This may include a lack of physical activity, a poor diet filled with processed foods, or a combination of both.
Generally, high blood pressure develops over time. People do not just wake up one day with high blood pressure. However, blood pressure can vary from day to day or hour to hour.
Aside from long term aspects that affect blood pressure, blood pressure can vary day to day due to things such as stress, hydration, or sodium intake.
What are normal blood pressure levels?
The American Heart Association defines a normal blood pressure as a reading of less than 120mm HG systolic reading and 80mm HG diastolic reading, or more commonly referred to as “120 over 80”.
When the reading elevates over 120/80mm HG, a doctor may define it as elevated, hypertension stage 1, hypertension stage 2, or a hypertensive emergency. At these levels, a doctor may prescribe medication. Or, blood pressure can be managed from the help of diet and exercise.
What nutrients affect blood pressure
There are certain nutrients that are directly involved with the dilation and constriction of blood vessels that affect blood pressure. Incorporating either more or less of certain nutrients can help to lower blood pressure.
Increasing intake of potassium, polyunsaturated fatty acids, and protein, along with exercise may decrease blood pressure. While increasing intake of sodium and highly processed foods can increase blood pressure.
Nutrition of a banana
One banana contains about 113 calories, 5 grams of fiber, and 422 mg of potassium. An adult woman needs 3400 mg per day of potassium. This makes a banana a low calorie snack that can help with weight management, digestive health, and blood pressure!
Should you eat a banana to help lower blood pressure?
Yes, eating a banana a day can help lower blood pressure. The potassium found in a banana is the main factor helping to manage blood pressure. But, the other nutritional components are also beneficial to blood pressure and heart health.
As with any change in diet, be sure to check with your doctor before starting a new diet plan. Some blood pressure medications may affect potassium utilization.
In conclusion, a diet filled with fresh fruits and vegetables can help promote optimal blood pressure levels and heart health. Specific ones high in potassium such as bananas can help you reach your blood pressure goals!