Bananas reduce the risk of heart attack, stroke and lower blood pressure: experts

Medical experts claim that bananas improve heart health.

Experts found that adults who regularly ate potassium-rich foods were 13% less likely to have heart disease. Sun reports.

Cardiovascular events include potentially fatal episodes such as heart attacks and strokes.

Scientists claim that foods high in potassium, such as avocados, salmon, and bananas, help lower blood pressure and neutralize the effects of excessive salt intake.

They also found that women get more health benefits than men as a result.

Lead investigator Professor Liffert Vogt of the University of Amsterdam Medical Center in the Netherlands said: “The results show that potassium helps maintain heart health, but women benefit more than men.

“It is well known that high salt intake is associated with high blood pressure and an increased risk of heart attacks and strokes.

“Health advice focuses on limiting salt intake, but this is difficult to achieve when our diet includes processed foods.

“Potassium helps the body excrete more sodium in the urine. In our study, dietary potassium was associated with the greatest improvement in health in women.”

The study, which involved almost 25,000 older Britons, was published in the European Heart Journal.

The researchers asked them about their diet, measured their blood pressure and took urine samples to see how much potassium they were consuming.

The participants were then followed up for the next 20 years.

Women who consumed the most potassium were 11% less likely to develop heart problems than those who ate the least.

And men saw a drop of nine percent. Overall, the risk for all adults dropped by about 13% if they ate plenty of potassium-rich foods.

Professor Vogt added: “The relationship between potassium and cardiovascular events was the same regardless of salt intake, suggesting that potassium has other ways to protect the heart besides increasing sodium excretion.”

The World Health Organization recommends no more than 5 grams of salt per day.

Tracey Parker, Senior Nutritionist at the British Heart Foundation (BHF), said: “This study supports the current recommendation that cutting back on salt and eating more potassium-rich foods can be a recipe for a healthier heart.

“An easy way to increase your potassium intake is to eat five servings of fruits and vegetables a day.

“Other foods like legumes, fish, nuts, seeds, and milk are also high in potassium and low in salt, so may help your heart.”

Professor Vogt concluded: “Our results show that a heart-healthy diet is not limited to salt restriction, but increases potassium content.

“Food companies can help by replacing the standard sodium-based salt with a potassium salt alternative in processed foods.”

This article originally appeared in Sun and reproduced with permission

Originally published as Bananas reduce the risk of heart attack, stroke and lower blood pressure: experts