A new study shows that potassium may be the key for teenagers to maintain a healthy blood pressure into adulthood. The study also indicates that a low sodium diet had little effect on their blood pressure.
The study about teenagers and potassium was released on April 27. The study followed 2,185 nine and ten-year-old girls for up to 10 years. The study tracked their eating habits and showed that the girls who consumed a potassium-rich diet had a better chance of maintaining a healthy blood pressure into their teenage and adult years.
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Dietitians and doctors have focused on reducing sodium intake as a measure to lowering and maintaining healthy blood pressure numbers. However, this new study shows that sodium intake had no long-term effect on the girls’ blood pressure. But those that ate potassium-rich foods during their teenage years had lower blood pressure numbers than the girls who ate fewer foods high in potassium.
What potassium-rich foods should you offer your teenager? Leafy green vegetables such as kale and spinach pack the most bang for your buck. Each has 800 to 900 milligrams or potassium per serving. Guacamole from one avocado contains 900 milligrams of potassium. Other foods to consider are bananas with 420 milligrams; a snack-box of raisins has 350 milligrams. Even baked potatoes with the skin, 700 milligrams, and baked sweet potatoes, 500 milligrams, can help your teenager achieve the recommended daily intake of 4,700 milligrams of potassium per day.
Teenagers need to focus on increasing their potassium intake. While a reduced sodium diet is still beneficial for optimal health, potassium seems to be the key for maintaining healthy blood pressure numbers for teenagers.
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