Health is a matter of balance and in that balance there are key elements. One of them is potassium, an essential mineral that, among its many functions, essential for the body, is to help us eliminate fluids, control hypertension and properly contract muscles, including the heart.
One of the most common problems that unbalance our diet is the excessive consumption of sodium compared to potassium. Good cardiovascular and general health requires not only that we reduce sodium intake, but also that we increase potassium.
In fact, according to several randomized control and epidemiological studies, people who consume more sodium and less potassium are not only at increased risk of hypertension, but also at risk of dying from heart attack or other causes.
This is reflected in a study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, which also points out that, beyond the absolute amounts of potassium or sodium that we consume, what most influences is the proportion between these two minerals in our diet: people those who consume a higher ratio of sodium to potassium have twice the risk of dying from a heart attack than people who consume the lowest ratio.
Changes in diet may be key in reducing risk, the same researchers point out. The secret: Increase your intake of foods high in potassium and low in sodium, such as fresh fruit and vegetables, and reduce your intake of foods that are high in sodium and low in potassium, such as bread, processed products or cheese.
There is no doubt, therefore, that the best sources of potassium are fruits, vegetables and other plant foods, since they are not only foods rich in potassium, but also provide little sodium.