Home Nutrition Food How to Lower Your Sodium-to-Potassium Ratio

How to Lower Your Sodium-to-Potassium Ratio

7 min read

The potassium content material in greens is certainly one of two methods they will enhance artery operate inside minutes of consumption.

More than a thousand years in the past, for the remedy of hypertension, an historic Persian medical textual content suggested life-style interventions, reminiscent of avoiding meat and pastries, and really helpful eating spinach. A thousand years later, researchers found {that a} single meal containing spinach might certainly cut back blood strain, thanks to its nitrate content material. All inexperienced leafy greens are filled with nitrate, which our physique can use to create nitric oxide that improves the pliability and performance of our arteries. This could also be why eating our greens could also be one of the highly effective issues we are able to do to cut back our power illness danger.

As you possibly can see at 0:54 in my video Lowering Our Sodium-to-Potassium Ratio to Reduce Stroke Risk, simply switching from low-nitrate greens to high-nitrate greens for every week can decrease blood strain by about 4 factors, and the upper the blood strain individuals started out with, the higher profit they acquired. Four factors may not sound like lots, however even a 2-point drop in blood strain might forestall greater than 10,000 deadly strokes yearly within the United States.

Potassium-rich meals may additionally act through an analogous mechanism. If we get even simply the minimal really helpful day by day consumption of potassium, we would forestall 150,000 strokes yearly. Why? Potassium seems to enhance the discharge of nitric oxide. One week of eating two bananas and a big baked potato day by day considerably improved arterial operate. Even a single high-potassium meal, containing the equal of two to three bananas’ price of potassium, can enhance the operate of our arteries, whereas a high-sodium meal—that’s, a meal with the quantity of salt most individuals eat—can impair arterial operate inside 30 minutes. While potassium will increase nitric oxide launch, sodium reduces nitric oxide launch. So, the health of our arteries could also be decided by our sodium-to-potassium ratio.

As you possibly can see at 2:30 in my video, after two bacon slices’ price of sodium, our arteries take a big hit inside 30 minutes. However, in the event you add three bananas’ price of potassium, you possibly can counteract the consequences of the sodium. As I present at 2:48 in my video, once we developed, we had been eating ten instances extra potassium than sodium. Now, the ratio is reversed, as we devour extra sodium than potassium. These sorts of research “provide additional evidence that increases in dietary potassium should be encouraged,” however what does that imply? We ought to eat extra beans, candy potatoes, and leafy greens, the latter of which is like providing you with a double whammy, as they’re excessive in potassium and nitrates. The advice from a thousand years in the past to eat spinach is fairly spectacular, although bloodletting and abstaining from intercourse had been additionally inspired, so we should always in all probability take historic knowledge with a grain of salt—however our meals ought to be added-salt free.

Why may abstaining from intercourse not be the perfect concept for cardiovascular health? Because the alternative may very well be true. See my video Do Men Who Have More Sex Live Longer?.

What else can we do about stroke danger? Check out:

For extra on potassium, see in Potassium and Autoimmune Disease and 98% of American Diets Potassium-Deficient.

Interested in studying extra concerning the risks of sodium? See:

Sodium isn’t simply unhealthy for our arteries. Check out How to Treat Asthma with a Low-Salt Diet and Sodium and Autoimmune Disease: Rubbing Salt within the Wound?.

I additional discover the wonders of nitrate-rich greens in:

Sweet potatoes are a wonderful high-potassium, low-sodium alternative, however what’s one of the simplest ways to put together them? Check out The Best Way to Cook Sweet Potatoes.

In health,

Michael Greger, M.D.

PS: If you haven’t but, you possibly can subscribe to my free movies right here and watch my dwell shows:


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